0 12 min 1 yr

It is a free mobile operating system putting emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security. Mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets are becoming an increasingly important part in our computing, hence they are particularly subject to freedom and security concerns, aggravated by greedy Goopoly & Co. These devices aren’t simply “phones” or “tablets.” They are full computers with powerful hardware, running complete operating systems that allow for updates, software changes, and installable applications. This makes it feasible to run free software on them. Thus, it is possible to choose a device that runs a free bootloader and free mobile operating system – Replicant – as well as fully free apps for the user. You can read more about privacy and security on mobile phones and the solutions that Replicant offers, as well as learn some valuable lessons on how better to protect your freedom on mobile devices.

The most notable changes we are working on are building a new version of Replicant based on Android 9, which will enable a wider range of users to use a fully free Android distribution for the first time. We are also reducing maintenance costs to increase sustainability. The Replicant project is now using an unmodified “mainline” kernel with very few patches, and we contribute patches upstream as well. This means we send our work back to the main developers of the kernel Linux so that everyone can benefit. This allows us to create a virtuous circle that makes Replicant benefit kernel development and kernel development benefit from Replicant. Working with upstream would not be possible without funding, as it requires a lot more work than what we used to do with previous Replicant versions.

Getting people more acquainted with the work we do helps us source new contributors, as well as convince people to use Replicant. This year, we managed to travel to a few important conferences, as well as organize our own Replicant conference. A full report of the conference is available, along with slides, videos, and a summary of the discussions that took place. The conference allowed us to bring together the people who care about Replicant and who understand the importance of the work we do.

Watching these presentations can help any new Replicant developers to contribute to the project, as they explain a lot about our architecture, our history, and how to begin making a version of Replicant for newer devices and Android versions.

Being awarded a large grant is a highly competitive process, which means we cannot rely on that for continuous funding to pay for all of our work, so we choose to spend money on tasks that have a long-term impact. These include completing the library that communicates with the Samsung IPC modem protocol (libsamsung-ipc), which enables other Android distributions to use it and share the changes they make with us. It also helps us to continue our work on free WiFi firmware and finalizing a new Replicant 6 release. These investments will ensure that developers can continue to maintain Replicant even when larger donations are not available.

Projects like Replicant rely on individual donations to continue their work independent of large donations and funding. They can always use your help, whether that help is financial or provided in time and effort. To further assist them, you can use Replicant and become part of the project’s community by using its forums, contributing to its wiki, and submitting any bugs you discover. Donate and Read More at https://www.replicant.us

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