I’m an Apple fan to start. My first computer was an Apple and that Mac Classic still holds fond memories for me. Went to college using my Mac Performa with a 2400 baud modem. The entire family owns apple phones, watches, ipads, and even use mac air laptops.
So deviating from this being a huge change is an understatement. Prior to my apple phone I was a Blackberry fan, so I can be flexible. I’ll give this a year and see how it goes.
What I Did
I just ordered my Pixel 4 off of ebay with the GrapheneOS installed. I will run that with Mint Mobile – get a new phone number and hand that out to only my friends for calling and texting purposes. I have a second phone also with the GrapheneOS installed and this one will solely be used for 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) when and if it is required by banks or whomever, and be off and just sitting a home never leaving the house.
This keeps my personal number kept for only keeping in touch with friends and family, and the 2FA phone I hand out to whomever needs that phone, but have no voice mail set up and have it always off unless I need to authenticate something.
What Does This Do?
In theory, while friends and family will have my number and could potentially upload my contact information to facebook or something, it will only be a name and number. No other information will tie that name and number to the actual ME.
The other number will be tied to the actual ME, but since I will not be using it and it won’t be tied into my friends or my daily driver phone, that number and information will be somewhat worthless to advertisers also.
This compartmentalizes my personal life.
WHOA WHOA, This Is Supposed To Be About GrapheneOS!
Sorry about that tangent, just needed to explain why I was using it so it will make sense on this part: The GrapheneOS is basically making a de-googled phone. I can have this phone just be a phone. I don’t need to log-in or supply it with my email or name or frankly anything. It is also known as a very secure “android version” operating system. I really wanted to use Linux for a phone, but opted to go this route instead due to the usage of the f-droid app store. It is a strictly open source app store where I can download things I might want to have one my phone.
I see this as being one of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of popular apps, but in the end I don’t really use them or need them. eBay app? Just use the browser. I’ve been training myself to do this already. The only app I really use and will miss is my flickr app. I love the auto-upload feature on my phone. I still have my iPhone, so I might keep it for that reason. I take photos using my cameras, then put them onto my computer. From there I move them to my apple phone so I can then edit them in lightroom and re-edit them in the apple photos. There I will upload them to flickr. I can probably skip all these steps by having it done from my laptop, but that’s just how I do it.
I haven’t looked to see if there is a flickr app in the f-droid store… None. Just looked.
I’m also going to keep track of how much my privacy is “costing” me. Never mind going through all this trouble.
Off track again…
The GrapheneOS is very simple and intuitive. You enter in a pin code to get into the phone and on the Pixel I can even use a fingerprint to unlock it. I did download the f-droid.org store and installed the protonVPN. That works great. That’s all I’ve done to it so far.
I have since purchased a sim card from Mint Mobile and I’m waiting on that currently as I write this. Next will be the test on how the messaging and phone works. After that, I want very little else on the phone.
More to come and updates when the SIM card shows up!