simple-phone it is, or rather will be, a new phone based on android and on respect for user privacy, as well as on the distribution of open source applications. Why it counts is in early development phase, but its launch is confirmed, with many details yet to be specified.
Where does this Simple Phone come from, you ask? From Simple Mobile Tools, a project that for a year has provided a set of open source applications for Android with which to replace several of those developed by Google and which are included in practice in all terminals by default. Simple Mobile Tools is especially popular with users of F-Droid, the alternative app store to the Play Store and the main repository of open source Android apps.
I say that Simple Mobile Tools is especially popular in the F-Droid environment because of the nature that links both projects, not because the applications of the first cannot be found in the Play Store, which can be; but also because, as with many others, open source applications that cost money in the Google store are usually available for free on F-Droid. And it is already known that there are many who prefer open source to proprietary, but there are more who prefer everything free.
Be that as it may, for years, living up to its name, Simple Mobile Tools applications have been listed as some of the most recommended alternatives to basic Android applications: calendar, dialer and contacts, notes, gallery, file manager, clock, flashlight, keyboard, calculator, application launcher… There are a few Simple Mobile Tools applications developed for Android and, as is evident, they will be the basis of the next Simple Phone, which is not the only one.
Simple Mobile Tools – Simple Phone
In fact, the developer of Simple Mobile Tools has advanced other open source applications that will accompany the outgoing Simple Phone, for example those that cover its function better than those of Simple Mobile Tools, or those that have not yet been reached. For example, the FairEmail email client. The Simple Phone announcement has been made through the project’s Reddit and, as a result of user questions, other details have been revealed.
“We have some exciting news today – we’re launching our phone soon! Obviously, you will have our fully unlocked apps pre-installed. What other applications would you like to have? We don’t want to add any bloatware, but I guess you all use a browser and probably an email client, right? Any suggestions for those or other applications? They must be open source since the entire device will be focused on privacy. Stay tuned for more details!” Announced the developer of Simple Mobile Tools.
Said and done, in addition to the email client mentioned, another suggestion that appeared to be quite popular to cover browsing needs is the DuckDuckGo browser for Android. But what about the system itself? Like the Simple Mobile Tools applications, which are not born from scratch, it will be based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the base code of the Google system, under an open license; as well as alternative components like microG, a loose reimplementation of Android userspace apps and libraries.
With respect to the terminal itself, not much progress has been made, except that the Simple Phone will cost about 350 euros of departure, which can give an idea of the type of device at the hardware level: at a good glance and in relation to similar projects that have already tried it, a mid-range mobile, of which due to features should cost 100 or 150 euros less, but due to the particularities -including the smallness- of the project, they tend to raise their price. At first, in addition, it will only be available in Europe.
For more details and futurities about the Simple Phone, the Reddit thread linked above has been on fire for a few days. What this initiative is about, we will tell you when appropriate. In the meantime… have you tried some of the Simple Mobile Tools? I have used some for years and they work very well. I recommend you take a look.