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New Member

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4 Messages

Monday, June 21st, 2021 9:25 PM

Android OS in flip-phones?

I have read conflicting information stating that some of the flip-phones offered by AT&T use an Android operating system.  Here are my questions:

1. Do all three of these phones use the Android OS:

KYOCERA DuraXE Epic

SONIM XP3

AT&T Cingular Flip IV

2. If the phone does have an Android OS, does that OS allow Google to collect any data from the phone?

3. Do the phones with Android OS come with other Google-related apps installed?

4.  Will the Google/Apple COVID-19 contact-tracing app be installed on phones with the Android OS?

https://www.techradar.com/news/apple-google-covid-19-coronavirus-partnership-ios-android

I have been unable to get through to AT&T customer support to ask these questions directly.

Thank you.

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

ACE - Guru

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1.1K Messages

3 years ago

It's a bit more complex than that.

The AT&T phone uses KaiOS, which is Linux based - not Android.  Android, which is also Linux based is a different development.  KiaOS is a fork of B2G (Boot to Gecko) which itself is open-sourced from Firefox OS (which ended its development in 2016).  There is nothing Google or Android related in KaiOS besides its start from a Linux kernel, which itself is actually called Unix-like. 

And that's a whole other rabbit hole to go down.  QNX, the base for the BlackBerry 10 phone OS, is also considered Unix-like.  And that apparently has nothing to do with Linux (there's a whole Unix community out there that would get extremely upset if you said otherwise). But I digress.

The other two phones use a proprietary development of AOSP (Android Open Source Project).  It is Android, but the open-source Android that the custom OS development community uses to make their own custom Google-less ROMs.  AOSP is what Amazon uses to make their Fire TV and Fire Tablet OSs. 

And you know Amazon wants absolutely nothing to do with Google.

While Google does develop the base OS and make it available in the AOSP channels, it does not have any of Google's apps, or Play Store, or Play Services, or any of that.

The Sonim and Kyocera phones basically just takes the telephony parts of AOSP, the calendar and contacts parts, basic browser (my old Moto flip phone from around 2002 had a browser), GPS access for maps, and makes a simple phone interface.  Both phones take a different approach because they can each do what they want with it.  No Google needed. 

(edited)

ACE - Sage

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115.9K Messages

3 years ago

1. Do all three of these phones use the Android OS:

KYOCERA DuraXE Epic

SONIM XP3

AT&T Cingular Flip IV

Yes.  There are only 2 types of OS.  ios and android now that Blackberry uses Android. 

2. If the phone does have an Android OS, does that OS allow Google to collect any data from the phone?

Same as any phone, it collects what you allow. 

3. Do the phones with Android OS come with other Google-related apps installed?

Yes.  All phones come with some pre-installed, basic applications along with its OS.  

4.  Will the Google/Apple COVID-19 contact-tracing app be installed on phones with the Android OS?

https://www.techradar.com/news/apple-google-covid-19-coronavirus-partnership-ios-android

It's "installed" , it's also voluntary and inactive until you install your States companion app and sign up. 

     I'm in Connecticut.  A year ago there was no functional app for my state to work with this system.  There is a working app now, if you choose to install it.  You don't have to.   Most people don't know it exists.   Most people don't install their states app or turn it on. Even if you do download the application, sign up, and agree to use the application, there's no way to know that it's actually functional, because it's anonymous and voluntary. 

     

ACE - Sage

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115.9K Messages

3 years ago

You can read up on the CT app, and understand how truly useless it is.   I didn't install it.  Based on how it works, its useless.  

New Member

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4 Messages

3 years ago

re: "Yes.  There are only 2 types of OS.  ios and android now that Blackberry uses Android." 

Thank you for the quick response.  I have a follow-up question.  All three of these phones are flip-phones.  I am deliberately trying to avoid getting a "smart phone."  Are you saying that the flip phones use the same OS as the "smart" ones? 

I am seeking an AT&T-compatible flip-phone that does not incorporate a "smart phone"-type OS or applications--the "stupider" the phone, the better.

(edited)

ACE - Sage

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115.9K Messages

3 years ago

No, it's an OS version of Android.  I believe it's called Kaos.  All Android systems are Linux or Google based.

Just turn off data. 

(edited)

Community Support

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229.6K Messages

3 years ago

Hey there @Niemand we'd be glad to answer your desired questions about Android OS compatibility in Flip-phones. 

 

  1.  Please note, the Kyocera DuraXE and SONIM XP3 are the only devices on your list that are compatible with Android OS. (AT&T Radiant Max, Maestro Max and Radiant Core are the only compatible AT&T branded devices meaning AT&T Cingular Flip  isn't included)
  2. To ensure security, google play protect scans all apps to keep users phones and data safe. The only information collected and stored is the information that you allow and give permission to.
  3. All Android OS compatible devices come with pre-installed google apps such as Google play, Gmail, etc.
  4.  You'll need to review the requirements in your app store when attempting to purchase the Google/Apple Covid-19 app. The requirements can vary based on device and your location.

We hope we were able to provide you with best answers to your questions.

 

Feel free to review the user guides for each device to learn more helpful tips and information about the operations of your devices. 

 

Let us know if you have any other concerns.

 

Lyn, AT&T Community Specialist

 

 

ACE - Sage

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115.9K Messages

3 years ago

@joeldf  thanks for jumping in with more info that's correct.  

ACE - Guru

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1.1K Messages

3 years ago

@ATTHelp ,

3. All Android OS compatible devices come with pre-installed google apps such as Google play, Gmail, etc.

No, they all do not.  Neither of the two phones in question have any Google apps pre-installed.  In fact, on the Kyocera, while the Play Store can be accessed through the browser, nothing can be downloaded from it - because AT&T disabled that ability.  It pretty much only has a few AT&T specific apps that can be downloaded - and those are straight from AT&T.  The Sonim has their own "Sonim Scout" app store, but it's all jobsite/workforce management related apps.  Not a Google in site (sight).

4. You'll need to review the requirements in your app store when attempting to purchase the Google/Apple Covid-19 app. The requirements can vary based on device and your location.

And are not available at all on either the Kyocera or the Sonim asked about above.

Why? Because... there is no Google Play Store.

(edited)

New Member

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4 Messages

3 years ago

Thank you for this clarification, Joel.  I am looking for a minimalist phone and want to avoid Google (and its data collection) as much as possible, so I am glad to read this.

I have a question about this statement from above: "The Sonim and Kyocera phones basically just takes the telephony parts of AOSP, the calendar and contacts parts, basic browser (my old Moto flip phone from around 2002 had a browser), GPS access for maps ..."

If I use the calendar, GPS, or browser, will my data from those apps be collected by Google?  Or are they just using code that originated with Google, but without a direct connection to Google today?

(edited)

(edited)

ACE - Guru

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1.1K Messages

3 years ago

If I use the calendar, GPS, or browser, will my data from those apps be collected by Google?  Or are they just using code that originated with Google, but without a direct connection to Google today?

Nope.  Those apps - the calendar, contacts, browser (not Chrome, or even Chrome based), even the email app are basic apps that Android has always had, but are not tied Google.  Google has a whole other set of apps that are part of "Google Apps" and are tied to their Play Services. 

It's the ties to Play Services, and the use of the Google App itself that gets stuff sent to Google.  Even that is not as much as you may fear, and can be limited in what is sent.  But since none of that is even on the phones you are looking at, it's simply not an issue.

If you want to worry about something - you do know that AT&T gets more info on you from their phones than Google could ever hope for in their wildest Pixel 5 5G dreams, right?

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