Last week, I wrote about installing GrapheneOS, an open-source, Android-based privacy operating system, on a Pixel 3. I shared some initial impressions, but now I’m back after using the GrapheneOS Pixel 3 as my daily driver for a week.
As I said in my initial impressions, GrapheneOS offers a low bar for entry from a technical perspective thanks to a straightforward install process (if you follow the guide on their website).
Using GrapheneOS once it’s installed, however, isn’t quite at the “it just works” level. I think that’s something important to keep in mind for anyone interested in trying out GrapheneOS. To be clear, GrapheneOS works, and works quite well (more on that below). But it’s often not a seamless experience like using an unmodified Pixel or an iPhone.
I don’t blame GrapheneOS for this — it’s entirely Google’s fault. Android, in its current form, is a hodgepodge of open-source software and proprietary Google-made software. Often, the Google software forms the backbone of the modern Android experience most people are familiar with.