FUTO guide to mobile sovereignty Part II

Table of Contents

LineageOS or GrapheneOS are mobile operating systems that can be used to replace Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. It runs on most smartphones and tablets, and is free and open-source. both LineageOS and GrapheneOS is the only mobile operating system that supports true sovereignty: the ability to use your phone without ever having to worry about privacy, security, or censorship.

This guide follows Part I of the FUTO Mobile Sovereignty, which includes the installation instructions. 

Install the basic apps

Following the excellent guide from RuddO install these basic apps that you will need to get started:

  1. Install the F-Droid app store https://f-droid.org/ to get sovereignty respecting apps “F-Droid is an installable catalogue of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. The client makes it easy to browse, install, and keep track of updates on your device.”
  2. For apps that do not have an open-source alternative like Signal and Whatsapp install the Aurora Store, which itself is available from F-Droid

Day to day life with GrapheneOS

In the Part I of this mobile sovereignty guide, we discussed how Apple and Google are not only able to track your location but also access your data. In this section, we will discuss what life looks like without the use of Apple or Google apps. The main thing to understand that GrapheneOS does not by default contain a specific kind of Google spyware called Google Play and Google Services, which enable seamless notifications and lot of Android apps such as Uber and most Google apps require this framework. (Note, if you absolutely MUST have notifications via Google, you can install the Google Play spyware according to this guide). Google Play is the main way how Google spies on you. So what do you when your phone does not have Google Play?

Maps and Navigation

The most elegant and painless way how to break your dependency on Google Maps is to Install OsmAnd+ from the FDroid store. OsmAnd+ allows you to download all countries of the world and do OFFLINE navigation, even when you are in remote areas without cell phone coverage. For example you can download the entire continental United States and use it for offline navigation.

News, blogs and even Twitter without any logins

If you are a heavy news addict, read a lot of blogs and want to access people’s Twitter feeds without any logins or permissions to get to specific content use the free Feeder app which aggregates content from as many newsfeeds, blogs and twitter feeds as you like without providing any login details, preventing the sites to track you and saves you time form going from site to site to get your doom-scrolling.

Web and email

Firefox Focus: excellent to browse one-off sites without worry that you’ll be tracked — sessions are erased after browsing, and it has evolving fingerprint resistance. Use the FFUpdater app from F-Droid to install it and keep it up-to-date.

Backup data to your own cloud

Syncthing-Fork: This app will synchronize your photos and files on the phone to any server such as your home computer where you have setup the Syncthing server. Think of Syncthing as your own cloud.

Calendar, Tasks and Notes

There is life outside of the Google Cloud ecosystem. Here we recommend some open source calendaring, tasks and notetaking apps. All three apps can be installed using the F-Droid store you installed previously.

Enable compatibility mode

GrapheneOS comes with a hardened memory allocator , which makes apps more secure by default. Some apps like LastPass and numerous banking apps misbehave under the default GrapheneOS hardened memory allocator. For misbehaving apps, simply click and hold on the app icon and turn on the “Exploit Protection Compatibility mode”

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FUTO is a new organization founded to develop technology and share knowledge that gives control of computers back to the people.