/e/OS v2 privacy-focused, Google-free Android mobile OS released with improved UI, Android Auto support, etc..

The e Foundation has just announced the release of the /e/OS v2 Android-based Google-free open-source mobile operating system with an improved launcher, support for Android Auto, a “Wall of Shame” to identify the most leaking apps and tracker, QR Code scanning support in the camera app, and more.

Most Android smartphones come with Google services which may be convenient (and help keep Android free), but come at the loss of the users’ privacy. That’s why the e Foundation started offering e/OS over five years ago to offer a privacy-focused version of Android without Google services on specific phones. The project has evolved over the years, over 200 mobile devices are supported officially and unofficially, and Murena, a for-profit company, has also been established to sell e/OS smartphones and cloud services.

/e/os v2 release
/e/os v1 screenshots (could not find any for /e/os v2)

/e/OS v2 highlights and changes:

  • Based on LineageOS 20 with the latest bug fixes and security updates (itself based on Android 13)
  • Upgraded Launcher with live wallpaper support, notifications improvements, and various bug fixes. It also comes with new icons and wallpapers
  • Support for Android Auto. See documentation for details (Note it’s relying on Google Maps)
  • QR code scanning is now available in Camera app
  • Advanced Privacy setting –  Wall of Shame added to the homepage to identify the most leaking apps and trackers; UI improvements
  • Updated to version 1.5 of eDrive for more stability of file synchronization
  • Browser updated to version 123.0.6312.122 from upstream and sensor exposure is reenabled

You’ll find more changes and bug fixes in the release notes. You may also watch the launch video below for more information and some Q&A from viewers.

/e/OS v2 is apparently still using Google Maps (at least for Android Auto) and users can still log in to services with their Google/Gmail account, so here’s what “deGoogled OS” means:

/e/OS is a “deGoogled” version of Android OS. It has an open-source Android OS core, with no Google apps or Google services accessing your personal data.

  • Google default search engine has been removed from the OS everywhere and replaced with our meta-search engine
  • Google Services have been replaced by microG
  • Connectivity checks do not use Google servers
  • We do not use Google’s Network Time Protocol servers
  • We do not use Google’s Domain Name System servers
  • Geo-location uses Mozilla Location Services in addition to GPS.
Murena Fairphone 5 with /e/os v2
Murena Fairphone 5

There are 250 devices currently supported /e/os mobile OS either by the community or with official support (22 devices). So the level of support may differ, and it’s unclear whether all are upgradable to /e/os v2. In most cases, you’ll need to install the mobile OS by ourself, but you can also purchase a Murena smartphone preinstalled with /e/os starting with the Murena One going for 199.99 Euros, and there are other higher-end devices such as the Murena Fairphone 5 available on the same shop. As mentioned in the introduction, Murena also offers a cloud service called “Murena Cloud” that acts as your personal email account, agenda and contacts, cloud drive, and office suite based on NextCloud and OnlyOffice.

Via Liliputing

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9 Replies to “/e/OS v2 privacy-focused, Google-free Android mobile OS released with improved UI, Android Auto support, etc..”

  1. /e/ is by far not a recommended privacy OS. If you need privacy, the only secure and private OS for a phone is grapheneOS. Then for long time there comes nothing and then there is DivestOS you can run on 20-50dollar many years old phones that have security issues in their baseband but if you cant afford a grapheneOS capable phone, then you are left with DivestOS.
    Thats it. Neither /e/ nor LineageOS are private.
    Sadly also PostmarketOS is missing nearly all of the verry basic security functions grapheneOS include.
    It would be awesome when the people spend their time into making PostmarketOS running mainline linux on phone really secure instead of wasting working time into things like /e/.

      1. The v2 release improves on some of the rows in that table like the android auto and some of the microg related features (inc. privacy and security ones).

        But even without taking v2 into account, /e/OS used to be and, in some cases, still is preferable to flashing gapps on lineageos for old devices that aren’t covered by the other projects you’ve mentioned.

        1. But it still begs the question: if you have a device which is /e/OS and DivestOS capable, why would you choose the former over the latter?

          1. Murena appeals to people who mistrust Google and Apples’ cloud services and apps due to their marketing networks and closed source practices but would still like to have a single cloud service provider and pre-bundled apps rather than self-hosting.

            For them, DivestOS’s additional privacy and security features are secondary to having their bank apps work out of the box and having Murena’s customer support take a ticket when it doesn’t.

            It’s basically the logic behind Red Hat vs. Debian.

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