notnn Hi there. Thank you for your feedback. You've pretty much said everything in your own post, so I'll just reiterate and agree. The project is focused on security and privacy and improvements. This should not come at a usability disadvantage. This is why the project worked on things like Sandboxed Google Play, for instance. You shouldn't have to worry about which apps will work without play services, cause GrapheneOS provides a way to use them securely and more privately than on Stock OS.
I agree that the AOSP apps that currently come with the OS need to be modernized or replaced. The project agrees too. It's a matter of time and resources. Things like that cannot come at the cost of slowing down progress on security and privacy, or porting to new devices/versions as they come out. Those things will pretty much always take priority.
If you haven't already, I would suggest reading this post by the project on matters such as this:
If we want the project to be able to do the work it currently does to further security and privacy while polishing everything else in the meantime, we have to contribute as a community. Please consider donating:
Once again, thank you for your honest and clear feedback. :)