CalyxOS vs Stock Android(W/ FOSS apps) vs iOS

As someone currently using iOS, I’ve been considering whether to go for the better privacy and security of CalyxOS or stick with iOS over Stock Android.

If you limit the amount of Google apps used on Stock Android, does it still do a lot of the Google tracking?

As well, as someone who has a job where I need my work apps to work everyday, would CalyxOS be a no-go since the Aurora Store occasionally doesn’t work with anon login?

My threat level is moderate. I have some sensitive data like my financial accounts, account/device security and recovery keys, etc. I need to protect.

If you would be looking into buying an unlocked Pixel phone then I’ll suggest you’ll take a look at GrapheneOS. If you already have good reason not to go toward GrapheneOS then the next part of my answer will be irrelevant :

On GraphenOS you can choose not to activate any Google services if you want.

On GrapheneOS you can choose to create multiple user’s profiles. For example on your phone you’ll have a «Work» profile with all the apps you use for your work, your work email, etc. A «Personal» profile with everything else personal. You can also go with a «Banking» profile with your bank’s app and financial apps if you want to separate that. It’s up to you.

On GrapheneOS (sorry, I know I really sound like “this one time, at band camp”) you can then choose to activate Google Play Services (which will be sandboxed by the OS) which means if you want you can install the Google Play Store and install apps from there (it’s what I do for my work apps on my “Work” profile). That being said, if you don’t really like Google options and are afraid the Aurora Store may stop working at any point (I was in this same situation in the past) then you have other “store” options (each one having its own pros and cons) :

There may be other great ones I haven’t tried yet but I don’t know everything.

Have a look at Plexus : https://plexus.techlore.tech it list which apps works fine or not on degoogled phone. Banking apps are always a challenge.

Also a last advice before ending this long post : CalyxOS was my first degoogled OS after years of iOS and I absolutely loved it, it actually convinced me to keep going on this direction, getting a newer Pixel phone and go for GrapheneOS. So even I seem a lot into GrapheneOS on this post I have to say Calyx is terrific :slight_smile:

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How does switching between profiles work exactly?

Also, is there an Android equivalent to the automation you can do with the Shortcuts app on iOS?

It’s like switching users on a traditional desktop system, you select the profile you want on the lock screen, and each profile has entirely separate data.

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That’s a really good question. In my (limited) knowledge I think of Tasker : https://tasker.joaoapps.com but I have no idea if it would work well on a degoogled android. I never used it.

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Just FYI, something regarding the GrapheneOS

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Tasker was my go to years ago, also IFTTT, both had good examples. Tasker seemed language based and IFTTT not to be negative just seemed more like I did not know what was going on behind the scenes, this was years ago, like 15 years!
Automate and Easer are available on F-Droid.

Getting a new phone and a new operating system is a big change. My sister gave me a old iOS device and I just hated it, like in 5 seconds hated it. Hate too strong of word but it was obvious, the resistance to change was there.

My suggestion is grab any Android phone, best of luck finding something with Android 10 or newer with security updates. Run stock Android, install NetGuard or RethinkDNS. Lock down Google. Find out what does not work and find a solution. A custom ROM might be the solution.

I still have a google phone that I use for google stuff. My primary phone is a Pixel 6 running CalyxOS. I use ProtonVPN free and NextDNS free. Then hotspot to connect my Google phone. I mention this as it is my best option for a safe internet connection.

Doing this is a great learning experience with Android, VPN, DNS, app store alternatives… You do not have to switch phones and go all in blind.

Obtainium is becoming my favorite as well. I started making notes on each apps URL and Settings.

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I’ve been using Calyx for a couple of years now, and I’ve found it pretty user-friendly and working. That said, I don’t use a lot of Play-only apps, and the ones I use mostly work pretty well, with a couple of minor exceptions. So it’s definitely an option.

Personally, if you’re coming from iOS, I’d recommend going stock Android first, to get used to the differences. Then jump from that to Calyx or Graphene or whatever, once you have a better sense of how things work on Android.

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