Android and iOS aren’t the only mobile operating systems viable today. Last month, Corbin wrote about the PinePhone, a phone that runs Linux and has physical kill switches for privacy-minded people. The PinePhone isn’t alone in its use of Linux; Purism’s Librem 5 phone runs PureOS, a free, open-source operating system that’s not based on Android. But just because phones like the Librem 5 don’t run Android natively doesn’t mean users have to miss out on the benefits of the Android ecosystem.
In a blog post today, Purism announced that Anbox is now compatible with the Librem 5. Much like how Google does things on ChromeOS, Anbox runs Android in a container. That means users can access additional free apps built for Android while keeping the privacy protections of PureOS. Purism’s ultimate goal is to make setting up the Android emulation process as simple as moving an Android image file into the Anbox folder and rebooting.
Devices like the Librem 5 and the PinePhone that give users full control over their hardware are exciting to see. There’s a reason people tape over their laptop webcams, and these types of products provide an alternative for individuals hesitant to give their personal data over to big companies. Now that Android is running on the Librem 5, the device “designed to protect your digital life” could attract more pre-orderers. And it might not be long before other ARM Linux based phones like the PinePhone offer Android compatibility through Anbox, as well.