I’ve been using a dumbphone for the past month and I see now all the things I’ve been missing in Life. However, dumb phones are far from perfect and there are many things that can be fixed to make the perfect phone.
The problem with many “smartphones” of today is they do too much! Having the world of possibilities in your pocket can not only be distracting but can actively sabotage your life. The notifications or you actively avoid real life situations, because you use your phone as a crutch.
This is why you see the rise of the “dumbphone”, but these devices are far from perfect. I’ve used one for the past month and the amount of productivity I’ve gained is astonishing. However, it is not without it’s problems.
My dumbphone issues:
Even with losing ALL of this… I still preferred the dumbphone experience because of how much it improved my life. It rewired my brain to really focus on the things that the smartphone does well and if I modified it to only do those things… It would be the PERFECT PHONE!
So what ARE the problems with smartphones?
This isn’t that bad as you really are only giving up two things… Being bored and productivity. Right?
To Simplify why those things are so important:
Make the Smartphone only do the things that HELP YOU! Debloating your phone will extend your battery life and keep you from launching into the time wasting apps. The easiest way of doing this is with a fantastic project called Universal Android Debloater.
This makes it extremely easy to debloat your entire device in a single click.
You will need the following installed on your computer:
sudo apt install android-sdk-platform-tools
C:\Windows (This allows you to run adb.exe and fastboot.exe from anywhere)
brew install android-platform-tools
From your command line interface (terminal, powershell, etc.) type
Verify your phone is seen
Now download the release from their GitHub https://github.com/0x192/universal-android-debloater/releases
Then launch the program
As a minimalist I recommend starting with removing ALL the recommended packages. Simply select all with the following recommended settings at the top.
Then add back in any google related packages you might use while keeping your phone slimmed down. I only kept these 4 packages from the recommended settings after I finished.
Since I was using a Pixel 4a for my main device I also needed to change the default launcher to a more minimal one. Pixel launcher is problematic because of all the dependencies it has. I highly recommend Niagara launcher.
After the debloat and changing my launcher, this is what my phone looks like now.