What is the outlook for updating to Android 4.4 operating system?
Fairphone FP1 (2013) and FP1U (2014) use Android 4.2.2 as a base operating system. More here.
We’ve got some unfortunate news for Fairphone 1 owners: we had to decide to stop development on Android 4.4 KitKat.
This very difficult decision is primarily financial. While we’ve worked continuously to develop for KitKat 4.4, we simply did not have enough resources to invest in the hours required to launch this upgrade. After exploring every option within our financial means, we have now reached the point where it’s impossible to support the Fairphone 1 and maintain the financial stability of the company at the same time.
This means we’ve had to decide to stop developing the upgrade to Android 4.4 for the Fairphone 1. This project has been an ongoing effort from our internal team as well as key members of the community, and we’re disappointed that we are not able to see it through to the end. Please visit our community forum to learn more.
At Fairphone, one of our primary goals is longevity – in other words, we want to keep your phone working for as long as possible, so you don’t need to replace it as often. And secure, up-to-date software is essential to achieving this goal. That’s why, despite the ongoing challenges, we’ve been working hard to try to offer software updates to Fairphone 1 owners.
Back in 2014, we gave you some insight into the difficulties in providing updates beyond Android 4.2, and how we were trying to address these issues. Many of the hurdles had to do with the fact that we were dependent on third parties. In the end, the only way to move forward was to secure access to the source code and take matters into our own hands. In September 2015 we finally secured the licenses that allowed us to modify and distribute the Fairphone 1 software.
During 2016, we received an official port of KitKat for the platform on which the Fairphone 1 was built. Since then, we’ve been working on adapting the entire code base to work with the specific Fairphone 1 hardware, as well as integrating the custom elements of the original Fairphone 1 image back into the new version. And while eliminating our reliance on external partners has given us more control, it has also meant that we’re doing all the development in-house.
Unfortunately we could not pull this through.