What you need to know
- Jack Dorsey tweeted a link to GrapheneOS, an open-source custom ROM for Android phones.
- GrapheneOS is focused on privacy and security and does not feature any Google services, but supports Android apps.
- Only Pixel phones as far back as the Pixel 3 are supported.
As Google deals with its ongoing privacy battles, it continues to try and prove that its platform is open and that the company is on the side of the consumers. Just this month, Google was hit with one of many lawsuits, this time targeting its management of the Play Store. Recently, Google came under fire after coming to the rescue of Robinhood, which was bombarded with negative reviews on the Play Store and saw its rating drop to one-star. Google then removed around 100,000 negative reviews of the app, a move that was seen as support of Robinhood's questionable actions. This makes the timing of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's recent tweet somewhat suspect.
GrapheneOS is an open-sourced custom ROM based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and was founded as far back as
2014 2019 after the lead developer, Daniel Micay, departed CopperheadOS. It does not use any Google apps or services but has Android app compatibility for apps that don't require Google Play services to work. Since there's no Play Store, users can install apps via third-party apps stores like Aurora Store. But the main focus for GrapheneOS is privacy and security.
.GrapheneOS improves the privacy and security of the OS from the bottom up. It deploys technologies to mitigate whole classes of vulnerabilities and make exploiting the most common sources of vulnerabilities substantially more difficult. It improves the security of both the OS and the apps running on it. The app sandbox and other security boundaries are fortified.
Why Jack Dorsey tweeted a link to the open-sourced, non-profit GrapheneOS is unclear, but the fact that Twitter has been focused on building its own decentralized social media platform might have some correlation. After all, the company has been the subject of its own drama following recent actions around content moderation.
For those of you interested in checking out GrapheneOS, you can learn more about it on the GrapheneOS website. It is only compatible with Google Pixel phones from the Pixel 3 to the Pixel 4a, which is one of the best phones for rooting and modding.
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