Hello everyone. As you may know, development on MicroG has been at a standstill for a while now. I previously posted an update and development has continued for the last little bit, but after considering the global situation and my own personal growth, and viability of the Android ecosystem, I have decided to cease development of MicroG at the end of the month. I will continue as much development work as I can handle, committing code, approving PRs, but I cannot continue work on this project in the long term. I will leave the repository open, but I will not be accepting any Issues or Pull Requests or transferring the repositories. However people are welcome to fork the project.
I did not take this decision lightly, but I do have my reasons:
I can't predict the future, but my guess is that Google is most definitely going the walled-garden approach. Android is going to be locked down hard, and all our attempts at finding workaround after workaround isn't sustainable. Should we just go with Apple? I don't know, that is something you have to decide. Should we go with Linux phones? I don't know. All I know is that Android is changing, and the whole custom ROM movement, what made Android really popular for us in the beginning, is coming to an end, and maybe it is time to jump ship.
- The global pandemic has taken a toll on me and my mental health. I lost my job at the beginning of the year (unrelated to the pandemic) and unfortunately it is very difficult to find new work at the moment. I was contemplating taking a 6 month break after losing my job, but the pandemic really ruined that plan. I have about 7 months of savings, so I need to figure out some way of getting stable income
- I do not believe Android is a viable ecosystem anymore. As some of you may have noticed, Google has decided to "close off" Android in a similar manner as Apple. The whole hardware-backed key attestation situation with Magisk is what I am referring to. What is really boils down to, is that if you install a custom ROM, Google Play Services will mark your device as insecure (and rooted), and a lot of apps (especially banking apps) MAY NOT work if they decide to take advantage of the change by Google. Previously, you could root your own device, and have Magisk hide root, but this time it is different, just unlocking the bootloader will cause that flag to be set, and your device will no longer pass SafetyNet. Google say this is in the name of privacy and security, but that is bullshit. If I wanted a walled-garden with privacy and security, I would just go with Apple as I trust them more than Google
- Android is changing, and not in the direction I like. The days of custom ROMs are numbered. Sure we could just use alternative app stores like Aurora but Google can easily block that. The entire cat-and-mouse game of working around Google restrictions isn't sustainable, and it's kind of morally questionable, they provide a service, and we are actively breaking their TOS. I'm not saying it's right, but they have every right to terminate our access. And let's not kid ourselves, privacy isn't black and white, some of us can't just rely on FOSS and FDroid.