This is the most secure and private custom ROM available right now. Graphene took the base Android Open Source Project, and prioritised security above all else, at the cost of some convenience and creature comforts.
There is no included app store, so users need to manually download and install F-Droid to access apps for their phone. Within F-Droid, is the Aurora Store, which is a private Google Play Store, where you can download all of the free apps on Google Play anonymously. It’s recommended that you get as much as you can from F-Droid, and whatever you can’t find on there you get from Aurora Store.
Most of the regular Android features are present, and if you’ve used Android before, you will be comfortable using Graphene. The sacrifices necessary to make Graphene as secure and private as it is mostly involve compatibility with popular apps that rely on Google services.
As the majority of the project’s work has been dedicated to hardening the security of Android, many of Graphene’s security developments have been added to the stock Android Project. Graphene OS has no support for any Google services, meaning some Google-dependent apps will not work properly or at all. The ROM is also missing some of the gesture controls and customisability found in other ROMs.
Often companies will have a mobile version of their website that has the same functionality as their app, which can still be used from the safety of Graphene’s security-hardened browser. This means that there are often workarounds for the incompatibilities with some apps. Incompatible apps should be carefully considered as to whether they should be installed, or used at all.
The project only supports devices that meet the strict hardware security requirements, which means only newer Pixel devices are supported at the moment. Ironically, upon removal of Google, combined with some security hardening, Pixel devices are among the most secure and private phones available.
Pros and Cons:
+ One of the most private and secure phones you can get
+ Feels like a good, familiar Android smartphone
– Some compatibility issues with popular apps
– Setup can be complicated
Estimated delivery 1-2 weeks (within Australia).
Cash Option – For greater privacy, send cash to PO Box detailed below.
PO Box 5254
Maroochydore BC QLD 4558
Write return address, the model of phone, and the operating system you want on a piece of paper.