Any use in getting GrapheneOS while keeping my iPhone?

First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this. I’ve been struggling on this topic.

Every now and then this topic comes back to me, I want to ditch iOS so bad, but I just can’t. I really don’t see the point. Now I’m thinking of just getting a Google Pixel besides my iPhone, but I don’t really see the point of that either.

I will need to use Uber occasionally. I have important banking apps (specific to my country) and crypto apps (, Metamask, BitPay). I have a health insurance app (they do most things on the app) and government apps. One of those gov apps, an ID app, is basically necessary to have, otherwise you can’t do a lot of government business online. And it probably makes you a target if you opt out anyway. I can’t get my family and some friends off WhatsApp. I occasionally need to use Google Meet because people I need to reach are in a country that’s blocking other services. Then there’s takeaway apps, online auction app, my SIM provider app, Airbnb, For work I’ll need Telegram/Discord.

How can I ever ditch iOS?

Sure, a lot of the apps mentioned above I will only need to use at home, so I could use my laptop in those instances. But that doesn’t cover all apps.

Another point: iPhone tracks my location anywhere, but does that really matter when I’m at home? When I’m outside, I can use a Faraday bag but does it really matter? Car license plates get tracked here, when you use public transport the card tracks all your trips, whenever you pay by card the bank has your location. Ditching iPhone is not enough.

No anonimity with GrapheneOS
GrapheneOS won’t give me anonimiity. If I leave my iPhone at home and use GrapheneOS outside, I will still need to be reachable. I will need mobile data and probably a SIM, and find a way to pay for that also. Cell towers will ping my phone. I will need to use navigation apps. I need to use Telegram/Discord outside. WhatsApp as well. Also need to access my Gmail somehow (still partially use it, everyone around me does as well, and feels cringe to share proton address with people).

If I would totally ditch my iPhone and only use GrapheneOS, I’ll still need a SIM, receive texts for 2FA, and use WhatsApp. I’ll occasionally need to input personal information on my phone too.

So what am I getting out of GrapheneOS? More privacy? How much more compared to iPhone? I am limiting browsing already, no iCloud, I use Signal when needed, but some apps I just can’t quit.

My conclusion for now is: keep the iPhone, don’t get a Pixel, but severely limit the data input on the iPhone.

A lot more privacy, a lot more security and a lot more control and freedom. Its really hard to explain all the possibilities and benefits that GrapheneOS provides over iOS. I would probably suggest reading this:

One thing that in my opinion would be very good for you is user profiles. User profiles on GrapheneOS is the closest thing to using a different device without using a different device. You could utilize user profiles for compermentalizing your apps or even identities, possibilities are endless. You can have a banking profile, anonymous profile, shopping profile, driving profile, etc.

Rob Braxman recently did a video which touched on this: IIRC the basic idea is combining the use of a standard phone (like your iPhone) with a de-Googled one (like Graphene). I don’t know if it will help you or not, but it might be worth a watch.

Personally I’d say that by minimising what you do on your iPhone, you gain some privacy in terms of things like your web searches being tracked and your personality/beliefs being profiled. Of course, if you can do all that on your laptop, there’s no benefit from a more private phone. But if you’d like to be able to do a bit of random web surfing away from home, a private phone would help.

I agree with you about physical location tracking via so many other technologies and I hate it, but the iPhone reports your location very precisely at all times, whereas at least the harder to avoid stuff like your phone connecting to cell towers doesn’t pin your location down quite as closely. (IIRC one of Rob’s videos said maybe 1/4 mile radius in an urban area for a de-Googled phone, whereas iPhone/Android will track you down to a few metres.) Your public transport card use only locates you when you’re using public transport. At least by avoiding iPhone/Android tracking, you get some location privacy back. “They” know you were in district X of your city at a certain time, but they don’t get the fact that you went to cafe Y at the same time as your secret lover Z handed to them on a plate. :slight_smile: (Yes, security cameras. It’s a horrible world. But I still think you’re better off without the iPhone.)

Only you can decide if this kind of thing is worth it for you, of course. I don’t know how money is with you, but maybe get a cheaper de-Googled phone and see how you get on with it - a Pixel to run Graphene on is quite expensive unless you know you really want it, whereas the cheaper, older, slower phones which can still run Lineage or DivestOS can be had for maybe $40-50 secondhand as an experiment.