Review: Why /e/OS Outshines Android – A Must-Try Operating System

/e/OS, Better Than Android, Operating System, Review, Try

The /e/OS app store, known as the App Lounge, is the standout feature of /e/OS for me. Unlike when I used LineageOS, where I had to download apps from multiple sources like F-Droid, Uptodown, and the Google Play Store, the App Lounge combines apps from various sources into one convenient platform. It even allows users to choose to only display open source apps. This consolidation makes it much easier to keep track of all the apps I want to install on my device.

One of the advantages of using the App Lounge is the option to remain anonymous when connecting to the app stores. However, I have encountered a few issues with the anonymous login, such as token errors. Despite these occasional glitches, the App Lounge offers a familiar design reminiscent of Google Play, but with additional features that enhance privacy and user control.

A notable feature of the App Lounge is the privacy information provided for each app. Users can easily assess an app’s privacy level based on a rating scale from 1 to 10, with a higher rating indicating fewer privacy concerns. Additionally, apps are graded based on the permissions they require. Apps with minimal permissions receive higher ratings, offering users greater confidence in their privacy and data security.

A promising development for the Android alternative community is /e/OS’s plan to make the App Lounge available as a standalone app, which can be installed on any compatible device. This move will further expand the accessibility and convenience of the App Lounge, benefiting users who seek a more private and secure app store experience. In the meantime, the Aurora Store serves as a close alternative for those who are unable to access the App Lounge.

Despite its many strengths, /e/OS is not without its flaws. One issue I have encountered is with geodata. As someone who lives a nomadic lifestyle, my location changes frequently. Unfortunately, /e/OS sometimes struggles to keep up with these changes, resulting in the Maps app displaying search results based on my previous location. While the Maps app is better and more accurate than other alternatives I have tried, it still falls short of Google Maps. Despite any personal opinions about Google, it’s worth acknowledging that the accuracy and reliability of Google Maps is unmatched. As a result, I often find myself relying on Google Maps as a backup when the default /e/OS Maps app fails to meet my needs.

Another missing feature in /e/OS that I personally miss is speech-to-text functionality. Currently, /e/OS does not come with built-in speech-to-text capabilities. However, the /e/OS forums provide a comprehensive summary of alternative options. While none of these options are perfect, I have managed to make do with a combination of Sayboard and the stock /e/OS keyboard. Fortunately, there is good news for those eagerly awaiting a built-in speech-to-text feature on /e/OS. According to the /e/OS roadmap, this feature is planned for 2024. This development will not only address the absence of speech-to-text but also pave the way for an /e/OS assistant, an exciting prospect. However, the project is still uncertain about the specifics of this assistant, given the privacy implications of interacting with a server to answer queries. One possibility is the utilization of a locally running language model to ensure user data privacy.

In conclusion, the /e/OS app store, the App Lounge, stands out as a significant feature that enhances privacy and convenience for users. It consolidates apps from various sources and provides detailed privacy ratings and permission-based grading for each app. While /e/OS has some minor drawbacks, such as occasional geodata issues and the lack of built-in speech-to-text, it continues to evolve and improve. The planned introduction of a standalone App Lounge app and the roadmap for a built-in speech-to-text feature demonstrate the /e/OS team’s commitment to delivering a user-friendly and privacy-focused mobile experience.

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