Locked down computing via proprietary apps is getting less and less appealing by the day.
I eventually did put the Play store on it so I could get a few must have apps, but, Reddit is better on the web (though it is an absolute pain in the ass about it with constant overlays trying to get you to use the app). Wunderlist is fine, gmail is fine, Twitter is ok, etc. The big win, however, is that I trust Firefox/Mozilla not to sell me out (I have mostly forgiven the Pocket thing), unlike just about anybody else. That has some value...also, all of my accounts and stuff is synced via Firefox, where with apps I have to login on every new device...some apps demand a fresh login every time, like my bank app, so Firefox is a better experience there.
No pictures and video previews, but I actually like it that way.
Use the picker to select the problem overlays and create a rule and they will be gone. You have to do this a few times since some seem to be page sensitive.
If the folks from /e/ are here, is there some sort of documentation of how you degoogled it past LineageOS + MicroG? I would be interested, as I use AOSP without Play Services nor MicroG, and I would be interested in seeing what /e/ gets me that my current set up does not.
As it is, Android is already too much of a mess for me to trust. I wouldn't ssh from an Android to an important server, just as I wouldn't from a Windows machine. Too many moving parts into which I have little or no vantage.
I don't know if they'll succeed, but I fully endorse the idea of some umbrella project trying to put together a pleasantly integrated smartphone experience that doesn't rely on the tech giants.
Maybe /e/ will become the Gnome project of smartphones.
If they had the ability to make a self hosted back end for online services back ups, I would actually be extremely interested.
Seeing no mention of how up-to-date this OS is is worrying - I have a hard time seeing it as an improvement to reduce the number of calls to google services, while running an OS that's missing the last couple months of security updates.
What exactly is their issue with Apple? Apple is already privacy focused. I can imagine what it could be (mistrust of closed source, big corporations) but they never say so. What exactly are they building? Are they just a distro or are they building their own software?
EDIT: All the replies focus on Apple. But my point is not that Apple is privacy-friendly. When I say Apple is privacy-focused, I just mean Apple claims they focus on privacy. They can disagree, but should provide some arguments.
Sure, I can use a fake address, but what if they start to check against it and then lock me out of my account?
It’s bad enough all the players require my full name. I do use an alias whenever I can, but for vital accounts, I don’t because I’m afraid one day they’ll ask for a government issued ID to verify my account or I get locked out.
Exactly. Without source code you have no idea what they're doing. All you know it's what they say they are doing. Two completely different things.
Apple makes money by selling stuff to people, not selling people to advertisers.
> (I sure have and am glad to have a full understanding of everything going out).
Hint: You do not need to manually, personally, audit every single line of code to discover the use of such functionality.
Granted, this data is on-device, and we don't know how much (if any) leaves the device, but if Apple really had privacy as their top priority, they wouldn't collect that data in the first place. Privacy is surely important for Apple, but it's not the absolute top.
After data is stored, it can be extracted by attackers who exploit a vulnerability in the OS, or by anyone with physical access who finds out the passcode. (eg. by coercion, by camera surveillance, or by simply looking over someone's shoulder)
If an operating system truly put privacy first, all that data would never be stored in the first place.
Obviously it's a tradeoff. If you want smart recommendations and all the "AI" features, you need to collect and store a lot of data.
If you value privacy above all else, you have to store as little data as possible, and you have to say "no" to features that require analyzing a lot of data.
Would it be _better_ if all Apple software was fully open source and could be independently audited by anyone? Yes. Does that invalidate everything else? No.
Also, Wireshark is a good way to monitor what data your phone is sending to what servers, even if it's incredibly imperfect.
That's not proof of anything, but again, at some point I feel you have to assume good faith. Apple does not have a history of doing stuff like this.
Seriously, the fundamental issue with proprietary is maintenance, ie., not finding but fixing (in a good way) problems and then making those fixes available to other users. Adding features to scratch niche itches is another, though arguably not as critical a matter. But for merely reverse engineering, decompiling, probing memory, fuzzing and all that lack of source code is effectively zero barrier. If it wasn't then source/algorithm obscurity really would be effective for security rather then a bad joke.
When you are the one making a claim refuting what is generally considered common knowledge, you're expected to provide SOME citation of your disputed claim... not to mention it's such a common internet troll tactic to spew BS just to make people do research to prove you're full of it that it's just kind of common courtesy to start with links (assuming you aren't a troll).
There is a valid discussion to be had as to whether UX or data privacy should be prioritized, but I'm inclined towards UX--most people just want to get the best search results possible.
If anything, on the UX <--> privacy scale, I'd argue Apple has sometimes been prioritizing privacy too highly as of late. As a heavy user of custom Applescripts, the new TCC dialogs introduced in Mojave have been causing me a lot of grief.
_Of course_ it's possible to prove a negative. Why do people insist on repeating this as if it's actually true?
No, they aren't.
One, disproving a negative claim is exactly proving the opposite (positive, if the same style of expression is used) claim (and vice versa), so it can't be harder to both prove and disprove negative claims, even if they were real distinct classes.
Second, “positive” and “negative” claims are largely phrasing choices; it's quite possible to have positive and negative claims that are semantically equivalent.
Additionally, in this case, the claim that a company can be trusted is much more difficult to prove than the claim that they cannot be. Burden of proof, difficulty of proof, and whether the claim is expressed as a positive or a negative have no intrinsic link.
Are you saying that Apple can be proven a company that can be trusted to keep user data secure?
f. While using an iOS device, if a user decides to forgo the use of any Google product (i.e. no Android, no Chrome, no Google applications), and visits only non-Google webpages, the number of times data is communicated to Google servers still remains surprisingly high. This communication is driven purely by advertiser/publisher services. The number of times such Google services are called from an iOS device is similar to an Android device. In this experiment, the total magnitude of data communicated to Google servers from an iOS device is found to be approximately half of that from the Android device.
Says you (and say them).
>I can imagine what it could be (mistrust of closed source, big corporations) but they never say so.
Yes, that's exactly it. With proprietary software I have no idea what my device is doing. Maybe they're spying on me! Maybe they aren't! Who knows!
The reasoning behind the people that say "Apple respects privacy" is always "because they say so".
This is entirely untrue. You can sniff the outgoing connections to see what data is being sent. Here's instructions for how to do it on a Mac: https://medium.com/@jamesmarino/monitoring-ios-https-network...
On Windows, a similar thing can be achieved through Fiddler.
Apple's biggest claim to fame in the last few years has been defending users' privacy. It is in their best interest to be as transparent about this as possible because any revelation that they are publicly saying X and privately doing the opposite is going to completely tank them as a company. They're not about to jeopardize their entire company by going so far as concealing tracking information in other information that is transmitted from the device. Especially while at the same time going so far as implementing many security and privacy features like FileVault, E2E encryption, and the Secure Enclave. Everything they have said and done, and analysis of the data that leaves their devices points to them not doing it.
Sure, it's theoretically possible. But it's about as far from probable as Pluto is from Earth.
The vast majority of Apple's buyers don't know or don't care about privacy. To assert "this is their biggest claim to fame" is ludicrous.
>It is in their best interest to be as transparent about this as possible
This is still the only argument for Apple that I've ever seen. They maybe aren't doing this, because maybe it doesn't make business sense for them, and maybe we could detect it if they were. Nothing about this is solid; for me it's just wishful thinking.
>any revelation that they are publicly saying X and privately doing the opposite is going to completely tank them as a company
Literally hundreds of companies have been caught doing the exact same thing and next to none of them have "tanked".
>Especially while at the same time going so far as implementing many security and privacy features like [...] Secure Enclave.
The Secure Enclave is an unauditable chip running god knows what software. Completely outside your control; someone else has the power to dictate what it does and doesn't do. The notion of paying money for my device and having it subject to the control of someone else is... like buying a car with my own money and having it be controlled by someone else.
The users don't care, but the media and government are going to pounce on whatever they can, especially the government after the FBI debacle and subsequent refusals to cooperate. If you don't think such a revelation isn't going to completely upheave the company, then you're the one that's being ludicrous. Just because the end user doesn't care now doesn't mean they can't be made to care with the right messaging from someone who takes advantage of such a discovery.
> This is still the only argument for Apple that I've ever seen. They maybe aren't doing this, because maybe it doesn't make business sense for them, and maybe we could detect it if they were. Nothing about this is solid; for me it's just wishful thinking.
Did you somehow miss my grandparent comment, or just decide to completely ignore it because it doesn't fit your narrative? If you don't trust them, then go do what I said to do in said comment and audit the data that is being sent by the device to their servers. This isn't rocket science, it literally takes a few minutes to set up. Just because you don't want to doesn't mean that trusting them is somehow the only option you have. And just because you don't see the source code doesn't mean you can't possibly know what data is being collected and sent. That's literally the whole reason these MitM proxies exist -- to inspect data leaving your device for various purposes.
> like buying a car with my own money and having it be controlled by someone else.
So, what already happens today and has been happening for at least a decade now?
Apple at least has that case whith FBI, anti-proprietary activists have just their doubts. Would be interesting to read some story about traffic analysis with some suspicious activities, but all I see is just compilation of doubts and talks about what is possible.
So it's pretty safe to say that yes, you can trust Apple.
I suspect we would all know if Apple were spying on us. Really think there still secrets anymore?
I'm certain that decades hence we will be shocked to discover what is going on now, under our noses.
As technologists, I think we should stand against the notion that personal privacy is a luxury feature for those wealthy enough to afford it.
I don't think the market can solve personal privacy issues - only legislation can.
I've met a ton of technologists interested in privacy, and none of them were for the notion that only the rich should have it.
On plenty of countries getting an Android device is already a dream come true, let alone being able to get an iPhone.
Apple may, of course, be better than Google at defending user's privacy. Apple's efforts are laudable, but Apple still controls access to your data.
With self-hosting everything, you are in control of your data. This may be more secure, or less secure than Apple's cloud, depending on how well you manage it, but now you're in control.
Nothing stops Apple from becoming a new Google. And nothing stops NSA from installing backdoors in Apple's data centers as they did with Google.
In aggregate it’s not clear that the risks of putting your data in the cloud are as dire as everyone fears. If your worried about being targeted individually then you’re already screwed. There’s no way a single individual can guard against state level actors.
Search the article for these words: roommate. boyfriend. partner. family. household. abuse. abusive. stalking. stalker. spying.
The article is 100% free of any mention of one of the top dangers Apple addresses for users with its built in protections. No phone can fix the problem completely, but iOS bends over backwards to ensure that a user who takes an active interest in protecting their own privacy has the tools to do so.
Apple creates a walled garden, where they decide what you can and cannot run on "your" device. Even if such devices are useful in specific circumstances, the problem of freedom is still there.
If the phone owner is not knowledgeable about the dangers, they should not be required to become a security expert and download special apps in order to deserve protection from those who would install privacy invading apps on their devices.
Now, it seems you are trying to argue that not computer literate people need a single chef (Apple) to tell them what to do and what not to do with their devices. Let me explain to you that freedom, which Apple devices lack, would allow such people to choose, whom they trust, increasing the competition and improving the market situation. For example, you go to a repair shop you trust and ask them to install any operating system they think is reasonable. It also concerns physical repairs. Apple more and more prohibits independent repairs.
Even if Apple is solving "big problems" as you claim, the answer given is still legit. There are people who need freedom and Apple goes against it in many ways. And it is not always possible to switch to other vendors, see "Vendor lock-in" in Wikipedia.
tl;dr: You do not have to be computer literate person to benefit from such freedom.
> Leaving apple and Google..
Maybe they want to leave Google entirely. Maybe they are walking their walk and not just talking about it.
I don’t know about e foundation, but what I came to know from their mobile phone os page is that they are providing a os with data privacy as main feature. Why cannot they reuse firefox os?
also, there is no easy way to collect all FOSS apps available for firefoxOS, because firefox didn't track that information. that is, if the market is even still running.
the goal of /e/ was to start with a fully functional system, and remove the bad bits one by one. lineageOS and f-droid make that easy.
developing firefoxOS would be more like starting empty, and having to develop or port any apps needed to make it good.
It's really really bad. I have one. Like, the basic experience is just bad. Even for a flip phone. There is also no supported way to install apps or anything, even though KaiOS theoretically supports this. I had intended to see if I could find a back channel way to even write my own apps and install them, but the basic experience is so bad I lost interest.
The only mention that I found was in the founder's wiki page.
Edit: Well I think I might create one when I have some free time. As it look like a nice project
Perhaps the only reason why I cannot shift to other apps is due to the serious is the lack of cohesion across all platforms. Google has It's paws on every device, every platform. Which is a huge selling point.
Half my work is handled by this single Google account. I haven't seen any product lineup that lets me have this kind of one-ness across my devices.
This will not be easy to achieve, but I believe it's a great idea.
If they could support desktop devices, that would be great. It would one more step in the right direction.
I don't want my phone to be able to touch my bank account, my email (other than a phone-specific email account) or any personal or work-related files.
What if you can spin up a personal server, and have it connect seamlessly to apps across all devices?
I understand your concern on having 3rd parties touching your personal information, so what if the lineage OS, firefox OS or any other set of "libre" apps, also brought with them libre, self-hosted services?
So a logo with the same shape as the Google logo but with a different orientation makes a lot of sense.
What you would you expect out of the not-Nike brand?
As Google evolves and changes, the meaning of not-Google branding becomes ambiguous. Does it mean the not-Google-from-2015 or the not-Google-from-2020?
The definition of the "same things as Google" is involving constantly.
I personally want to try going down the KDE Plasma route myself. Device support is still problematic though.
But still if there would be a Moto G of Firefox OS it probably would all end-up the same. But maybe it could at least retain a niche.
My Moto G with current Lineage OS is better than when it was still getting updates, but sadly I broke SIM holder. Maybe I will try to fix it someday with someone's help.
Now I use Nexus 5X and as it will soon receive its last update I'm thinking about alternatives. LineageOS is an obvious choice, maybe with MicroG. But I also am thinking a bit about Plasma Mobile as it is a supported device. If it will not bootloop maybe I will be able to try it.
But I put my hopes in PostmarketOS and when there will be a single device with enough hardware support (I can close an eye on Bluetooth, NFC, accelerometer and gyro) I will buy two such devices even and maybe especially used.
> office: a set of online office applications (including word processor, spreadsheet and presentation) that you can use for collaborative work also.
Is it really necessary? It might work for a tablet but for example I cannot type anything on small on-screen keyboard. And I don't understand why do that if you have a laptop with a normal keyboard. So I think a document viewer would be more than enough.
I guess that would be Android 7.1.2 then. 
The problem is device drivers: traditionally, Linux doesn’t have them.
If you simply don't want your phone to talk to google, connect to a WiFi AP you control which also blocks all of Google's AS-numbers and thus the subnets they contain.
If you have a network that is specialised enough, it becomes a lot easier to do this, you turn it into a whitelist instead of a blacklist.
Platforms that censor speech:-
* Apple + apple podcast
* pin interest
* azure cloud servers (microsoft)
* Godaddy (removed alex jones+gab)
* MEDIUM (Banned GAB Oct-2018)
* Shopify (Banned AJ + GAB Oct-2018)
Platforms that DONT censor speech
* Tutanota + Protonmail(email alt)
* Minds +mewe (FB alt)
* Gabai (Twitter alt)
* Bitchute (Youtube alt)
* Wire (skype alt)
* Librepay (Donation alt)
* Startengine (Kickstarter alt)
* peertube (DIY self host youtube stream style server)
Also look into:-
* searX.me or Duckduckgo (search alt)
* OpenStreetmap - instead of Google maps
* imgtc or tineye - free image upload site
* Linux - Win/MacOSX replacement
* f-droid.org - Google Play Store ALT
* Mumble - Discord ALT