Android is currently the world’s leader when it comes to mobile operating systems. Maintained, updated, and upgraded by Google, Android holds the dominant position in terms of global market share, and anyone that has a popular smartphone device that isn’t an iPhone more than likely is running Android.
Unfortunately, Android has been turned into something of a privacy nightmare, with large corporations using its hardware and software not just to track what users are up to, but also where they are, the kind of apps they use, and much more.
For those who take their personal privacy and security seriously, there are some other Android-based operating systems that are worth using, as we will look at here.
The biggest name in the world of custom ROMs is LineageOS, an operating system that is based on Android, but one that is shipped largely stripped of much of Google’s power to track its users. It’s easy to install and use, and thanks to the many maintainers that can be found supporting LineageOS, a user has a choice of dozens of different phones.
For those that want to remain within the Google ecosystem, LineageOS offers the ability to install special software like GAPPS, which provides all of the base functionality of Google’s software, allowing the user to continue using Gmail, Google Keep, and other apps.
Next in line is CalyxOS, an operating system also using Android as its base, but with a much bigger focus on offering privacy to the user. Here, many of the fundamental systems of Android have been changed, giving the user much more privacy when they use their phone.
The downside to CalyxOS is that it’s limited to only Google’s Pixel line of phones, meaning that a user will not be able to use just any phone that they have lying around.
It may seem counter-intuitive to use a Google device to escape the Google ecosystem, but the CalyxOS team has gone to great lengths to remove all of the tracking systems in place and giving their users much more privacy and freedom, while also allowing them to use normal apps, play games, and enjoy Australian slots whenever they want.
Currently the most recommended Android-based mobile operating systems for users that want the best privacy and security available, GrapheneOS has become known for hardening the Android system to the point where it’s virtually impossible for users to be tracked or for any malware to make its way into the device.
The hardening can be found throughout the phone, and even the GSF service provided by Google are sandboxed to ensure that Google’s software never has true access to the rest of the user’s device.
Along with that, GrapheneOS also comes with verified boot, which is a rarity in the mobile operating world, making GrapheneOS unmatched when it comes to overall security. Similar to CalyxOS, a user wanting to install GrapheneOS is limited to Google’s line of Pixel phones, with the latest Pixel 6 being recommended by the team behind GrapheneOS.