Alternative Apps(tores): Living without Google (FP1)

Android is not a Google OS, see Wikipedia for further information.



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The Google Services are just convinience services, but altough they are for free you give up a lot of your privacy. But that is not the main problem I have got with Google. Also I didn’t install Google Apps out of performance reasons. I don’t want too many services and stuff running in the background, using memory and battery.

So in my opinion it is perfectly possible to live without Google. See the apps above!

PS.: Did you know that in the A-GPS Settings you can choose between Google Servers and Nokia Servers to determine your position? Of course I chose NOKIA!!! :wink: (Like in the old days…)

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F-Droid is indeed a great app store! For email I use K-9 Mail; it works better than the default Android Email program (especially with IMAP). One reason for me to still have Google Apps are the TextSecure and RedPhone apps (both by Open Whisper Systems) which provide free open source encrypted messaging and voice calls. TextSecure is a perfect replacement for the default SMS app, as it allows for (encrypted) SMS, but it can also use data/WiFi.

Other apps:

  • Document Viewer (F-Droid): good PDF viewer
  • AntennaPod (F-Droid): great podcast app (start listening to This American Life and Radiolab!)
  • Torch (F-Droid): flashlight

I do not think that makes them more trustworthy. It should not be required to know “what whois” means and does to find that out (i know whois but this not something everyone knows). I would still not recommend using such “stores”.

Suprisingly good. I choose the most important apps from F-droid and use mobile websites instead of apps for other thinks like train information. If bought some Humble Bundles for Mobile and with that have more games then i can play. I sacrificy Quizduell and Google Maps, DB Navigator and WhatsApp for this experiment, but still the phone is very usable without Googles Apps.

Your are technically right, but i think it is perfectly ok to call Android a Google OS. The Open Handset Alliance wikipage you linked to refers to Google as Parent Organisation.

That’s not what I suggested. I just thought that was interesting to mention since I think brothersoft is as untrustwhorthy as well.

I’ve received my FP1U this morning and it seems there are already some GApps installed. How do get rid of them? I think I saw something about installing FPOS or was it AOSP again …?

In order to get the Stock Android (AOSP) you have to launch the Fairphone Updater (eventually upgrade to Cherry (1.6), then launch it again) and then selecting “Stock Android”.
See here as well


Same here. I still use the Google App Store, because without Google Services I wouldn’t be able to use TextSecure (the best Instant Messenger imho) and Redphone. Luckily, OWS have announced, that they are working towards using WebSocket in later versions.
Until then, I’m forced to continue using the Google Services like App Store and GCM.


Thanks, madde.
I think I get it now. If I understand this correctly:

These apps are not from Google but rather from AOSP with some modifications by Mediatek or Kwamecorp. Maybe looking at the apps’ “address” might be helpful like

Sorry, tried to answer via email. I was suprised, i do not think there are GApps preinstalled, which apps to you speak of?

Sorry again, misunderstanding.

This article, which has been posted several times before, is a must-read for everyone interested in the matter:

I’d like to switch to using my FP without Google as well. Unfortunately, I already installed Google Apps. Is there any possibility (if so: how?) to deinstall all Google apps and not just deactivate them?

@Stefan “Hausverstand” seems to be a very Austria-specific word, I as a German have never heard it before. I’ll make surew to use it the next time I am around , so thanks for sharing :wink:

Another easy way to get apps without the google play store is letting someone send you their apps via bluetooth! I used the ES File Explorer on a phone that does connect using a google account. ES File Explorer has a tab called Apps which shows, duh, a list of the installed apps. Long press on an app and it shows a Share link,

Of course, apps that require a google account (for in-app purchases, I guess) won’t install. The message: “installation failed”. Not very clear.

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After reading this thread, I feel like the luddite I know I am but don’t want to be. I want to maneuvre around outside, largely to see if I can manage to do it, but I also want to use Evernote and Instagram. I have installed F-Droid, without finding either there. Both are on APK Train. I’m more than just a bit sceptical, though, to a page with no information under “About us”. Does anyone have any experience with

Hi, this is a very good topic. However, Google applications seem to be anchored deeply in the android system. Therefore, it is not that easy to get rid of Google. Since you appear to be a German speaker, you might like to read the “Android without Google” series by Mike Kuketz ( It is a tutorial in six parts on how to ban Google from your Android device. This needs more than F-Droid and FOSS. You’ll need firewalls (AFWall+, etc), and some apps will not run, although they are FOSS (as already mentioned in this thread, TextSecure is yet among them - unfortunately!). I did not try Mike’s tutorial yet, but I’ll definitely do as soon as I have enough time. I’ll let you guys know, after I tried it.

I definitely recommend AFWall+ on the FF; if you install it before other apps it’ll automatically ask you which permissions you gove to each new app to access network in quite a detailed way (e. g. “OK but only when on wifi…”)

I come back to this thread because I have the curious feeling that many people think the only choice is, either free/open apps through the F-Droid “market”, or paying apps that would only come through the Google App market.
This indeed isn’t true, and for all I love about FOSS, there are areas where it remains possible to buy an app while staying fully outside Google. I for one am considering this for the windows-compatibility apps from the german Softmaker, which free trial I’m currently testing.
On their site it clearly looks like I can buy with two separate banking options, both entierely independent from Google, and then download and install the respective .apk files. (they even propose a backup CDROM)
I wonder if there are some other areas where one can find independent softwares that can be independently bought, if I dare say.

Maybe we can start a new (wiki)-thread which lists companies and software developers, who distribute their apps outside the Google ecosystem. It would be interesting to know more high-quality apps which stay out of Google Play and they surely can need more attention.


Maybe we can start a new (wiki)-thread which lists companies and software developers, who distribute their apps outside the Google ecosystem. It would be interesting to know more high-quality apps which stay out of Google Play and they surely can need more attention.

Newluck that sounds a very good idea. But I’m not specialist here: what would you suggest (1)?
A simple new thread here (of which I suppose we should select the title very carefully)?
Or, as I see you are talking “wiki”, is there a more lasting way of doing, somewhere else?

Thanks again!
(1) ***“Apps that you can buy without Appstores at all”***?

On the Discourse platform it is possible to wiki posts, so they can be edited by any member of the forum (long explanation here).

I have in mind a thread where the very first post is wiki-ed and anyone can add companies and software developers, which then can be discussed below the original post. I think some categories would be nice, like Office, Games, etc.

I will start a new thread and flag it immidiately to ask one of the moderators if they could wiki it.


@Stefan and all other german-speaking Fairphone users:

I have already written a wiki entry relating to this topic, but it´s a german article.
You probably know the Fairphone Freunde Community -

You´ll find the Article under:

Fairphone Freunde Wiki > Android allgemein > Freies Android
Direct Link:

The Article is relating to:

  • Free Android (How to leave the FP “Google-Free”)
  • Open Source (How to leave the FP nearly “Open Source-Only”)

The Article is similar to:

I´ve been writing this article for at about 2 month and now it´s finished.

I hope you´ll like it