Previously, we reported Android’s dominance and how vulnerable are we to its data extraction techniques. Today, I stumbled upon a project that might actually help save us from the “Google eco-system.”
In a community post, /e/ announced newly supported devices that can enjoy the privacy-focused operating system right away. These include Google Pixel XL, OnePlus 5T, and many Xiaomi smartphones.
/e/, pronounced as i, is a custom ROM for Android users, forked from openly available LineageOS. Since the smartphone OS is entirely focused on safeguarding your data, the ROM doesn’t consist of any app or software that sends out personal data to Google.
In replacement of Google Play Store, /e/ uses MicroG as the default provider. For those who don’t know, MicroG is another open source project which runs applications on an Android device without requiring Google services, specifically, Google Play Services.
Apart from this, /e/ has also implemented several online services like drive, email, calendar, that can be accessed through a single /e/ user identity (firstname.lastname@example.org). As of now, only some devices have received the Android Oreo port, other beta users are still on the Android Nougat version.
Just like Oxygen OS and OenPlus, /e/ expects to roll out their OS from a well-known hardware partner. Presently, the company already has plans to sell “flashed with /e/” phones starting in January 2019.