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One of the Calyx Institute’s projects, CalyxOS, an alternative mobile operating system for Android phones – marketed as above all focused on privacy and security – has announced that it is now available for three more Motorola models: G32, G42, and G52.
In a post on X, those behind CalyxOS explained that this was an important move for them because it marked expanding the number of devices and therefore users able to enjoy what they call their “privacy by design”-driven OS.
The announcement further notes that the mission behind the project – to make this OS available to as many people as possible, isn’t actually helped by the fact Google’s Pixel phones are what they call “the default,” the easiest “to support while maintaining the Android security model with a locked boot loader and full verified boot.”
Related: An introduction to CalyxOS
While Pixels are good for that, they are not available in many countries, and are on the higher end of the price range for Android phones.
In contrast, the Motorola models that just got announced are said to cost half the money, while being available in markets such as South America, Asia, and Middle East and North Africa.
The makers of CalyxOS especially thanked those over at Lineage Android for the help in making this latest expansion of available devices possible.
CalyxOS says that it is designed to “minimize” some of the worst, but also very widespread (across the industry, including OEMs, ISPs, ad companies, etc.) problems with mobile operating systems today: spying, tracking, surveillance.
Often when fighting these ills, usability and plain “convenience” in general suffer. These fronts are obviously being addressed by adding more and more models that the OS supports, as well features like verified boot that uses cryptographic signatures, removal of “bloatware” that comes with stock and many modified (by big corporations) versions of Android, that can facilitate not only surveillance but also censorship.
With this in mind, “microG” replaces “some” Google Play Services functionality, and users can also get free and open source apps from Google Play alternative F-Droid.
According to the project, “CalyxOS has reconfigured Android to avoid Google’s spyware and tracking. It uses the F-Droid app store for installing and updating free software applications,” while it also “strips out Google’s privacy invasive business model, replacing it with microG, a free software re-implementation of Google’s proprietary services which allows you to run nearly every app from Google’s Play Store without giving Google access to your phone.”
Along with a host of other privacy and security-enhancing features, calls and texts are by default encrypted with Signal, the OS includes the Tor browser, and DuckDuckGo is its search engine of choice.