I have a make a call on which way to go with my phone. (See what I did there?) My phone just updated to Android 10 (Q), and has stuff on it that I don’t want such as tracking my physical activity, and of course contact tracing. Nobody has any right to such information about me, what I do, where I go, who I talk to, etc. So I have been looking at options and it looks like I have 3. (Pete will also be doing the same.)
First option is to flash my phone with a custom ROM. I haven’t done this before, and don’t particularly want to wreck my phone. However I am leaning toward trying this, since I am already prepared to do one of the other options anyway.
Second option is a non-android feature – or “dumb” – phone. I will still be able to get calls and text, and some of them have other abilities as well without running Android or smart services. There are a couple of them out there that would work for me (and Pete).
Third option is a linux phone, most likely a Pinephone as the others are WAY out of our budget. Though they’re available now, some claim they aren’t ready for prime time. But it is an option.
If I choose option #1 I will have to be ready to go with #2 or #3 if I brick my phone. But I may not have to spend a dime to accomplish my goal, and it would be cool to learn how to do it too, a good thing to know.
If I choose option #2 I will leave my current phone off at home. I will strip it down to the bare bones, app-wise, and use it maybe for solitaire while I’m watching TV, or sell it as its a great phone. A feature phone would be fine for phone things like texting and talking and the occasional solitaire distraction.
If I choose option #3 I have to be ready for possible issues either because there is still the occasional glitch, or because I don’t know what I’m doing. I have used linux for quite a few years on my computers, but only debian-based distros; I used maemo – now defunct – on my first tablet, Nate my Nokia N810. (I loved Nate…would love to have modern equivalent if there was one…) But I’d definitely still be willing to give it a shot.
So that’s what’s been going around my mind lately. I’ve been researching for months and still haven’t made a decision but it’s got to happen soon. Very soon. If you have any thoughts I’d be happy to hear them!