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Feedback on replicant-experience

Added by mutual ism 6 months ago

Hi all,

I wanted to give u some impression on, how I use replicant and what I witness works good and what doesn't. Before I had a galaxy S5 with official lineage-support and was actually really content with that.

Now I use replicant 6.0-0004-rc1 on a Galaxy SIII for around 5 month. In general the feeling with replicant is, that everything takes more time and u end up more often, that things do no work or apps crash. If I still would have both configurations (SIII+replicant & SV+lineage) I think I would end up using the S5 with lineage more often then the SIII with replicant, just because I think it makes a huge difference in handling and comfort. But I think nevertheless most of the things are possible also in replicant, just that u need time to find out workarounds and get used to them.

Internet

I barely use (some would say that's good :D), cause WLAN is not possible and LTE is really really slow - it can take hours for fdroid to update an app. If there is a friend nearby then I would ask him, if I could use his phone for Internet. I once tried to install k-9mail, it crashed. Then I unistalled it, because I had not much motivation, cause Mail on phone for me is nice to have but not very important. Thats why I didn't try more in this direction, maybe there are some workarounds.

I did not find any browser that I really liked. It's a pity that tor-browser gets stuck in connecting process. Is there any alternative? Some people mention privacy-browser, but for me end up crashing too often. Then there is duckduckgo, but f-droid is not recommenting it. Really nice would be a browser, which is able to interact with Orbot, especially as tor-browser doesn't work.

What is really, really cool is that Orbot seems to work without issues. The only problem is that there is not so much u can do with it, because the Internet-usage in general is limited.

I never watch videos, youtube, do social media or stuff like that with the phone and replicant - therefore I really find it not convenient.

messenger

I have conversations tunneld through Orbot, that works without issues - most of the time. I witnessed some problems in exchanging photos, but general texting is good.

Signal works also fine on replicant for me. I installed it from the signal website. It's a bit annoying, that u have to update it manually, but at least it shows u when your version is expiring. Sometimes it is also hard to exchange pictures, for some reasons ur photos can not be seen in signal, but beside that it is, although quite big, one of the best working app, which for me is cool, because is the messenger I use the most, also using signal for sms works. Of course the handling with signal on replicant it is much slower then the linage-s5 experience. The video-call-feature I never used.

Camera

I remember that initially I had problems with the camera-app, which was installed from the beginning. Then I read, that people made good experiences with open camera. That's what I use now. But u have to be lucky that it works. First is that it can happen that open camera starts but is not possible to take a picture. Second is open camera starts does take a picture, but can not save them to the phone an error message appears. Third is that the app crashes some times. But from time to time especially after restarting the phone (my impression) it could work that u can take a picture, which then is saved to the phone. Beside these facts I use the app not very often just because it's very slow. Photo quality seems to be nice nevertheless.

Other apps

For viewing pdf's I installed pdf viewer plus and librera pro - both have issues with some pdf's - do not recognize them.

I am not really sure, but I think, I had to use termux in the recent past one or two times and I did not witness problems. I mention that, because people were reporting problems.

Osmand I installed but never used, cause I found it sometimes on the S5 with linage a little bit slow, that's why it came not yet to my mind to test it en detail in replicant.

device experiences

The last point I could not figure out yet, if it is related to replicant or the phone or the battery of the phone. I bought the phone of course second hand and it was used from the former owner not very intensively - he said. The old battery was replaced from the old owner, because it was getting too weak. Now my experience with the battery is that without doing anything with the phone holds for approximately one day. When I am using it drops heavily within three or four hours. When I am using the internet - for example the phone get warm after some minutes of using - then the battery drops even faster. In the end if u use the phone with the internet (browser) also the battery drops when the charge cable is plugged in. I don't know if it's ususal. That's why I also don't know if it's related to the phone - because is quite old. Or if the problem is the replace battery - it is of course not an original one, or. I wanted to buy new battery but then was overwhelmed with amount off different manufacturers. So in the end I didn't buy a new battery, because I did not know which brand is appropriated and recommended.

So I thinks that's all so far about my experiences with replicant.

Have a good weekend!


Replies (8)

RE: Feedback on replicant-experience - Added by Daniel Alsace 6 months ago

Hello,

For internet, I use 3g or wifi (via an external think penquin key and an otg adapter). It works well, and K9 mail works well! It allows to limitate the amount of data downloaded for each mail, which is very practical with little data available because of cheap sim card (I have only 50Mo 3G).

I didn't success to have orfox or other browser which works with orbot, like you.
I use duckduckgo (I mean I can trust them. Am I right?), FOSS browser, privacy browser, and the original one (I mean it's good to have several browser, in case of some problems in websites difficult to display).

I have installed several cool messenging applications:
conversations (for xmpp), dandelior* (for diaspora), delta chat (very nice, for mail instant messenging), send with ftp, jitsi meet (works amazingly good!), pixelknot, protonmail, silence (encrypted sms, very nice), torrent client, and TRIfA (for tox p2p encrypted chat, voice, videoconference, file transfer… very nice this one :)

I mean it's better to have several means of communication to be compatible with a lot of people's preferences.

I tested the other camera app we can find in f-droid, searching maybe new features. They crash more than the original app… thus I use the original app.

For me osmand works very well. A little bit slowly, but I can work for bike delivery with it. What is amazing is to have contour lines, ability to display different kind of maps for different usages, to have good adress search, and most importantly for me: to work offline!

Same problem with pdf. I use pdf viewer plus and book reader. Markor can make pdf, what can be very useful.
A little rtf text processor like Ted and few fonts could be very nice!

I didn't success to read .doc and .odt.

For me termux is very useful for w3m and htop. But terminal under android is strange compared to terminal under linux… they are limitations.

I must test more copy/paste between usb key (with otg adapter) and phone, I had some problems and didn't test it entirely. I found material files file browser is great to create zip archives (but saw .tar.xz doesn't work).

I tend to use my S3 like a computer more than a phone, that's why I want to have everything like a mini-computer (I even installed etchdroid, to make boot usb :)
When I need a phone, I use some "deprecated" ones with physical keyboard (but it's solide and totally waterproof).

RE: Feedback on replicant-experience - Added by Kurtis Hanna 6 months ago

Have either of you tried out the IceCatMobile browser? https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.gnu.icecat/

Works well for me. Curious to hear what you two think.

Also, sounds like the next version of Tor Browser might work based on the main developer's comment here: https://github.com/guardianproject/orbot/issues/308#issuecomment-619545567

Regarding the battery, it shouldn't lose charge if it is plugged in to the charger and you are using the phone, even if you are using it a lot.

I don't know how easy it is to find brand new these days, but I recommend the Hyperion brand when it comes to replaceable batteries for the S3. They have some extended ones like the 7000mAh or 4200mAh versions, which require an extended case, for sale on their website currently, it seems. If you get the ZeroLemon extended rugged case, you can also fit your usb wifi dongle in there along with the 4200mAh battery if you get a thin ribbon style OTG.

RE: Feedback on replicant-experience - Added by Daniel Alsace 6 months ago

Icecat is very nice on my computer (with archlinux), but crashes almost immediatly on my replicant phone when I launch it.

RE: Feedback on replicant-experience - Added by Kurtis Hanna 6 months ago

Hi Daniel,

Are you running 6.0 0004 rc1 or 6.0 0003? You can use this wiki to find out: https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/ImagesIdentification#Replicant-60

It shouldn't crash if you are using the new rc1 images here: https://ftp-osl.osuosl.org/pub/replicant/images/replicant-6.0/0004-rc1/

If you are doing an upgrade to this new version, please be aware that you need to do a thorough backup: https://ftp-osl.osuosl.org/pub/replicant/images/replicant-6.0/0004-rc1/README_VERY_IMPORTANT_INFORMATION.txt

If you are on the newest version already, that suggests that the i9300 and the N7100 act differently. IceCat works quite well on my N7100.

Cordially,
Kurtis

RE: Feedback on replicant-experience - Added by Daniel Alsace 5 months ago

Hello,

I'm running 6.0.1 version of replicant, Sun Dec 10, 2017

I installed replicant on my S3 last year, took the version I saw on the website. After that I installed the next version of repwifi.

I must backup all my data, all the programs and settings I made…

Is it not better to wait for replicant 9?

RE: Feedback on replicant-experience - Added by Kurtis Hanna 5 months ago

It's totally up to you, but the 0004 rc1 version has more up to date security updates and apps like IceCat and Tor Browser Alpha work. Also Signal phone calls work.

RE: Feedback on replicant-experience - Added by Kurtis Hanna 9 days ago

Icecat is expected to crash in the Replicant 6.0 0003 version that you are using. We are very close to building and releasing the Roms for the 3rd release candidate for Replicant 0004. Icecat will work properly after you install this upcoming Rom update.

The good news is that, unlike the first two release candidates for 6.0 0004, you will be able to upgrade from the 6.0 0003 version without having to backup all of your data, programs, and settings. We still recommend that users make robust back ups when doing updates, but it doesn't look like it will be a hard requirement for Replicant 6.0 updates moving forward.

Thanks for your patience.

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