Well, that beautiful walled garden known as Apple, Inc. has been showing itself to be unsafe for a long time. Especially if you want to be free to think and express yourself unfiltered. But what to do? If you ditch the rotten apple, will you flee into the arms of an even more abusive relationship?
Android is bad. The phones from the Gulag can even location track with the phone off. Or so some have shown, it is said.
Smart phones are business tools. They make our life easier. We are addicted. To ditch them completely makes us a turtle in a hares race.
Thanks Wolf for explaining this.
Perhaps the one shining ray of light is that we aren’t the first people to question the wisdom on placing all of our digital life under the control of these megalomaniacs. Even Andrew Torba is working hard to bring us a privacy oriented Gab phone.
There is a growing number of alternative ways to do life outside those garden walls.
Are Smart Phones A Bad Idea?
The more thoughtful among us have already examined the need (or lack of need) for a smart phone. Here’s one helpful approach to thinking this through.
I Only Need A Phone For Calls And Text
Recently, I began shopping for this type of phone. The phone I currently keep with me when I leave the house (if I remember to bring it) is a 2005 candy bar phone that runs on the older networks that are being decommissioned sooner than later.
The phone I found to be the most appealing has yet to ship a single phone. And this is common in this niche market. Early adopters often are expected to pay up front and wait. Sort of a charitable donation (advance) to a start up.
That doesn’t mean there are no options. It’s just means it may to take more work to come up with your requirements and find the phone that meets your needs (or wants).
MUDITA PURE pre-order $332.00
Mudita is designing a phone with a physical switch to turn off radio functions and distractions. But they aren’t guaranteed to be shipping phones soon enough for my objective of being comfortably transitioned before the older networks are cut off.
I like their style of telling their story so that future customers to follow along as they move through their design and build process. The concept of a low-distraction, very low SAR phone appeals to me. And they are in Poland, which everyone knows is a very based place.
THE LIGHT PHONE II pre-order $299.00
This phone is extremely small, light and simple to use. By design it has nothing to draw your attention to it. I’ve seen TV remotes that were more interesting. The company does a good job communicating what the product does, how to use it, what their production schedule looks like. Their top design objective is a low distraction phone.
Shipping is about 2-3 months out depending on your color choice. The North American version of the Light Phone uses the following 4G LTE Bands: B2, B4, B12, B13, B17, B25, B26 and will work with: Light, T-Mobile, Verizon (no prepaid), AT&T, Ting, Mint, US Mobile.
If you get a SIM from Light when you order your phone (no charge) then you can use Light’s relabeled AT&T service. Unlimited talk/text. 1 GB/mo data for about $30 or “unlimited date” for about $70 per month.
But I Need A Smartphone
“If you want a smartphone built outside China and the walled gardens of Google and Apple, Purism’s Librem 5 USA may be for you.”The Register
LIBREM 5 USA pre-order from $1,999.00
If you are wanting a smart phone built around privacy and you are willing to pay for it, this may be it. The Librem 5 phones by Puri.sm are built with Privacy as their #1 priority, including physical switches to turn off microphone/camera and wireless operations.
I’ve used their privacy-centric flavor of the Debian Operating System, PureOS, and I think it’s usable even for people that only have experience with graphical interfaces (icons/menus). The same OS runs on their phones.
They say they are shipping their made-in-USA flavor of phone “now” but you’ll want to search for particulars of how long customers are waiting for their phones. (Steve?)
Are’t There Lower Priced Options?
Yes, and maybe. There are plenty of “dumb” phones to consider. And you can get phones that run “privacy” oriented flavors of Android. You can use older phones that won’t load the latest privacy invading versions of operating systems.
Or as the diagram above from the Art of Manliness suggests, you can turn off the parts of the system that are the worst offenders in terms of privacy invasion and time-wasting distractions. For example, turn off iCloud photos so Big Brother isn’t reviewing all your pictures in real time starting some time soon.
As you consider your options, I recommend taking the time to read the whole article over at The Art of Manliness.
Do You Have To Be A Geek?
If you love smart phones and really want to do something about privacy issues, I think the answer is: you probably need some confidence with technical things.
For example, CalyxOS is a privacy oriented version of Android. It’s looks a lot the same level of comfort with tech as installing Linux on your computer. It runs on Pixel 2, 3, 4, 5 and the Xiaomi Mi A2. I know nothing about any of those phones.
Does anyone else feel just a little creeped out that this “privacy” operating system sits on a Google phone and is built on top of the Google OS for phones?
I guess they could be legit. Or they could be a cover for getting burner phones to … nah.
“I’ve Got A Bad Feeling About This”
Okay, that’s just a Star Wars quote with no real relevance to this topic. Except, well, this is a topic that can make us feel uneasy.
Please add your own perspective on how to adapt to the privacy invading world we are dealing with. (Or cut/past what others have posted at the other tree to here.)