[Replicant] phone OS comparison and app alterntives

Nick replicant at njw.me.uk
Sat Feb 9 12:29:48 UTC 2019


Hi Fil,

These all sound like very good ideas to me.

Quoth Fil Lupin: 
> 2. Newcomers would like to be able to install the same apps they used on android.
> Possibilities to keep applications they used should be given, through alternatives (f-droid, etc.), keeping application data and even downloading app without google account in the case the app is not available in another repo than google play. I have to say I have no idea since I was not really interested in this, I just make some efforts into porting SMS/MMS data to replicant 4.2 (still not 100% functionnal) from iOS and from replicant 4.2 to 6 (0% functionnal)

As to users having access to apps they currently rely on that aren't 
in fdroid, the Yalp Store app (which is in fdroid) is a good 
solution; it gives access to all the stuff in Google Play (afaik, at 
least), without a login. Now presumably there's plenty of stuff in 
there that wouldn't work in replicant, due to expecting hardware GL 
drivers, Google Play Services (or whatever they're called these 
days), a camera implementation that can do QR codes, but there are 
certainly plenty of apps that can work too. I download and update 
Signal from there, for example.

I think that would it be worth mentioning. However it does offer 
nonfree applications, so maybe this would be against policy to 
mention it on the website, I don't know. I personally would be for 
it, as it's a legitimate source of extra free software that for 
whatever reason isn't in fdroid, as well as potentially allowing 
transitioning users the ability to install an essential-to-them app 
that is non-free, at least for the timebeing.

As for the capability and instructions to import/export data like 
contacts and SMS, I agree that would be useful, but I don't know how 
reliable any instructions we could offer would be.

Just some thoughts. Thanks for raising this, I definitely agree that 
a clearer statement of "this is what we do, and what differentiates 
us from others" is worthwhile.

Nick


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