Experiences with LineageOS and/or moving from iPhone to Android (or LineageOS )
I'm considering purchasing a used Galaxy S7 and moving to LineageOS and would like to hear about similiar experiences. I currently own a iPhone 5S (only my second smartphone). I plan to continue using Ting as my provider.
I am attracted to LineageOS because it's open source and allows greater control than the standard Android-build I'd get from an ISP. I'm not afraid of installing ROMs or tinkering - I know I'll be doing a lot more of that by moving to an open-source OS.
I was looking at Galaxy S7 because it's well-known and has wide support/information available on forums, etc and of course because it's relatively cheap to get a used one ($200-ish).
I'm in the US and use Ting as my provider.
So some questions I have are:
- Should I expect to use the standard Google Play store? I'm still a little unclear on this after looking at the LineageOS website and wiki. The best I could find for an answer is this article talking about installing default google apps. I think my question is so basic it's not addressed on their site lol.
- Can I drag and drop MP3s from my computer to the phone? In other words, can I get my music on there without having to install something dreadful like iTunes or use Spotify/Amazon Music?
- The LineageOS project looks healthy to my untrained eye...any rumors that it'll vanish overnight?
- I found these instructions for a Galaxy S7 Anything else I should know or look out for?
- Any general thoughts/advice about moving from the Apple to the Google ecosystem? I'm entrenched in Google everywhere BUT my iPhone where I mostly use Google apps.
- What else should I look out for? See any gaps in my understanding?
Yes, if you install the Google Apps (gapps).
Yes, the phone can be mounted as a local disk, but you will probably want to get a better music player from either f-droid or the Google Play store.
Well, Cyanogenmod stopped development and LineageOS was forked from it almost overnight. Anything is possible, especially with an open source project.
I used the Cyanogenmod then the LineageOS wikis to get started. Your link should tell you everything you need to get started.
Then you shouldn't have any issues. You may have to migrate your data from icloud, if you have any.
Seconding everything here. No issues using LineageOS on my Nexus 6p. Overall a very smooth experience, probably the best I've ever had on Android.
In fact I kinda miss it on my new OnePlus 6. I haven't rooted that one yet and the default OnePlus apps annoy me to bits.
Thank you very much for the thorough reply. I'm excited to do this. I'll circle back once I get a phone and get things set up (it'll be weeks if not months before I get the $ and time to make the change).
One thing I would recommend if you are planning on going a more FOSS route is F-Droid. F-Droid is essentially an app store for FOSS apps that has become relatively popular in the android community, and has a many well written replacements for closed source applications. One such app I would recommend is Newpipe, which is an amazing youtube client with tons of great features (including playing music without the app open).
Also, if you want to avoid G-Apps to the fullest extent, you can install MicroG which is a drop-in replacement for the typical google apps package, and is all open source. Of course, this doesn't allow you to use the play store, however you can install apps like Yalp Store or Aurora Store (these are both available via F-Droid) which are FOSS and connect to the google play store API, allowing you to download (non-paid) apps.
Thank you so much! I'll explore that but I'm not sure if I'm ready to go without Google fully.
As @klc pretty much answered your post, I'll just drop a few more recommendations:
Apps I can recommend and use daily:
There's loads of others, but these are the ones I use a lot.
Thank you for those recommendations! I greatly appreciate that as I was looking for an alternative to the OverDrive podcast app for iOS. I haven't even considered a non-default music player or file manager so thanks for cluing me into those as well.
Others have already covered most of what you need to know, but I wanted to add a little extra info on GApps, as I had a little trouble with this myself when I first used Lineage.
Lineage (and the underlying AOSP code it's built from) is completely stripped of Google's proprietary tech - but a lot of that proprietary tech is actually fairly important to what most people think of as Android. It's not just the Play Store or the Gmail app, it's the underlying Play Services API that a lot of third party apps depend on in one way or another.
If you install OpenGApps before first boot, you'll get an experience that's pretty well identical to stock Android on a Pixel or Android One phone. If you don't, you'll get a truly open source experience - but one that'll need you to find alternative OSS implementations of a lot of the things you'd otherwise take for granted (including many standard apps that happen to rely on Play Services).
Since you say you're already fairly well embedded in the Google ecosystem, I'm assuming you're not doing this for OSS purist reasons, so you'll probably want the former. Depending on exactly where you lie on that spectrum, you might even want to look at the Android One range of phones - not fully open, but running a regularly updated stock build.
Thank you Greg. That's great info. I don't think I'm quite yet ready to make the leap to go Google-less but I'm slowly working my way there (currently working on replacing gmail with protonmail). I'll keep this all in mind as I move forward and really do appreciate the background info on the Play Services API.
I did the exact opposite of this a few years ago. Not for any reason other than just my own personal curiosity, but why? What are you looking to gain/change/get out of moving from iOS to Lineage?
I strongly dislike the Apple ecosystem. I'm price sensitive - which is why I still have a 5S - and Apple isn't friendly to that. In addition, I really can't stand iTunes as a syncing client. I've never purchased media from Apple and either rely on free services or my own library - which is a PIA to sync. The only other Apple product we own is my wife's cell phone which she won't be giving up any time soon lol.
I have made a conscious decision a couple years ago to use and support Open Source software and so that's led me to LineageOS. I also like the idea of something fairly minimalistic.
I had a realization the other day that my phone is basically a collection of 10 or so Apps that I use quite a bit and the ability to text and occasionally make a phone call. I really don't need more than that (but of course an iPhone does all of that to)
I want more control over my data and my experience. I've enjoyed Linux for those reasons. I'm not ready to go without Google fully...but I'm working my way there. I trust Apple more than Google, but rather just eliminate the device manufacturer as a privacy concern altogether.
That makes sense, I don’t know how things have changed in the last few years, and in my personal scenario I’d had enough of google and their prying eyes.
Cyanogen/Lineage still used google dns as default when I used it. I had been using it with f-droid, but without google cloud services you don’t receive push notifications for many apps. Which led me to micro G, and it worked fairly ok, except for the regular updates it required (again, I don’t know the current state), I ended up having the re-rom my device over issues with it more than once. I also ran my own dns during this time and wiresharked some of the network traffic just to see what was going on. I still saw plenty of IP info related to google coming and going.
So I gave up and went with iOS, despite a deep dislike of their ecosystem as well. I’m patiently waiting the Librem 5 phone, but I honestly don’t know if it will work out. Anyway, good luck, it will be a learning experience if nothing else.
Thanks for the heads up! I could very well end up back at iOS as well but like you said, it'll be a fun learning experience.
I love LineageOS, but just make sure that they support your device.
I'm still waiting on official LineageOS builds for the Essential PH-1, but I don't see those coming any time soon :-/
That sucks. I will make sure I purchase a device off of their list of supported devices (currently looking at galaxy s7)