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I recommend LineageOS microG-edition for your Android device

Published on 2021-10-24

I have recently re-discovered the joy of custom Android ROMs. In this case the LineageOS microG-Edition ROM. I have talked before about bloat/spyware that is shipped with basically any Android phone, some of which you can de-bloat. But you can go a step further and install a custom Android ROM, which wipes out bloatware, and gives you the option to de-Google your phone as well.

LineageOS is an Android ROM left mostly unmodified from stock Android, famous for wide compatiblity across different phones. microG is a re-implementation of the Google Play Services (known as GSM), which is Google's layer ontop of Android, required for most apps to function. GSM is large, has been blamed for bad battery, and is (99% chance) spyware. microG is lightweight, open-source, isn't spyware. You'll need microG if you want to go Google-less, but still want an app or two from Play Store. Just be warned GSM hasn't entirely been re-implemented, so every app won't work.

My Moto G7 Power, appear to have a bug with the GPU driver. The display will go into technicolour-mode everytime the device reboots, reaches 100% battery, or goes into power-saver, or changes power state. You can fix it temporarily by changing the "Colour" settings under "Display". I will look into getting a Google Pixel as my next phone.

Let's investigate what alternate apps I use on this device. Most are open-source.

As an alternative launcher I use Lawnchair, since the default Lineage launcher has some problems with lag on my device.

LineageOS comes with it's own built-in browser. But I prefer something more fully featured, So I install the Bromite F-Droid repo. Bromite is a privacy focused fork of Chromium for Android.

Likewise, I wasn't a fan of the Gallery and Calendar apps. So I got Simple Gallery and Simple Calendar from F-Droid.

I use VLC to listen to music, and watch videos on my device. I also use AntennaPod to listen to podcasts.

For maps/navigation, I have decided to try Magic Earth which I obtain from the Play Store via Aurora. I quite like the app so far, although it's worth pointing out that it isn't open-source.