What is Your Private Phone setup?

As the title says, I am curious what kinds of setup our community uses in general, I will start with my own setup:

I am currently using a Pixel 6 pro with Graphene OS. I forward all my traffic through ProtonVPN to hide my IP address, and use Vanadium for my browsing needs.

Furthermore I use Aurora store to keep my apps up to date (except for Signal which updates itself) and tend to use open source apps where i can.

I am looking forward to your replies :).


I use a Pixel 4a with Graphene OS, including

  • Mullvad VPN over public Wi-Fi networks, and to bypass geolocation restrictions;
  • GitHub RSS feeds and Aurora Store to keep my apps up-to-date;
  • and Google Play Services in a separate profile, for my bank’s app.

Some of my favourite apps are

  • Signal, for communication; :speech_balloon:
  • Magic Earth, for navigation; :earth_africa:
  • Microsoft Lens, to scan documents; :page_facing_up:
  • and Pocket, to read articles! :newspaper:

I’ll likely upgrade to a recent Pixel once my Pixel 4a stops being supported by GrapheneOS. :slight_smile:


I’m using GrapheneOS on a Pixel 6. It’s a great experience overall.

Regarding my setup, I don’t currently do something too special. I’ve got a couple of user profiles, and use Proton VPN in the main profile to route my traffic through them.

Similarly to Kai above, I use an RSS feed to keep track of app updates from GitHub and GitLab and use Aurora Store for the apps that I can’t obtain that way. I’m hoping to transition to using Accrescent for as many apps as I can once it’s up and running (and who knows, eventually for all of my apps).

As far as favorite apps go:

  • Molly (a hardened Signal fork);
  • KeePassDX to manage my passwords;
  • The Proton Suite (Mail, VPN, Calendar, Drive) for productivity;
  • ViMusic – an awesome app that I was recently made aware of and currently testing – for music-on-the-go!

I’m very excited to hear about what everyone else is using!

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I use GrapheneOS but also have a phone with divestOS for testing. The latter feels and acts very similar but you can’t use any Google Play Services.

On my GrapheneOS I have several user profiles for apps requiring Google Play. I keep those all in separate profiles so they are further isolated.

For data I use anonymous sims for and for calling I use a few VOIP providers for my phone numbers. My phone usually lives on WiFi and I usually keep airplane mode on.

I use both Molly and Signal. Not sure how you enabled auto updates in Signal @Niek-de-Wilde?

Have been using both Mullvad and Proton VPN. The advantage that Proton VPN has is that it doesn’t limit the amount of clients, rather the amount of simultaneous connections. That is very useful when using many user profiles with Mullvad you won’t be able to do so.

For browsing I use Mull in private only mode so that nothing is left behind after each session. I use mull to be able to use uBlock Origin as browsing the internet without it is a painful experience. That besides I strongly blocking ads from loading is the best way to prevent malware.

For calendar and contacts I use Etesync and for notes I use Standard Notes.

Navigation I do using Google Maps. I tried alternatives but I cannot live with them.

For RSS I use Read You. For podcasts I use AttennaPod, for video NewPipe x SponsorBlock.

I get my apps also using Aurora Store and Github. Currently testing out Obtainium to update my apps from Github.

For additional security I recommend the apps Sentry, Wasted, and Duress.

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If you download the signal APK from Signal >> Signal Android APK then it will prompt your via a notification that a new version is available. If you then tap the notification, in will prompt you with the choice to install the new version.

a downside is that the apk versions is generally a day behind the playstore release, but my threatmodel allows that risk.

P.S. you can utilize Protonvpn as a systemwide ad blocker, which means you can use Vanadium as a more secure version without the ads.


I believe I am just using the Play Store version.

Yes Proton VPN and Mullvad can block quite a bit, but not enough for my taste.

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just your average iphone 8 enjoyer, but looking to upgrade soon


I’m currently using an iPhone 7, it’s approaching (if not already at) End of Life, but hopefully Apple will provide security updates until I can upgrade to an SE 2022 soon, which I plan to daily drive until it stops receiving patches.

I’m currently experimenting with having ProtonVPN always on, which works surprisingly well considering that I’m on the free plan. I try to keep things minimal and have as few apps installed as possible, and also disable stuff such as location services when not in use. Screentime is also helpful because it lets you “remove” some of the system apps that can’t be conventionally uninstalled that I don’t use. Some of my favorite apps are:

  • Keepassium and Bitwarden, which I use to manage passwords (haven’t fully settled on one or the other, however). Their free offerings are pretty generous, which I like.
  • Orbot for when I want some quick anonymity when browsing.
  • Adguard for content blocking. It can be used without needing to give it privileged access to web pages (similar to manifest v3) but still has fairly powerful cosmetic filtering.
  • The stock mail and ProtonMail app, which work fairly well.

Finally, I have an automation setup to turn off Wifi and bluetooth when a certain focus mode is activated. This is nice because I don’t have to go to settings or activate airplane mode, and can just disable them from the control center.


Right Now

I currently have a OnePlus 6T under DivestOS (Android 12 as I speak). I have a second profile for my work, but honestly it’s a hassle for me (as the music is cut when I switch profile, and I’m always on music). So for now I’m glad with Shelter. For the apps, I’ve mainly got:

  • Aegis (2FA)
  • Apps (the play store of GrapheneOS)
  • Accrescent (just to see how it goes)
  • Aurora Store (to install my apps)
  • Bitwarden (password manager, cloud)
  • Brave (main browser)
  • Camera (of GrapheneOS)
  • Catima (for fidelity cards)
  • Cryptomator (to encrypt your files in your cloud provider)
  • Element
  • Feeder
  • Google Maps (because it’s really the best maps app, and it’s hard to live without it)
  • Infinity (reddit)
  • Joplin
  • Mull
  • K-9 Mail
  • LibreTube & Newpipe
  • NeoStore
  • PDF Viewer (of GrapheneOS)
  • Proton Suite (Mail, Calendar, Drive, SimpleLogin and VPN), sometime I route traffic to Proton, sometimes I don’t, I still don’t know in which side I should be x)
  • QKSMS (for sms)
  • Shelter
  • Signal
  • Spotify (which works under DivestOS)
  • Yet Another Call blocker (to block phone spam)

In the future

I’m gonna soon buy a Google Pixel 6a and I will install GrapheneOS on it, my setup will be probably the same. But in my work profile (with Shelter), I will install GSF (Google Play Store and Google Play Services).


I use a Pixel 6a with GrapheneOS. I have two profiles : one for the everyday apps, and one for the “invasive” apps such as Whatsapp. Most of my apps on the first profile are installed with Droid-ify. Some with Aurora Store. My DNS server is that of AdGuard. I self host a few apps on a personal server to avoid the providers’offers.

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If I may ask, why do you keep all the invasive apps in one profile? Wouldn’t it be a better idea to install them all a sperate one? Just a suggestion :wink:

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I don’t understand your suggestion : do you mean one profile per invasive app ? That would make it a lot of profiles !.. I keep them on the same profile, which is deactivated 99% of the time.

Yes exactly, one app per profile.

Seems useless to me since they all are sandboxed.

i suppose you are right when it comes to what they can see and obtain from each other. But I just want to limit as much as i can their ability to run at all. So the profiles is deactivated, it won’t run :slight_smile:

iOS user here with 95% of contacts using iMessage (and one cross-platform group on WhatsApp) so that’s what I use, too.

I love Signal but no one I communicate with on a regular basis uses it.

I use NordVPN and iCloud Private Relay.

I don’t bother with encrypted email since no one on the other side would use it and/or the sender is a company/business that will always do it their way.

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I am just returning from an iOS system and there are good things and bad things. I have limited myself to as much as I can in the Apple ecosystem.

I have just acquired a Graphene OS device (Pixel 6A) and it is quite a bother to install (I refused to nuke and pave my current Fedora to install it). Had a lot of issues flashing the custom ROM with the provided USB-C to USB-C (my motherboard has a rear IO type C)) and had to get a branded USB A-to-C cable. Anyway:

I am seeking to redo my old Lineage phone setup and I currently have:

  • NeoStore
  • Aurora Store
  • Bitwarden (syncing is just more sane this way)
  • Standard Notes (from official apk)
  • Proton Apps (just the mail and vpn, from official apk))
  • EtesSync (contemplating to just migrate to straight up Nextcloud card/cal DAV)
  • Signal (from official apk)
  • Steam (from official apk)
  • Media players (VLC, Vinyl, Voice, NewPipe)
  • Exif Eraser

Contemplating of a few updates and changes:

  • Nextcloud - will handle the picture and video import to my NAS
  • Mapping software? Will probably go to OsmAnd unless you fine folks have something better
  • RSS feed reader? - I am currently getting release news via email from GitHub
  • Tor Browser? I dont seem to have a use case right now
  • Brave Browser? I already have Vanadium?
  • Games without GSF needs
  • OCR software? Looking for good OCR software recommendations :laughing:
  • Torrent App? Bandwidth is oh so precious…

OSMand is great but i prefer Organic Maps for a cleaner and simpler UI/UX
I use Feeder for RSS feeds
I wouldn’t download anything you don’t need or plan to use regularly
The only main advantage i see for Brave is builtin adblocking so if you hate ads as much as me it’d be a good alternative
I don’t really play any games on my phone besides chess and i’d recommend Lichess (not sure if it uses GSF)
No idea what OCR is lol
I prefer torrenting my linux ISO’s on my laptop personally

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OCR is optical character recognition - a way to copy text from pictures/images/camera. A good alternative to Google Glasses could be fine.

I used to use Feeder but I wish I could use a more synced feeds. Im a bit poor and lazy to do TinyTinyRSS right now.

I am already doing adblock on a DNS level so I guess this is less useful.


Do you want open source one? This works fine.

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