I would suggest that you take a look at decloudus for blocking sites. He has found and blocked at least 10,000 domain names registered by google
I set that on my Android, based on one of your previous mentions, but I recently had to remove it, as it seemed to be preventing internet access over my wifi. Not sure why; maybe it didn’t play nice with my Pi-Hole settings. After switching to Cloudflare, I had connectivity again.
This is highly worth it in my opinion – I have my daily driver Motorola phone running /e/ foundation’s OS (LineageOS plus microG with some tweaks), and a Samsung tablet running vanilla LineageOS plus microG. I am almost certain you have the requisite skills to do this, bandwidth may be another issue - it can be fiddly. In my experience, from rooting ~6 phones, the main difficulty is unlocking the bootloader, but since Sony supports this, it’s probably not that bad. Depending on the device, you may also need a moderate level of trust in the community
Beyond the security issue, there’s the efficiency of it. Everything just runs so much cleaner.
Thanks; I’m glad to hear it might not be so difficult. I’d be interested in finding out about any degradation in camera performance, if you can advise.
So, for the last few years I’ve been buying my Android devices based largely on how easy they are to convert to LineageOS and a few other hardware parameters (phone jack, removable battery, etc). Consequently, I never used my current devices with anything but (effectively) LineageOS, so I have no points of comparison. All I can really say about my camera is that it’s about what I would expect, but not as good as my wife’s iPhone SE. Is there any benchmark test I can perform with my camera that would tell me what you need to know?
I’m not sure about benchmarks or whether I would be able to interpret the results.
I’m more the “show me before and after pics” type. I would specifically like to find some Sony Xperia comparisons, but haven’t really searched that much.
I know gsmarena.com benchmarks camera performance in their reviews, so if you find a way to benchmark your model, you could compare it to the results from their review (if you’re interested).
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I can’t imagine that rooting/modding your phone will change the camera firmware. I’m guessing that any performance you lose in the camera would be through losing a camera app optimized specifically for your CMOS (maybe this is obvious to camera people, I don’t know). So I think that if you root your phone first with Magisk before installing LineageOS+microG, you should be able to copy the .apk of whatever default (and presumably optimized) camera app your phone is currently using. Then once you install LineageOS+microG, you just side-load the camera .apk and use it instead of the unoptomized LineageOS camera app.
It used to for Sony devices, but no longer so I would think amarok would be fine. Agree on sideloading unless you’re just really into the stock Lineage/no manufacturor apps.
For context, Sony Xperia devices have a trim area (TA) partition that contains the DRM keys and other device-specific information like the IMEI, Serial Number, MAC address, etc. Unlocking the bootloader wipes the DRM keys in the TA partition. Once it’s wiped, there’s no way to restore it without a backup (which you can’t make unless you already have root).
Speaking of trackers in Android, I just happened to find this blog post from 2019 (I don’t know anything about the author or the site):
Reddit Q&A with Gaël Duval, founder of /e/:
I have noticed that some times the dns lookup is slow (decloudus is in Germany and uses dns server in Czechia). It also depends upon which filtering one is using; it is impressive to see what happens when one uses alpha as it blocks pretty much everything associated with google.
Decloudus now seems to be working for me again, on both cellular and wifi. Maybe it was only a temporary issue. Thanks!
I’ve been using Netguard and it has essentially silenced any app I wanted. (It is on Fdroid and the developer is very active on both it and Fairmail (which I also highly recommend.).)
It is how I have Swiftkey installed, but it has NEVER said a peep to anything not on my phone.
I highly recommend it.
I’ve had it installed at one time or another, but I probably wasn’t using it to its full extent. I should take another look. So far, I’m liking Blokada, though. I’ve been testing blocking everything with the word google in it, and nothing has broken, as far as I can tell.
I may have to play around with Blokada on iOS. I may use it on my L14 when I get it.
For firewalling, Calyx has that functionality built in. I deny or allow internet access per-app, so I can use the superior google camera versus the generic AOSP camera with no worries.
Yeah that is a much better solution! But NetGuard allows you to use a non-de-googled phone with more privacy as well.
Are you using the test Decloudus server? If so, then you have to keep an eye out for their test/update cycles. They publish a notification on the site when the free/test server will experience downtime during these test cycles. I have Custom DNS so I visit the site once in a while to modify my filtering rules and see that message maybe a couple of times a month. Their Premium servers appear to have solid uptime as I never experienced outages with them.
Yes, I’m using the free test server, so that’s probably it. Internet seems to come and go with wifi on my Android, but I’m not very concerned, since I hardly need it. I might subscribe to one of the paid plans at some point.
LOL. I had such a rule in my DNS server for a while and some things did break.