What’s in /e/?

/e/ is an a mobile ecosystem (ROM + onlines services) that:

  • is open source
  • is pro-privacy
  • is compatible with most existing Android applications
  • cares about usability
  • already exists!

It’s the alternative to the Apple/Google duopoly on the smartphone.

It consists of:

  • an installable mobile operating system for smartphones, which is forked from Android and strongly “ungoogled”
  • a set of sorted and improved default open source applications
  • various online services that are linked to the mobile operating system, such as: a meta search engine for the web, drive (with synchronization), mail, calendar, notes, tasks.

1. Description of the /e/ ROM (installable mobile operating system)

The /e/ ROM is a fork of Android (and in particular the LineageOS flavor of Android). At the moment, two versions are supported: Android Nougat and Android Oreo. Android Pie will be supported in a near future.

“Ungoogling”

  • Google default search engine is removed everywhere and replaced by other services (see below in default apps and services)
  • Google Services are replaced by microG and alternative services (see below for more details)
  • DNS settings can be enforced to a specific server
  • Geolocation is using Mozilla Location Services in addition to GPS
  • CalDAV/CardDAV management and synchronization application (DAVDroid) is fully integrated with the user account and calendar/contact application
  • Google servers are not used anymore to check connectivity (ongoing)

User interface

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  • A new launcher “BlissLauncher” was developed to offer an attractive look & feel. It includes a set of icons that were designed for the project. It has application widget support and is using /e/ search engine by default.
  • Changes have been done in settings to offer a better looking interface

Services

  • A specific file synchronization service has been developed for multimedia and file contents. It can use /e/ cloud services server at https://ecloud.global or self-hosted /e/ cloud services (beta).
  • The weather provider is the LOS weather provider using data fetched from Open Weather Map
  • Account Manager has been modified to support /e/ user accounts, with a single identity, thus providing /e/ email, /e/ sync, /e/ calendar, /e/ contacts, /e/ notes, /e/ tasks to users. /e/ cloud server is either at ecloud.global, or self-hosted by the user (ongoing)

2. Description of /e/ default applications

All pre-installed applications are open source applications but the Maps app (read details about this in the FAQ).

  • Web-browser: an an ungoogled fork of Chromium, built from Bromite patch-sets with specific /e/ settings
  • Mail: a fork of K9-mail for better user experience, some bugfixes and support for oauth, with OpenKeyChain for PGP encryption support
  • SMS: a fork of QKSMS
  • Camera: OpenCamera
  • Dialer: default Android dialer application
  • Calendar: a fork of Etar calendar, that fixes crashes with calendar invitations
  • Contact: default Android contact application
  • Clock: a fork of Android deskclock application
  • Gallery: default Android gallery3d application
  • Filemanager: Android documentsui application
  • Sound recorder: default LineageOS sound recorder
  • Calculator: default Android calculator2 application
  • Keyboard: default Android keyboard
  • Android application installer is /e/ application installer

Other preinstalled applications:

  • Maps: MagicEarth (read the FAQ about its license)
  • Weather: a fork of GoodWeather for a modified user interface, using data fetched from Open Weather Map
  • PDF reader: MuPDF
  • Notes: a fork of NextCloud Notes to support /e/ online accounts
  • Tasks: OpenTasks
  • Light: a fork of Simple-FlashLight

3. Description of /e/ online services at ecloud.global

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  • /e/ “spot” at https://spot.ecloud.global search engine is a fork of SearX meta-search engine, with major look&feel improvements and peformance improvements
  • /e/ online drive, mail, calendar, contacts, notes, tasks is using NextCloud, Postfix and Dovecot. It’s been integrated to offer a single login identity. Users can retrieve their data online at https://ecloud.global services, or self-hosted on their own server (ongoing)

/e/ Development status

Status

Next majors milestones:

  • in the future /e/ will be available in two versions:
    • standard /e/ with default applications
    • /e/ with minimal number of default/pre-installed applications

Status of ungoogling & pro-privacy features

What to expect in futher releases?

In 2019 we also plan to:

  • introduce more pro-privacy features (VPN…)
  • add the capability to uninstall most pre-installed applications
  • add several user profile to impact the choice of default applications installed during first-time usage wizard
  • add Progressive Web Apps to the application repository, and corresponding Google-free SDKs for app publishers, because we believe that web apps is the future for most mobile applications.

Want to give /e/ a try?

Install it now!