My Phone Shit Itself So I Installed GrapheneOS

Wednesday June 14, 2023

To make a long story short, Pixel 5As commonly suffer from motherboard failures. I’d link you to many Reddit posts but they’re currently doing the blackout thing to protest the death of third party apps. It happened to me while driving home from work one day and after many days of complaining to Google’s customer support, they said if I send my 5A in there is a 99% chance I’d get a 6A back. I think he was just trying to get me to stop calling, because those fuckers sent me back a repaired 5A. Since I am fully expecting this new motherboard to randomly fail just like the last one, I’m not getting too attached.

Since I am a dumb bitch and didn’t make a single backup ever, I figured now is a good time to unlock the bootloader and install GrapheneOS. It was one of the reasons I bought a Pixel in the first place just because I liked the option. I’ve been using it for a few days and I think it’s really nice so far. It’s probably nice enough to make me buy another Pixel later on despite their constant flaws.

Installing it SHOULD have been really easy, but of course my busted ass computer gave me nothing but trouble. I think it’s kind of funny so I’ll list every step I took to install this shit. Maybe you’ll also think it’s funny.

You could imagine how easy the process would be if your shit just worked the first time. Anyway, Here’s what it looks like:

My current set up

I’m keeping it barebones on purpose because I hate phones. Unfortunately I had to install a few apps from the Play Store, but everything else came from F-Droid. I use a lot of the Simple Mobile Tools apps, mostly because I can make them all black. The AOSP (stock ass Android) apps look very out of place because they’re all from an old ass version of Android. Fuck Google for abandoning them. At the very least they should get a visual refresh.

The only two Google apps I have installed are Google Maps and Gboard. I hate to admit it but I rely pretty heavily on GPS navigation to get around. The stock keyboard (and Simple Mobile tools keyboard) both don’t have any kind of spellcheck or autocorrect. I could live without spellcheck, but constantly fixing typos got annoying. If you know of any good alternatives, leave a comment.

What’s really cool about GrapheneOS is that if you choose to install Google Play Services it just installs it as a regular ass app. You can choose what permissions it has instead of it being the all knowing God of your phone. I’m not even crazy about privacy, but Google doesn’t need to use the 4 billion sensors on my phone to determine exactly how sweaty my balls are for advertising purposes. Maybe one day I won’t have Google in my phone at all but this is certainly an improvement.

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