iodé FAQ

Do you have any particular question regarding iodé ? Please find below our Frequently Asked Questions. You can also directly contact the iodé team, or find a specific Frequently Asked Questions section in the iodé news application.

About the company (iodé technologies)

  • Who are we?

    iodé is composed of an international team (french and german) of experts in cybersecurity and design. Our team is developing an Android-based privacy-focused operating system (iodéOS).
    iodé sells refurbished and new iodé smartphones (phones with iodéOS built-in).

  • Why iodé?

    Studies and scandals have shown the constant data collection performed by tech actors on Android, and how far it goes.
    The risks are too big, and the Google-Apple duo monopolizes smartphones sales which are the main source of data breaches. We need more solutions to protect our privacy.

    iodé is a privacy-friendly alternative solution. iodé is based on open source components, iodé is eco-friendly, iodé is made in Europe.

  • Why is iodé eco-friendly?
    • iodé smartphones are ethical: we sell refurbished (in France) phones as well as new modular phones from social companies.
    • iodéOS permanently blocks unwanted data collection therefore reducing the phone’s energy consumption.
    • iodéOS integrates a privacy-friendly selection of apps which are less energy-consuming that default ones on classical android smartphones.
  • How can I contribute?

    iodé is a young project and we are always happy to receive support from you :

    • Talk about iodé
      Follow us, subscribe to our newsletter, and feel free to join our community forum here.
    • « Buy us a coffee »
      You can help in the development of iodé by offering us a coffee and making a donation to us. More information here.
    • Become a beta tester
      Do you want to become a iodé beta tester and help the development of iodé? Please take a look here, or join our ‘Beta testers’ telegram app group.
    • Report an issue
      If you encounter an issue with iodé, report it to us or (preferred) open an issue here.
  • What is iodé's business model? Where does iodé's income come from?

    iodé’s income comes exclusively from smartphone sales.

  • About the phones (iodé smartphones)

  • Where do we sell iodé phones?

    We sell iodé smartphones in the European Union (EU), as well as the following countries in Europe: Switzerland, Norway, United Kingdom (UK).

  • What does a 'Certified battery life' mean?

    Our European refurbisher partners run hardware tests on more than 40 control points, and the battery is of course one of them. The testing procedures are adapted to each brand & model with smartphone manufacturers certified tools.
    The battery is replaced if its charging capacity is below 85%.

  • What is the difference between esthetic grades?

    Our iodé refurbished phones come with 2 esthetic grades: A & B. Before explaining the differences between the 2, it is to be noted that the esthetic grade attribution of a phone is done after its reconditioning. This means the phone is 100% functional regardless of its grade.

    • Grade A: device in good shape. It presents micro scratches on the case or the screen, which are invisible when it is ON.
    • Grade B: device with more pronounced scratches. They have no incidence on the use of the phone.
  • How can I order a iodé phone?

    iodé phones are available online through our e-shop (https://iode.tech/en). You can order through credit card, Paypal, instant
    bank transfer, or even cryptocurrencies.

    You can also buy a iodé phone @ “L’atelier du Smartphone”, a local shop in Toulouse, France.

     

  • How long is the hardware warranty period?

    It depends on the model. Our refurbished iodé phones all come with a 1-year warranty, while the warranty is extended for new iodé models:

    • Fairphone 3+ comes with 2-year warranty
    • Teracube 2E with 4-year warranty
    • Fairphone 4 with 5-year warranty

    This warranty period differs from the software updates period (see ‘How long is the software updates warranty period?’ for more information).

  • Can I buy a iodé phone for my kid?

    Totally.

    iodéOS has special features to protect your kids from getting spied on their phone, such as password protection, adult’s content and network blocking. We actually wrote an article about it here and we will soon update tutorials on how to set up a iodé phone for your kid.

  • About the operating system (iodéOS)

  • How do I update my iodé phone?

    You will receive a notification on your iodé smartphone for every system update. By clicking on it, you will be redirected to the manager where you can download the latest update. Once downloaded, you will need to click on ‘install’. The phone will install the update and automatically reboot. We strongly invite you to always keep the system up to date.

  • How does iodéOS differ from Android?

    Though similar to an Android smartphone, iodé is intended to protect your personal data. Hence, it includes features we recommend you know the existence and utility of:

    • iodéOS : an operating system powered by LineageOS based on Android 11, and freed from trackers.
    • Trust (by LineageOS) : an interface securing your iodé phone and protect your privacy.
    • iodé : an interface scanning your apps in real-time and protecting your data transmissions.
    • News : iodé announcements & Frequently Asked Questions.
    • 2 apps stores : Aurora Store and F-Droid.
      Aurora Store is a Google Play alternative where you can find details on apps’ embedded trackers, spoof your location, and more.
      F-Droid is an open-source apps catalog.
    • microG services: an open-source & privacy-friendly re-implementation of the Google Play Services.
      One of these services allows you to choose Google’s alternative location modules. 2 modules are coupled by default: ‘Déjà vu’ & ‘Mozilla Location Service’. For more information on these modules, please refer to the FAQ.
      The ‘Google Cloud Messaging’ push notification service, used by many apps & allowing them to send notifications to you, is activated by default. You can of course deactivate it anytime.

     

  • Can I install iodéOS on my smartphone?

    If you already own a smartphone present in our product catalogue, then yes you can install iodéOS.
    Please follow this link for the installation.

    Caution : installing iodéOS requires coding skills.

  • Can I send my smartphone to iodé to integrate iodéOS?

    We only offer the iodéOS installation service in our local shop @ ‘L’atelier du smartphone’ in Toulouse (France).

    Your other two options are:

    • to install iodéOS by yourself if you have computing skills and already own a compatible smartphone
    • to directly order a smartphone with iodéOS built-in here
  • Can I uninstall iodéOS and go back to Google Android?

    Yes you can. Please follow this link for iodéOS uninstallation.

    Caution : uninstalling iodéOS requires coding skills.

  • Why two apps stores? (Aurora Store + F-Droid)

    iodéOS comes with two complementary apps stores: Aurora Store and F-Droid.

    • Aurora store is an alternative to the Google Play with which you can audit trackers for each app, spoof your location and more
    • F-Droid is an open-source apps catalogue
  • What are microG services?

    The microG services replace Google Play services on your iodé smartphone. They allow you, among other services, to choose Google’s alternative geolocation modules. 2 modules are coupled by default: ‘Déjà vu’ & ‘Mozilla Location Service’.
    ‘Google Cloud Messaging’ (GCM) is a push notifications provider; it allows you to receive notifications on your iodé smartphone and a lot of android apps rely on it. We have activated the GCM provider by default, but you can deactivate it from the microG settings panel.

    With iodéOS, you can also uninstall any preinstalled apps such as microG directly from the setup wizard or any time later.

  • How does iodé's data collection blocker / firewall work?

    From the core of the operating system, your iodé smartphone monitors DNS requests and network packets transmissions. iodéOS blocks requests and transmissions to recipients considered as advertisers & trackers by the open source community.

    With the firewall we developed from scratch, you can select different types & categories of blocking for each of your apps such as a default standard blocking or a reinforced blocking. iodéOS also lets you entirely block any network or customize your own list of trackers!

    Finally, the iodé interface lets you visualise requests & transmissions in real-time from a world map!

  • What are iodé's blocking types and categories?

    iodé’s recipients blocking relies on Open Source collaborative databases and are perpetually updated. You can select and/or combine different recipient blocking types and categories:

    • Standard
      List: Basic Pack, Blocked recipients: 405106
    • Reinforced:
      • Socials:
        List: Social Extension, Blocked recipients: 3936
      • Porn:
        List: Porn Pack, Blocked recipients: 315937
      • Extreme:
        Lists: Ultimate Pack + Regional Extension + Xtreme Extension,  Blocked recipients: 588862
    • Or customize your own protection!

    On top of blocking recipients, iodé also lets you block the following networks:

    • Wifi
    • Mobile data
    • VPN

    The diference between iodé’s network blocking and Android network blocking

    is explained in a separate question (“How does iodé’s network blocking differ from Android’s network blocking?”)

  • How does iodé's network blocking differ from Android's network blocking?

    On top of blocking recipients, iodé also lets you block the following networks:

    • Wi-Fi
    • Mobile data
    • VPN

    To explain further, with iodé you can either select to block any network above, or combine them.
    The diference between iodé’s network blocking and Android network blocking occurs here: with iodé, selecting a network type to be blocked exclusively blocks it and independantly to the others whereas Android doesn’t follow the same principle and considers that if you block the Wi-Fi, then the VPN will also be blocked.

  • An app does not work?

    There are generally 2 reasons an app might not run properly on iodéOS:

    • the lack of Google Play Services, which are partially replaced by microG services. Unfortunately all services are not implemented in microG, causing certain apps to dysfunction.
    • the iodé firewall being too restrictive for this app and blocking too many recipients. To check if the firewall is responsible, unblock the app from the iodé interface (settings -> blocking selection), select the app, remove all blocking and then relaunch the app.

    In certain cases and for various reasons (issues in the data & preference storage, system freezing,…) an app might start being dysfunctional after a while  & systematically stops running while opening it. Try in this case to uninstall and reinstall it or directly clear its storage (Settings -> Apps -> ‘app’ -> Storage and cache -> Clear storage), and relaunch it.

    You will also find a non-exhaustive list of the concerned apps here. It is to be noted that an app may start or stop running properly anytime on iodéOS for different reasons, causing this list to be outdated.

  • I can't connect (anymore) to Aurora Store

    If you encounter issues to login to Aurora Store, there are chances the primary token dispenser is down. Please enable the secondary dispenser URL meanwhile.
    1 – Go to Aurora Store Settings -> Networks -> Enable custom Tokenizer
    2 – Enter this Tokenizer URL: http://www.auroraoss.in:8080
    3 – Now retry Login as Anonymous

    If Aurora Store you still can’t connect to Aurora Store, you may try to clear Aurora Store’s storage (Settings -> Apps -> Aurora Store -> Storage and cache -> Clear storage), and relaunch the application.

    It has also happen before that you could only connect to Aurora Store using a Google account and not anonymously. But we do not invite you to consider this solution for your privacy.

  • My iodé phone can't be located?

    In settings -> system -> microG,  you can access location modules. Location modules allow your iodé phone to be located based on network infrastructures such as bluetooth beacons, cellular antennas, Wi-Fi networks and your GPS coordinates.

    2 modules are coupled by default: ‘Déjà vu’ & ‘Mozilla Location Service’. Feel free to couple/change them with other modules such as ‘Apple Wi-Fi’ if your iodé phone struggles to locate you.

  • How to send emojis?
    1. On your keyboard, press and hold the newline key. An emoji icon will appear above
    2. Slide your finger on the icon while maintaining its pressure.
    3. They keys are now emojis!
  • How do I transfer files between the phone & an other device with USB?

    Once connected to the device with USB, go to settings -> Connected Devices -> USB -> ‘Use USB for’ -> select ‘File transfer’

  • Why do I see an update for 'Google Play Services' in Aurora Store and why can't I update it?

    MicroG (preinstalled with iodéOS) spoofs Google Play Services & uses the same signature. Thus Aurora Store (which is a front-end to the Play Store) will show updates from MicroG services as ‘Google Play Services’, and F-Droid store as ‘MicroG Services’. As preintalled apps updates are done via F-Droid, the system will then reject the update in Aurora Store for security reasons.
    If you don’t want Aurora Store to fetch updates from Google Play Services, you can blacklist the app in Aurora’s blacklist manager.

  • How long is the software updates warranty period?

    As you probably know, it is in our core values at iodé to provide a sustainable solution on top of protecting our users’ privacy. It is therefore among our priorities to expand the lifespan of smartphones by providing software updates as long as possible.

    While it is hard to guarantee with certainty how long each of our supported models will get software updates (with different components such as the firmware, vendor blobs and hardware altering the period), our phones supports updates for at least 4 years for each iodéOS version. We are currently (2022) based on Android 12 (iodéOS 3) on all our phones except Teracube 2E & Samsung A5 which are based on iodéOS 2.

    If you are looking for the longest software support, it may be best for you to opt for a recent hardware (Samsung S10 series, Fairphone 4) as we will be able to provide updates for a longer time.

  • How do MicroG geolocation modules work?

    MicroG services come built in iodéOS. They are an open-source & privacy-friendly re-implementation of the Google Play Services.
    One of these services allows you to choose Google’s alternative location modules:

    • “Apple Wi-Fi”: uses Apple’s service to resolve wifi locations. Location calculation is done onboard and wifi locations are cached to minimize data usage.
    • “Déjà-vu”: uses locally acquired WLAN/WiFi AP and mobile/cellular tower data to resolve user location. Collectively, “WLAN/WiFi and mobile/cellular” signals will be called “RF emitters” below.
      Conceptually, this backend consists of two parts sharing a common database. One part passively monitors the GPS. If the GPS has acquired and has a good position accuracy, then the coverage maps for RF emitters detected by the phone are created and saved.
      The other part is the actual location provider which uses the database to estimate location when the GPS is not available.
      This backend uses no network data. All data acquired by the phone stays on the phone.

    • Mozilla: uses the Mozilla Location Service to resolve user location. Only the cell tower database is free.
    • Radiocells.org:  uses information on cell tower and wifi base stations

    Déjà vu’ & ‘Mozilla Location Service’ modules are coupled by default in iodéOS.

  • How do I connect my Gmail address to pEp?

    To add your Gmail address to pEp, you would first need to add a Google account in Android settings. You can then add your address to pEp by selecting ‘Use Oauth 2.0 token’.

  • Is iodéOS rooted? How to root?

    For security and compatibility reasons, iodéOS uses user build type instead of user-debug (with the ability to enable additional debugging).
    As a consequence root access and debug capabilities are not available in developer mode.

    If you still want to have root access, you would need to flash a more permissive recovery than the default one such as TWRP 19 and flash Magisk 16 from the recovery using the following commands:

    adb sideload Magisk.apk
    

    And after reboot:

    adb install Magisk.apk
  • What is the system updates frenquency?

    System updates are published in average every 2 months. You will receive a notification on each iodéOS update, redirecting you to the updater where you will be able to download and install the latest update. We strongly invite you to keep the system up-to-date.

    We also publish beta updates more frequently. If you want to become a beta tester for iodé, we invite you to see ‘how to contribute to iodé’.

  • How does iodéOS extend the life of my smartphone?

    iodéOS has functionalities to help you extend the life of your smartphone such as:

    • storage management
    • battery management & partial charging
    • the iodé blocker & its interface
    • …iodé system updates!

    More information on the subject here.

     

  • I can't connect my phone to the Internet / receive MMS

    SI vous ne recevez pas les MMS et il vous est impossible de vous connecter à Internet, c’est que vous avez peut-être les points d’accès réseau (APN) mal configurés.

    If you don’t receive MMS and can’t connect to the Internet, then you probably have a configuration issue with your Access Point Network (APN).

    To verify if your APN are correctly configured, go to Android settings -> Network and internet -> Internet -> click on gearwheel next to your internet provider name -> Access pount names. A list of access points will appear. Visit your provider’s website and search for the right APN configurations. Compare them with the ones from your phone and modify them if necessary.

  • Uncategorized FAQ

  • A message implying the bootloader appears at each boot of my iodé phone

    A message concerning the bootloader and the security of the device appears at each boot of certain iodé phone models. This message indicates that the bootloader is unlocked. Indeed, the bootloader is a program used to launch or install an alternative operating system, and must be unlocked by iodé beforehand

    Your data on your iodé smartphone is encrypted following ‘File-Based Encryption’. Only you could decrypt using your lock password or schema and access your data, even if you lose your phone. An unlocked bootloader will only let a malicious person with few programming skills access ‘fastboot’ commands or the ‘recovery’ program and install a new operating system. Your data will not be accessible.

    A few manufacturers like Fairphone allow bootloader relocking. If you order a iodé Fairphone 3+ or 4, the bootloader is therefore locked.