This year marks the 5th year since I started the /e/OS project! And we have gone from a few articles about the inital intention to a smartphone OS and a private cloud used by tens of thousands of users.
/e/OS has become the leading daily-driver OS for everyone who wants to keep full control of their personal data without sacrificing usability. Of course, we could slow down the development since the product has reached a very high level of usability with /e/OS V1 release last year. But we believe we can go even further!
Practical, ethical and sustainable
On one hand, we need to continue polishing the OS and the cloud to make it a growing option for the “mass market.” On the other hand, we believe that the world is at a crossroads on many aspects:
- climate change poses a highly challenging situation, making the need for more sustainable technologies absolutely crucial for our future
- the brutal rise of Large Language Models such as GPT4 is going to impact our lives to a point we probably cannot even imagine. This makes it even more important to build digital products and services that offer maximum guarantees in terms of protection of human values. In other words, “ethics” is necessarily going to be a rising aspect to consider.
Our values: privacy, facts over claims, sustainability, are going to remain the key drivers for the development of /e/OS and the Murena cloud in the coming years.
Polish & new features
In terms of product features, one key aspect is ensuring compatibility with mainstream mobile applications. As many know, Google is deploying considerable efforts to undermine the natural compatibility of mobile apps with Android-AOSP. Without the Google Play Services layer, many applications will simply not work. This has been a problem with SafetyNet until now, and it’s getting worse with their new “Play Integrity” APIs. Until these practices get regulated (and we are working with others to make this happen), we will have to put a lot of development work into ensuring full compatibility while offering a fully open-source and privacy-safe mobile operating system.
This year, we are going to extend the enhanced compatibility work we have introduced into the Murena devices sold at murena.com to most /e/OS-compatible devices (as known as “dev” and soon “community” devices)!
Two key aspects of /e/OS are “deGoogling” and privacy, so we will continue to put effort into ensuring that, by default, no or very few personal data can naturally leak to big tech companies.
Regarding specific features, we will not list everything, but here are some highlights:
- /e/OS’ own synchronization service, eDrive, will be refactored to become faster, more efficient, and more reliable.
- BlissLauncher is currently being completely rewritten to offer a better experience and allow full support for tablets.
- /e/OS’ much-loved Advanced Privacy module will continue to improve and will likely be released as a standalone app to help non-/e/OS Android users keep control of application trackers and get rid of ads.
- we are finally going to integrate the long-awaited voice recognition feature.
- we will introduce a backup service and a new battery-saver feature (could be postponed to 2024).
- a new feature called “Memories” is going to become the default picture management at murena.io, replacing the current rough picture and video gallery.
- Murena.io will also benefit from performance improvements, and we are still working on adding End-to-End Encryption, although it’s a long-term project.
- some family plans and a professional workspace will also be added to Murena.io (might be postponed to 2024).
New Murena smartphones… and tablets?
This year, we have already introduced the Murena Pixel 5 refurbished, which has been welcomed as a salutary initiative to deGoogle even Google smartphones.
And we are also going to introduce two new smartphones this year:
- The Murena Two will have custom hardware features that, combined with /e/OS, will make it the perfect product for customers who seriously care about privacy.
- The Murena ************* is going to be a flagship product that will likely be enjoyed by everyone who cares about sustainability.
Last but not least, we are seriously considering the release of a Murena tablet, but it’s not clear yet which hardware feature mix will be the best choice for it.
— Gaël Duval, May 19th 2023
Stay up to date with the latest news about /e/OS and Murena: https://newsletter.murena.io
More about /e/OS: https://e.foundation
More about Murena products & services: https://murena.com
Follow me on @gael_duval on Twitter, @firstname.lastname@example.org on Mastodon.