Android Alternative


When looking for an Android alternative, many people immediately think of iOS and that is not surprising. Android and iOS are the mobile operating systems with the largest market share. However, there are other alternatives that we would like to highlight in this article.
On the one hand, there are completely independent operating systems, some of which are Linux-based. On the other hand, there are some operating systems that are based on Android but come with specially developed additional functions or settings.
Users of iodéOS already know that our operating system is also an alternative Android, which we have equipped with additional functions to improve data protection and privacy.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of current Android alternatives and those that have been discontinued.

Why should you choose an Android alternative?

There are various reasons for replacing Android with alternative operating systems:

  • Sustainability and usability: To expand the lifespan of your device after the manufacturer no longer provides updates, and apps no longer work on older versions.
  • Security and privacy: to reduce dependence on big tech such as Google and Apple and opt for a secure and up-to-date alternative because you don’t want your smartphone and apps to collect your personal data.
  • Control: To remove bloatware or pre-installed apps, or get root access.
  • Cosmetics: to get the latest shinny android or another polished Android UI.
  • Other: For instance, quitting Android and iOS for an other platform like a Linux-based mobile operating system may be of interest to Linux fans.

What Android alternatives are there?

iodéOS: our own operating system based on Android. iodéOS is a fork of LineageOS based on Android 14 and comes with a built-in adblocker and with parental control features. It is free to download and install or can be purchased pre-installed on new smartphones such as the Fairphone or on refurbished phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the OnePlus 9 Pro.

LineageOS: Formerly called Cynagen Mod and is known to support many devices ( LineageOS is primarily aiming at expanding the lifespan of old devices no longer receiving updates from the manufacturer.

GrapheneOS: Custom ROM based on Android with high security requirements. Only available for Google Pixel smartphones and based on the latest Android version.

DivestOS: Another fork of LineageOS dedicated to data protection.

CalyxOS: Available for the Google Pixel devices and the Fairphone 4.

/e/ OS: Another fork of LineageOS, available for mobile phones and tablets.

Fuchsia: An operating system developed by Google for various hardware, including cell phones and PCs.

HarmonyOS 2: An Android alternative developed by Huawei.

KaiOS: An operating system for feature phones based on Firefox OS.

Paranoid Android: Android-based operating system for smartphones and tablets.

Postmarket OS: An operating system based on Alpine Linux for mobile devices such as the PinePhone, Samsung Galaxy SII or the OnePlus 6.

PureOS: Developed by Purism for their in-house smartphone Librem5, based on Debian.

Replicant: Android alternative that relies on free software components, but unfortunately only supports a few old devices.

SailfishOS: Operating system developed by the Finnish company Jolla, which supports around 100 devices.

TizenOS: Operating system mainly developed by Samsung, which runs on smartwatches and Samsung TVs, among others.

Ubuntu Touch: Linux-based operating system for smartphones.

Plasma Mobile: Linux-based operating system for tablets and smartphones such as the PinePhone.

iOS: Apple’s operating system for mobile devices, e.g. iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Operation discontinued:

Symbian (Nokia)

Windows Phone

Firefox OS (Successor: Kai OS)

BlackBerry OS

Android alternative: What you need to consider

As you can see, there are a few alternatives if you decide to use alternative operating systems to Android for whatever reason.

But there are a few points you should bear in mind:

  • If you want to install the operating system yourself, you need technical knowledge
  • You have to unlock the bootloader in order to install the alternative operating system, which means (even if just temporarily) disabling this feature that enables secure boot. Many manufacturers penalize this by voiding the warranty, others completely prevent unlocking the phone in the first place.
  • Make sure that the operating system you have chosen also supports your particular device, otherwise there could be nasty surprises when you try to install it
  • You cannot switch from Android to iOS or vice versa on the same smartphone. iOS only runs on Apple devices.

However, if you have read this far, you are already well informed and can easily solve these problems:

  • For example, if you want to install iodéOS yourself, you can use our installation wizard to simplify the process for you.
  • Of course, you can also buy a smartphone from us with iodéOS pre-installed. This is easy on your nerves, your wallet and the environment, as we only sell sustainable new and refurbished used smartphones.

If you use iodéOS, there are a number of advantages for you:

  • You don’t have to do everything yourself, you get a complete and ready-to-use solution
  • Your privacy and data protection will improve immensely as our built-in tracking protection helps put your data in your control
  • You have full control over your apps, are free of bloatware and decide for yourself which apps you want to keep and which you want to uninstall
  • Eliminating unnecessary apps and blocking unnecessary data connections extends your battery life

If you would like to find out more about iodéOS, click here.

Photo: JuniperPhoton

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