Does anyone have suggestions of contacts and calendar apps alternative to Google’s on Android? I don’t know how to phrase it nor do I know if it is asking too much, but I’d like alternatives that make sense to use, that is, that offer some form of privacy. If I’m going to be tracked anyway I guess I’ll stick with the stock ones. Thanks!
@areppo not sure about the privacy angle, but when I last used android (about 4 years ago), the best calendar app that I found was called aCalendar. Not sure if it’s still around, but have a look and see.
@TheWayneGibbons I’ll check it out. What are you using now, iOS?
@areppo Yes, been using an iPhone 6 for 4 years now. Due an upgrade, but probably going to go for another iPhone
@TheWayneGibbons I’ve been moving from one to the other for the last four years. It is a pain because Android has Google behind it, but the closedness of everything Apple does is also insufferable both from a usability standpoint, as I use Linux on my computers, and from the politico-philosophical point of view - after all, what’s worse: a dictator that you have to trust they do everything right but who locks you or an open terrain thoroughly and incessantly surveilled by their rulers?
@areppo I moved about a bit too. Had iPhone for about 3 years, Android for 3 years, and now iPhone for past 4 years. The main things that swing me back to apple the last time were (1) the speed of service over warranty issues and (2) the speed of software update availability. I had a horrendous time with a Samsung and a HTC when they needed repairs, the were bit given for weeks at a time. Couple of iPhone warranty things got fixed within a day or 2.
@areppo couple of typos! The android phones were gone for weeks at a time over a couple of warranty fixes. Both had to go to the UK via the carrier in Ireland, and it just took too long. Apple have warranty stuff down to a fine art. If I went back to android it’d have to be something like a Pixel, to get anything close to the service Apple provide.
@TheWayneGibbons you know, it’s funny that customer service was what made me start liking apple a bit more too. I used to be an Apple hater, but a close friend gave me an iPod nano (the small square one with a tiny touch screen). You used to remotely skip tracks by double clicking the power button and of course it started to wear out until it failed. I went to Apple’s customer service just to inquire what I could do and the guy didn’t ask me anything, just checked date of purchase >>
@TheWayneGibbons through serial number and told me to come back in some days to pick up a new one (refurb, surely, but still). I said wow (this isn’t common at all where I live). Then some years later a girlfriend gave me an iPhone 4 which was already old and, compared to the crappy Samsung I had, I ended up liking iPhones a lot. But then I was growing more and more radical in my free software thing and I am actually uncomfortable both with Android and iOS. Two things go along with >>
@TheWayneGibbons FOSS zealotry: privacy and love of tinkering. iOS gives me the former, Android the latter, but eventually I realized that the latter can be a way to the former. Besides, iOS drives me nuts when I’m forced to upload a file to “the cloud” from one app just to open it in another app in the same device. This is ridiculous and, although more fringe now than it was earlier, it still happens. So I decided to move back to Android.
@TheWayneGibbons this is just an example of iOS’ closedness, of course. You surely know there’s a lot of little things like that. Still, I wish the apps on Android were better and that the remote controls on headphones worked properly as they do on iOS. I’m still to find an Android phone in which you triple click and it actually rewinds instead of skipping forward then pausing... first world problems, for sure, but I have to admit they annoy me.
@areppo The thing that shifted me to android originally was the screen size. I had an iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S3 screen size seemed like the perfect fit. After two nightmares with android repairs, Apple brought out the 6, with the same size screen as the Samsung, so it was a no brainer to move back to Apple. I really liked tinkering with Android, rooting and trying different ROMs, but when I really thought about what I was doing, it turned out what I was trying to do was >>>>>>
@areppo >>> make my Android look and behave like an iPhone. The tinkering was great for a while, I loved it. But it became tedious after a while, trying to find the “perfect” ROM to balance performance, battery an UX. In the end, for me anyway, those things reside nicely in iOS. Not saying I’d never go back to Android, but it would take something special! Having said that, the new iPhones are a crazy price, so my most affordable upgrade would be to an iPhone 8 >>>>>
@TheWayneGibbons sorry for bringing this thread back, but I woke up thinking about this and went looking for it. I’ve been switching between Android and iOS more frequently than it’d be reasonable for the last two years and today I realized I’m in the exact opposite situation: I can’t stand how invaded I feel when I’m using Android, but apart from some very minor things, I keep trying to make iOS behave like Android (except for the bugs and occasional crappy app, ofc). >>
@TheWayneGibbons >> and I simply can’t manage to decide which compromises I’m willing to make. I resort to philosophical arguments about software freedom, other times to practical arguments... I keep oscillating between the two, each time feeling matters are less worse with one or with the other. It’s lost it’s fun a while ago and now it’s starting to actually fed me up, but I simply can’t decide. Think I’ll go with a feature phone... lol
@areppo its a tough one. I upgraded my phone just over a month ago. I had a good long think about it, and the only Android I’d consider would be the pixel phone, just to I’d be sure of service for warranty issues and fast system updates. After thinking it over, I stuck with Apple. Changed from iPhone 6 to 8. That took some thinking too, whether to for 8 or XR. Bang for buck won the day.
@TheWayneGibbons funny that these are the exact two phones I’m agonizing over: an iPhone 8 and a Pixel 3 (the thing is that both are lying over my desk - I told it wasn’t a reasonable thing!). I had the iPhone and was living with it’s shortcomings, but had the chance to get the Pixel for half the price and went for it hopefully já I’d be able to install a custom ROM on it, but as it turns out it too new yet to have good options (been waiting for Lineage, as I don’t want to install >>
@areppo the pixel is priced on par with the iPhone X in Ireland, so although I checked it out, the iPhone 8 was a couple of hundred euros cheaper.
@TheWayneGibbons wow, although I like the Pixel 3, I don’t think it’s worth the price of an iPhone X (well, actually I don’t think an iPhone X is worth it’s own price either, but that’s beside the point here). I got USD 200 off my P3 (non-XL), so it was 599, but in terms of hardware and software optimization I’m not sure they’re in the same league. The thing for me is the advantages Android offers in terms of freedom, FOSS apps, Linux compatibility and access to the file system.
@areppo I just checked. Pixel 3 has dropped from €899 to €749 since I last looked about a month ago. So, it was pretty much the exact same price as the XR, but has come down a bit now.
@TheWayneGibbons >> some random ROM I don’t really know if can be trusted (for that I guess I’d be better off with Google, whom at least I can sue lol). Overall it’s a very nice phone (some battery anxiety, but this is common with iPhones too, so no biggie), but I can’t stand the level of privacy invasion. I photographed my child’s birth with the Pixel (location deactivated, airplane mode etc) and the following day I received this email from Namecheap:
@areppo which on the face of it is not a massive leap from the 6 I currently use. Lots of under the hood changes, faster processor and better camera, for sure. But to really “feel” and upgrade, I’d have to to go a X or Xs, and they’re just too expensive for what they are.
@TheWayneGibbons totally see your points. I’m not looking for a lot of tinkering neither I want to “distro-hop” on my phone - I’ve done plenty of it on the desktop already, and still do it a bit from time to time 😅. I just want my phone to behave closer to an actual computer (access to file system, more control over how I interact with it), I need it to interact with my computers (all Linux boxes), and I’d like two things: to be able to use FOSS as much as possible (iOS is almost a >>>
@TheWayneGibbons >> almost a wasteland in this regard) and (paradoxically, maybe) I’d like to have a phone with a bit more of privacy. Yes, in principle iPhones are much better than Android in this regard, but you have to trust Apple, as it’s all closed source, and, depending on the custom ROM you pick, you may get even more of that in the end. That’s why I wanted to know if anyone here was using RattlesnakeOS, after the Copperhead débacle.
@areppo Never heard of RattlesnakeOS. The last couple of ROMs I remember using (and this going back about 4 years in a HTC One M7) were Viper, Revolution, Liquid Smooth, and CyanogenMod. I enjoyed the tinkering to begin with, but it got to the point where I spent so long looking for the perfect set up that it actually became much less enjoyable over time.
@TheWayneGibbons I see your point and it would probably happen to me. I stopped distei-hopping exactly because of that.
As for Rattlesnake, it’s a hardened and Google-free Android distribution. The first time I heard about it was as if it were a continuation of CopperheadOS after that ugly story between the main dev and the CEO, but it seems there’s no relation between each one’s dev. I really don’t know and would like to have more info on it, as it interests me so much.
@TheWayneGibbons Just found this about RattlesnakeOS: https://amp.reddit.com/r/CopperheadOS/comments/8s65g9/rattlesnakeos/
You have to spin an AWS instance, create your builds and sign keys yourself and then it does OTA updates. Saw the dev saying on HackerNews that he chose this route bc he saw it as more reasonable for a privacy-conscious person to do this instead of running a binary with keys signed from some random guy from the internet. Makes total sense and made me trust it a bit more, but still, I don’t know...
@HiltonLeftChain thank you! Will definitely see how this works
@areppo Sure, I use Simple Calendar and Simple Contacts They are FOSS and you can get it through F-Droid
@mrtux thanks! And where are they hosted? Apart from the usual suspects (Proton and Tutanota) what are good alternatives for email, contacts and calendars not in terms of apps, but of services? Proton doesn’t have calendars, by the way, and I’ve been a bit suspicious about them since the whole ProtonVPN being another company thing...
@mrtux yes, I tried Mailbox, but had a hard time configuring my domain with them (at the time it was hosted on Wordpress.com and it is a pain. Now that I moved registrars it will be surely easier. Are they trustworthy or is there anything shady around them? After this recent DuckDuckGo thing I’ve been having an even harder time trusting these services.
As for the DDG thing, you may find some useful privacy alternatives at https://www.privacytools.io Try them and choose whatever you like 😀 I was a DDG user too three months ago
You can set different contact accounts in the android contacts app (at least in AOSP. ..). Set it to a webDAV server--Nextcloud is great; host your own, or use something like disroot.org. You can also use the same to sync your calendar. I use the 'Simple Calendar' app.
@mikefordays Thank you! I had never heard about disroot. I’m checking it out now and it almost looks too good to be true. Do you or anyone have more info about them? I’m reading their TOS at the moment, but I’d like some external info. Can they really be trusted?
On another note, are you running actual AOSP on your phone? Works fine? Which phone is it?
Hey no problem :). I have an account with disroot, but don't use it for much, since I have nextcloud running on #yunohost on an old netbook at home. You can run it on a rpi if u want :).
Edit: I'm using an AICP(with microg) build on an Essential phone. Most custom ROMs should work as I say, but I haven't used those gapps in awhile, so I'm not sure about them.
@mikefordays I didn’t know about Yunohost either. Lots of great stuff. I already thank you for that! With regards to the phone, yes, on a custom ROM I won’t need Gapps, I think. Then it makes sense to pick the alternatives we’ve been discussing. Thanks!
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