Laura Arjona Reina

iThing at home :(

Laura Arjona Reina at

I was happy to have won the battle of the desktop (no Windows at home since several months, we all use Debian now #oleole ) but today I lost the battle of the mobile: husband bought an iPhone #grr

I know nothing about iThings and I have zero motivation to now begin to learn, even if it's about jailbreaks and libre software stuff for iOS (not sure if it's possible to install libre software there). I'm very tempted to just ignore the iThing and make a total boycott. But if I don't help, he maybe he'd just try the first thing that appears in the screen or find 'help' from other people that end in risky behavior.

For example, he had to create an Apple ID and the form was asking for credit card info. "Wait wait wait! This is serious!", I said. Then I searched "create apple ID without credit card info" and we found a way: download a free app and create the ID when trying to install it, so the option of "None" would appear in the credit card form. I said to him to search for "VLC" and we found it (I know that there have been issues about the App Store license terms and VLC ones, probably solved with dual license?). Anyway. If he had done this process alone, I'm quite sure that he wouldn't search the web to try to find a workaround. Maybe ask some friend, and I'm not sure what would have been the result. For sure, no VLC installed.

OTOH, when trying to send contacts by bluetooth from his old Android phone to the iPhone, iThing could not see the Android device. Not sure why, and he had to go to job so I couldn't look at it to try to solve the problem. He'll ask some friend, and I fear that he installs some strange app to 'solve the problem' that who knows what it does.

It's difficult to have a 100% libre software system, mine is not either: stock Cyanogenmod + gapps (I could remove that, I think), binary blobs, and some non free apps that I try to avoid but I still didn't manage to live without them (for example, the one of the children TV so my son can watch cartoons without advertisements). But I'm progressing at that, and I have the goal to free my Android.

At job, I recommend (and install) a quite huge free software pile of software on top of Windows (7zip, infrarecorder, sumatra pdf, pdf creator, libreoffice, firefox+ adblock edge, vlc, notepad++, thunderbird...). We have made some progress there too: Thunderbird and Firefox are used massively, some people also appreciate 7zip, infrarecorder and notepad++. Not many improvements in the Office side, however. And no progress at all in migrating to GNU/Linux: some people migrated because of programs that run better in Debian/Ubuntu than their Windows counterparts (biomolecular, genetic software, octave...) but the office users are now even more comfortable with their Windows + libre apps so they don't feel the need to switch to anything else.

So, apart of the rant, summarizing, the question: is it possible, and does it make sense, to try to put K9 mail, a FaiF PDF viewer, VLC and other free software stuff (if exists), in an iPhone? Is there a place that I can trust, from the free software perspective, to try to liberate as much as I can that iThing (jailbreak and so)? Would I work for the #darkside enhancing the iThing with libre software?

OTOH, lots of reasons to be thankful to @F-Droid community, Replicant and Cyanogenmod communities and the @Free Software Foundation Europe for their work in the "Free your Android" goal. Thank you friends!

netgeek, wehlutyk, mray INACTIVE, Alberto Moshpirit and 2 others likes this.

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Great post, sometimes it's really hard to use just FLOSS and CrApple knows it :\
That's why I don't want an iThing in my home :( or, at least, I don't want to use it, just like with Google or Microsoft stuff.
Maybe it could be nice if we share daily experiences about FOSS, we can learn of each other, that's why I liked your publication.

Good luck!

Alberto Moshpirit at 2014-05-29T22:15:35Z

Lo mejor es que, si no ha pasado el plazo de devolución, lo lleve a la tienda y que le den el dinero. ;)

Colegota at 2014-05-30T06:00:49Z

"enhancing the iThing with libre software" sounds like a good plan to keep your husband from getting used to the proprietary ways of crApple.

it's always bad when s/o close get's stuck with some hardware that refuses to run a libre OS…

etalas at 2014-06-22T20:28:01Z