Project

General

Profile

Replicant 6 User Experience Thread

Added by Thomas Kitchin over 4 years ago

Thought it would be prudent to collect all the experiences, comments, thoughts, concerns, &c into one thread.

My thoughts so far:
•Excellent!

Features I'd like to see:
•Ability to switch the menu and back button functionality, per roms like omnirom.

•Quick entry of PIN code.


Replies (20)

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by A. S. over 4 years ago

I've upgraded from Replicant 4.2.0004 to 6.0 on my Galaxy S2 and these are my thoughts.

Nice things that I've discovered so far:

  • Just the fact that W. pulled off this release. I was getting more and more concerned about the outdated 4.2 version so I'm really happy with just the fact that it's up to date now.
  • The new background image.
  • selinux and kernel hardening
  • JavaScript on/off switch with DDG as the search engine in the standard browser

Issues:

  • It was difficult to install 6.0 because at the recovery screen I thought the physical button at the front was for selecting when it's actually for going back. I believed something had gone wrong during the installation and so I reflashed the device three or four times. Then I learned that I had to press a smaller button on the right hand side of the device to make a selection.
  • The static Replicant boot image (along with the issue above) made me think that the device had frozen whereas it was actually initializing. Then the home screen eventually appeared and I was relieved.
  • My device is affected by the corrupted SD-card issue [https://redmine.replicant.us/boards/9/topics/14215?r=14229#message-14229] which gives me just 2 GB of storage and I'm unable to take pictures and use certain applications properly.
  • I can't get RepWifi to work; it just exits as soon as I open it.

Work that I'd welcome:

  • Bug fixing. I don't mind seeing new features, but I value a trouble-free installation process and stable / bug free software much more.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Fil Lupin about 4 years ago

On my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S3), entering a menu take often between 2 and 4 seconds.
Does anyone has the same behaviour?

I noticed (https://redmine.replicant.us/boards/9/topics/14315) that there is no solution to keep MMS and SMS when moving from replicant 4.2 to 6.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Thomas Kitchin about 4 years ago

Fil Lupin wrote:

On my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S3), entering a menu take often between 2 and 4 seconds.
Does anyone has the same behaviour?

The behavior you're describing is likely the fact that there is no hardware graphics acceleration by default on Replicant 6. This is normal.

I noticed (https://redmine.replicant.us/boards/9/topics/14315) that there is no solution to keep MMS and SMS when moving from replicant 4.2 to 6.

When I migrated I was using Slience app for messaging, and used OANDBackup for data and app migration. Not sure if a backup of your messages in default sms app will be easily migratable without errors or bugs from 4.2 to 6 (my contacts were a minor problem to migrate), but why not try?

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Fil Lupin about 4 years ago

Thomas Kitchin wrote:

Fil Lupin wrote:

On my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S3), entering a menu take often between 2 and 4 seconds.
Does anyone has the same behaviour?

The behavior you're describing is likely the fact that there is no hardware graphics acceleration by default on Replicant 6. This is normal.

Hello Thomas.
for the delays, I understood it can be due to no hardware acceleration. However, it seems slower than replicant 4.2, which I understood is one of the question asked. Isn't it ?

Thomas Kitchin wrote:

Fil Lupin wrote:

I noticed (https://redmine.replicant.us/boards/9/topics/14315) that there is no solution to keep MMS and SMS when moving from replicant 4.2 to 6.

When I migrated I was using Slience app for messaging, and used OANDBackup for data and app migration. Not sure if a backup of your messages in default sms app will be easily migratable without errors or bugs from 4.2 to 6 (my contacts were a minor problem to migrate), but why not try?

It allows to keep SMS but the developers on silence page seems to think MMS can not be imported. Do you succeed into importing MMS?
Another big flaws is silence keep you captive since it does not allow to export MMS.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Anonymous about 4 years ago

Have been using replicant 6 on an S3, and in lesser extent on the Note 2 and S2. Couple of things to note.

- With heavy use/hot device it will soft reboot
- S3 is definitely the slowest device with replicant 6, the note 2 the fastest
- Encrypting the device while its hot will cause corruption and requires factory reset
- Installing the latest version of Materialistic from the f-droid store will reboot the device and it will stay stuck booting.. forever. Requires a factory reset and you will lose all your data if encrypted (probably not replicants fault). Experienced on multiple devices.
- Camera stops working regularly, especially on the S3. Requires reboot.
- Using the camera causes soft reboots sometimes
- Changing wallpaper from wallpaper menu doesn't work well, can only choose replicant wallpapers, others make the app crash. Using theme chooser to change background does work well.

I really prefer replicant on the Note 2, it works pretty well. Keep up the good work!

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Garman Hed about 4 years ago

First of all, I like to thank all contributors to this project, outstanding job.
I have been shying away from using or promoting "advanced mobile devices" to store and process any personal or security relevant data for years.
My concerns regarding privacy, data protection and security have been confirmed numerous times.
I'm startled that even people with a professional attitude and education regarding data protection seem to easily wash aside serious inherent problems within the "mobile (eco)systems" and market.
That are the total lack of transparency, the well known security flaws and flow of data to third partys, last one being more often even a integral component of the business model of service providers, developers and manufacturers alike.
Together with the de facto nill existence of alternatives or choices for the user, the take it or leave it attitude of the market, to what so many users seem to have already subjugate themselves and seem to see as given, is in my eyes one of the most serious threats of the information age so far.
I have been asked both in personal and professional settings "Is it safe to use my mobile for this, who will be able to see my data?", "Can we securely use a mobile device for that?" my answer to that always is "We don't know and have no chance to seriously evaluate that, we have to assume from the indicators we have it is not secure, and our data will be transferred to thrid partys, presumably even without us noticing, or being able to take effective legal action if noticed.".
Replicant is the first time I have considered to evaluate a device of this category for personal use. I end my lament here, please take it as remark of how high I value everyones work on this project, and how important I consider it.

My Experience so far:
I m using a S2 and a N2 with Replicant 6
  • The installation process is easy enough for a person with a basic technical background, impossible for a wider audience, heimdal in windows with gui is a nightmare and just doesn't do the job, linux command line is a must.
  • The installation was for my two devices next to flawless, only problem I ran into was on the N2 where I couldn't install from internal storage and had to use adb siteload.
  • The lack of gpu support is in some cases a mere annoyance, in others a seriouse problem
    • S2: The GUI is very slow, next to unusable, at least not promote able to a wider audience
    • N2: the GUI is fast enough, totally promote able
    • The lack of the possibility to use a full fledged modern browser aka Mozilla due to missing full CL support is problematic in terms of day-to-day usage and promotion
  • I managed to get WLAN and BT working on both devices with varying success
    • S2: using WLAN firmware blob leads to a reboot once WLAN is activated, Issue #1818 (just noticed its fixed in the next release, thank you Wolfgang!)
    • S2: ath9k is unreliable, I experience the already described problem "Below a certain battery level the dongle loses connection"
    • N2: using WLAN firmware blob is working flawless so far
    • N2: ath9k seems to be reliable so far
  • The lack of WLAN and BT "out of the box" is a promotional nightmare, I often get "So its just a phone? Like an old one? I have to use my mobile data even when WLAN is around? I really have to use a dongle?"
  • The Apps coming with the distribution are fine and cover a good portion of usecases - but the browser - I m using Lightning at the moment, works fine for me.
  • F-Droid has a lot of apps that provide a "experimental experience", the reliability of the apps isn't given and I m not sure how well F-Droid is monitoring its store regarding security and freedom, its hard to promote here again
Some thoughts about improving:
  • Make Replicant usable for a wider audience:
    • more people interested, involved equals more resources and advancement of the project
    • maybe create a windows based GUI Installation or at least figure out and describe how to reliable install using windows as a basis
    • maybe create a live CD linux mini distribution that can be booted and goes through the installation progress
    • provide clearer and easier ways to make WLAN and BT work, while I would agree that firmware blobs have no place in a free software distribution, the current situation is a massive issue and deterrence for many people
  • Do testing and evaluation of F-Droid provided apps, create a "confirmed free and reliable usable with Replicant" repo or tag, or just give recommendations on the wiki.
  • Maybe the inclusion of a softphone app in the distribution would be an idea?
  • Switch out the default browser provided now
  • Give some more detailed information about the current real life usability of supported devices, for instance "how fast I can expect my device to work", I got me a cheap S2, and money isn't a big issue for me, I can tho imagine that someone short on money and having bought a S2 might experience a disappointment and be deterred from the project, make it easier for people to evaluate before making a purchase.
    • Give a "performance indicator"
    • Link "known issues for this device" from the device main page

PS: I totally like the Replicant Logo! Printing stickers now!

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Jeremy Rand about 4 years ago

Garman Hed wrote:

  • The lack of the possibility to use a full fledged modern browser aka Mozilla due to missing full CL support is problematic in terms of day-to-day usage and promotion

Firefox and Orfox work fine with llvmpipe enabled. llvmpipe will slow down the GUI somewhat, but on the N2 it might be acceptable. (I'm happily using llvmpipe with Orfox on the S3, although I'm probably more tolerant of GUI lag than most users.)

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Garman Hed about 4 years ago

Jeremy Rand wrote:

Firefox and Orfox work fine with llvmpipe enabled. llvmpipe will slow down the GUI somewhat, but on the N2 it might be acceptable. (I'm happily using llvmpipe with Orfox on the S3, although I'm probably more tolerant of GUI lag than most users.)

I tried llvmpipe on the S2, it was next to unuseable slow, but what really had me forget about it was numerous display errors and strange behavior of apps, I will reevaluate it on the N2 and report back.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Garman Hed about 4 years ago

Garman Hed wrote:

Jeremy Rand wrote:

Firefox and Orfox work fine with llvmpipe enabled. llvmpipe will slow down the GUI somewhat, but on the N2 it might be acceptable. (I'm happily using llvmpipe with Orfox on the S3, although I'm probably more tolerant of GUI lag than most users.)

I tried llvmpipe on the S2, it was next to unuseable slow, but what really had me forget about it was numerous display errors and strange behavior of apps, I will reevaluate it on the N2 and report back.

I activated llvmpipe on the N2, performance is unsurprisingly better than on the S2, for my taste its still too slow, the GUI lag is very noticeable, as a side note the "black screen issue" is present for the orbot gui-app.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Fil Lupin about 4 years ago

Hi there,
on my side, I moved my Galaxy S3 from v4.2 to v6 2 months ago (after an EFS partition broke, it was the occasion).

I noticed a lot of GUI and ergonomics improvements which make v6 easier to use. A great work on default configuration and applications has been made also.

However, I noticed also some flaws:
- GUI is very slow
- voice seems to be less understandable during call according to my spokespersons. I do not know if this is due to my phone which get older or to this new version
- I experienced strange behaviour with camera which start randomly even when phone was locked. It led to consume all the battery and make the phone hot.
- MMS cannot be imported from v4.2 and v6 and the only solution to import SMS needs to use an app which keep user captive.

I am happy I tried this new version and I would like to keep it but the last drawback (SMS and MMS) make me think to get back to v4.2 since I do not find any acceptable solution to keep my SMS and MMS.

Anyway I would like to thank you for the work which has been done on this new version.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Xan VFR about 4 years ago

Hello everyone!

First of all I'd like to thank to everyone involved in the development of Replicant 6.0. It's a huge step for Replicant project.

My overall impression about Replicant 6.0 is good, I don't regret upgrading to Replicant 6.0, but I would recommend Replicant 4.2 for everyday use to someone who prefers stability and performance.

I've installed Replicant 6.0 in two Samsung Galaxy S3 (with non-free firmwares :( ):

- I upgraded by the end of May the first one to Replicant 6.0, rooted and with Replicant 4.2 installed (my main phone). I had the phone encrypted and "Wipe data (keep media)" recovery option gave error over and over, so I had to perform a full factory reset (no problem with that because I had backup of everything I needed). After that Replicant 6.0 worked pretty well for some time once I got used to wait a little longer when presssing screen to perform actions or launch apps, and to those unexpected soft reboots. Everything worked just fine and with no additional problems. This phone has now some issues I'll tell later about, which I can't recall when they started and don't know if they're on the Replicant side or in the apps side to "blame".

- By the end of July my brother in law gave me his unused and non-rooted S3 with Samsung's stock ROM installed because mine had screen glass broken so I installed recovery and Replicant 6.0 in it. This phone is my backup phone and I don't use it very much since my main phone was repaired, but everything works and I have no issues with it. I turn it on and off everyday because I give some use to it for some other purposes.

Main issues I have right now with rooted phone are that some apps stopped working properly:

- Can't share photos with Kontalk anymore: it used to work almost fine (most of the times I had to close camera or gallery apps running in the background for photos to be sent; it seemed like those apss locked file exclusively). App shows as sharing option, but when I select it and the person I want to send the photo to it does nothing). This works (with the "lock" issue) flawlessly in the non-rooted S3.
- Can't get Orbot to keep Request root access, Transparent poxying and Tor everything options checked, although it seems to work. Also works with no problems in the non-rooted S3
- I use Calendula to keep track of medicines I have to take. I can create medicines and schedules, but when I turn off the phone everything is gone. I guess this one is on Calendula: it worked just fine until last app update.
- I think I had some permission problems with map storage location in OsmAnd~ (I'm not sure), but I checked it in both phones and the app seems to work just fine now.
- Some options in Settings don't work (I don't remember which ones). I press on them and nothing shows up.
- I also think I had permission problems with Ringdroid (couldn't edit sound files) but it works perfect right now.

If I remember anything else I'll post it here.

Thanks again for your amazing job!

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Fil Lupin about 4 years ago

Hi Xan VFR,
your remark about Osmand~ made me remember about some issues I encountered: sometimes, Osmand~ crashes and reboot (soft reboot since I have not to enter again my SIM code).

About the Osmand~ maps, I downloaded them on my phone before using them and I have some issues when activating several maps simultaneously, I currently activate only one at the same time. If anyone knows how to solve this, I am interested. :)

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Xan VFR about 4 years ago

Hi Fil,

never experienced soft reboots using Osmand~ and I don't understand what you mean about activating several maps simultaneously. In previous versions I had to select region where I wanted to search, but now it seems to do the search around your current location and you can increase the search radius.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Fil Lupin about 4 years ago

Not sure this is not a specific issue, but I computed my phone now needs 6 seconds to open Contact app.
It seems a lot to me.

Do you have the same issues on others phones? (Mine is Samsung Galaxy S3)

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Xan VFR about 4 years ago

I have two S3 (main rooted, backup not rooted) and Contacts app opens instantly in both phones with Replicant 6.0 (both 0001 and 0002 now)

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Fil Lupin about 4 years ago

Thank you for your answers, it gave me some ideas of test and I opened a specific issue for this at [[https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1838]]

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Anonymous about 4 years ago

So my latest experiences with Replicant 6.0 on Galaxy S3 i9300 have been rather poor.

The single persistent issue occurs at boot time. The phone can take many minutes to boot, and once it does boot (load all the apps), it will just reboot again. This cycle can go on for hours, until the battery goes flat. Only very rarely does the phone actually boot; when it does, though, it works quite well. Note that I haven't had this problem with the beta versions of 6.0, and when I tried installing 4.2 today, it seemed to work great.

It may be worth nothing that after installation, 6.0 will show the introduction white screen with Replicant's mascot, and the buttons “emergency call” and “next”. The screen is freezes there, and the phone reboots in a few seconds (except for the rare case where it works). This makes the phone barely usable for me, when any reboot may render it unusable for days. If anyone knows how to troubleshoot this issue, please let me know!

Perhaps my only other remark is that I have no idea how to navigate back in menus in the RepWifi app. There doesn't seem to be any button for the purpose, but I think exiting and re-visiting the app does the trick.

Thanks for an otherwise great release! I hope I'll be able to get rid of this problem.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Gu W about 4 years ago

Fendo Malaĉa wrote:

The single persistent issue occurs at boot time. The phone can take many minutes to boot, and once it does boot (load all the apps), it will just reboot again. This cycle can go on for hours, until the battery goes flat. Only very rarely does the phone actually boot; when it does, though, it works quite well. Note that I haven't had this problem with the beta versions of 6.0, and when I tried installing 4.2 today, it seemed to work great.

Could be related to a faulty power button. It is supposedly very common when using the S3.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Jeremy Rand about 4 years ago

Fendo Malaĉa wrote:

The single persistent issue occurs at boot time. The phone can take many minutes to boot, and once it does boot (load all the apps), it will just reboot again. This cycle can go on for hours, until the battery goes flat. Only very rarely does the phone actually boot; when it does, though, it works quite well. Note that I haven't had this problem with the beta versions of 6.0, and when I tried installing 4.2 today, it seemed to work great.

Do you by any chance have the Twidere app installed? It seems that Twidere has been reported to cause Replicant (and LineageOS) to go into a bootloop.

RE: Replicant 6 User Experience Thread - Added by Anonymous about 4 years ago

Gu W wrote:

Could be related to a faulty power button. It is supposedly very common when using the S3.

Wouldn't that be a persistent hardware issue? The rebooting only seems to affect the new releases of Replicant for me. Plus, it does finish the booting before rebooting again; it does not when I press the button manually.

Jeremy Rand wrote:

Do you by any chance have the Twidere app installed? It seems that Twidere has been reported to cause Replicant (and LineageOS) to go into a bootloop.

I do not. I believe it happens with no extra apps installed, too, but I could try and provide a list of what I have now, if I can get it to boot properly for once.

Thank you both for your suggestions!

    (1-20/20)