if you really want to encourage the upcycling of Android devices, you need to take responsibility for maintaining a robust, comprehensive archive of all of the software required to do so, for as many phones as possible. with no exceptions, other than "we just can't find the software for it". TWRP et al recoveries, new ROMs, SuperSU or equivalent for rooting... everything. and comprehensive guides.
because as it is, once people step outside the top few phone brands, even trying to get hold of the latest ROM means scrabbling around on forums and websites of questionable provenance, with little or no support - and a fair number of spam sites along the way
so first, fix that. *then*, once you've made it easy, you can preach to us about upcycling phones.
for example. i have not one, but two, Neffos C5 phones that i'd dearly love to run something other than the stock Android (5.1) on. but getting to the first step (installing an alternative recovery image) requires fishing around the backwaters of the internet and trusting that the file you end up downloading is actually what it says it is, and not some program that'll download the entire contents of your phone to a server somewhere in Georgia (or whichever other US state the NSA are working in these days)
@thamesynne It's difficult - a lot of the unlock mechanisms involve dirty blobs from who knows where, and the other boot images often contain copies of the binaries from the phone.
@penguin42 indeed, it is difficult. prohibitively so, i'd say. but standing on a soapbox and telling people what they should have done two years ago won't make it any easier :-/
@thamesynne Yes, but there's difficult and difficult to do legally; FSFe cares about the latter.
@thamesynne I have a pile of phones that can't run any alternative OSes. If I had known at purchase time that I would find myself in this situation, I might have chosen different brands and models. To make matters worse, it seems that only the most expensive phones can be upcycled.
Thank you for this. I looked at the upcycling android page the other day, hoping to find some practical how-tos, or even just links to decent resources, and found... practically nothing. It's all well and good to get warm and fuzzy about saving the planet from ewaste, but when the entire site boils down to links to the two projects everyone knows about already, which pretty much only target new, unlocked Samsungs and Pixels, they're not helping anyone.
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!