We couldn’t continue relying on iOS and Android so we built our own OS and Devices

As for many, our first “modern” smartphone was the 1st iPhone, it was the best option at the moment and it was a big jump from any other of the available devices in that category at the time.

But, at some point we grew impatient of the limitations that iPhones had on the first generations (for instance, copy and paste wasn’t a feature until iOS 3), so we then moved on to Android. And it was nice not to have the limitations that iOS had at the time, even though the App experience was subpar and of course extra effort was needed to get “nice things”.

But then, the problem with Android was, and still is in most cases, that you can’t expect to get OS updates in a timely and consistent manner… Urgent fixes aren’t made available to the users until after the whole Google > Manufacturer > Carrier cycle is completed, and that takes months in many cases.

So we went back to iOS, and everything was OK until around 2015–2016, when they really started to drop the ball… Hardware upgrades started to be questionable, and features that clearly didn’t require new hardware, ironically became exclusive to new hardware, so you would be forced to upgrade. But while that might still be acceptable for some, when things started to become unacceptable is when rather embarrassing bugs started to appear a little too often, one of the latest being the recent FaceTime issue that would let anyone listen on people and even receive their camera video feed.

Since we were perceiving that things were changing in a rather questionable way, we decided we wouldn’t continue waiting. We started to work on putting together, first the hardware we could trust would have the features that we wanted with the flexibility to add and remove things as needed, or according to our liking or anyone’s liking.

We then focused on an OS built around security and efficiency, but without sacrificing a nice GUI, animations, and other things we have come to enjoy and expect. We also made it so that anyone is able to build Apps easily without having to have a background in App development. And finally we added Android Apps compatibility, because sometimes Apps are needed for something and there is no other option. Our Android implementation makes sure to keep those Apps in check though, preventing them from abusing all the things that some Android Apps are used to abusing all the time.

To support our efforts we are making the OS available for pre-order soon, you can use it on the reference hardware we will be suggesting, which we are basing around Raspberry Pi and compatible boards plus Intel computers, which you may already have or can easily acquire.

We are also offering the reference hardware we have been using, already assembled so you can give it a try right away. It consists of several off-the-shell components and a 3D printed case.

We are putting the final touches, taking pictures and videos. If you’d like to support us on these efforts while we make pre-orders available. please contribute to our GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/f/diyinius-alternative-mobile-os-and-devices) campaign. As a special thanks to anyone contributing, we will be making a preview download link for this new OS to anyone interested in trying it.

You can also follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/diyinius) to receive updates, pictures, and videos of the progress we make.

Thanks for reading!

Here are a few screenshots:

System Drawer displayed on top of the Maps App after being pulled up
Home Screen showing some of the Apps we have built
Mail App

For more pictures, and soon some videos, follow us on Twitter or Medium.