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

Thanks for your concern @ben
You are right, I probably shouldn’t have recommended 1Mobile Market.
I’m using it on my own risk, but I would advise anybody who doesn’t know how to distinguish between trustworthy and risky apps NOT to use it.
For me, like I said I only download Apps that are available on Google Play too and I also make sure they are released by the right developer. For example I don’t think its risky(er) to download Angry Birds by Rovio Ltd. from 1Mobile (than from GPlay), but downloading Pokemon by Animirai Studio is probably neither safe nor legal.

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It think it is still the big difference between the iOS/Windows Phone vs Android world: That this is even possible. For people who know what they are doing, this is a great thing.


I would also strongly advise against using 1Mobile Market, there is absolutely NO reason to trust them and I believe they even use root privileges, which is something to be very careful of in any case. I use F-Droid exclusively and have learnt to live without the apps that aren’t on there. I have found that almost anything i NEED (so not stuff that is just nice to have) I find (an alternative for) on F-Droid.

If you do need to install an app that can only be found on the Google Store, I feel is a safer bet then 1Mobile Market as at least they get your apk directly from Google and you don’t install a potentially unsafe app on your phone.


Somebody started this thread yet?

Here it is:

If you are on a desktop, you could have found the link next to @Herve5’s post. :wink:


Just wanted to share my experience of living without GAPPS, because I’m to lazy flashing the phone and I don’t have any copy of windows laying around anyway where this mediatek thing is working with.

So far everything is good, because most of the apps I need I had already installed or I find them on 1 Mobile Market.

For the thing with locationing the phone I followed the link from @paulakreuzer to the fdroid app, which provides locations via Mozilla or other backends: for this I installed busy box (1 mobile market) and system/app/mover (fdroid)

There are apps, which needs Google Services, these are mostly apps for sharing Bikes (Call a bike, Nextbike), or Cars (Multicity). Or apps like Mobility Map. As far as I tried it, they do not work without the googel Apps thing. There are other ways of getting to know where the next bike or car stands, but this is a little bit annoying.

For my calendar I use, it works with google caledar, but you do not need GAPPS for this. I choose this calendar, because it connects with the reminders of Evernote, what makes my life much more easier. My Contacts I sync with DavDroid, what you can find via fdroid ( They are not at Google, but at posteo, so I never needed GAPPS here anyway.

So beside the annoying location thing (I havent really understand the underlying procedure here yet) living without GAPPS is possible and makes you fell freer than before :wink:


Hi Fairphone community!

First, I’m so grateful to find people concerned with fair trade and ethical electronics building practices. It makes me feel less alone in my values.

I am not a fan of Google knowing everything I do on my phone. Are there alternatives to Google OS for the Fairphone?



Hi @Jonnydark
I moved your post here because this thread deals with alternatives to google.

First off, if you have installed gapps you can only fully get rid of them by re-installing the OS (and ignoring the re-install google message)
Next step is to get F-Droid and app store for free software.
On F-Droid you’ll find apps for pretty much everything you’ll need (including an alternative to google’s location provider with numerous databases to choose from.)
If you still need apps that are not free software (but are free as in free beer) you can download them via evozi. (We don’t recommend 1MobileMarket anymore)


Don’t worry about Google if you don’t install the Google Play store offered by the Fairphone Installer and the like. Android is not Google OS, but is open source and Fairphone delivers it without the Google Framework unlike most vendors do.

As @paulakreuzer has said in the post right before, when you have already done so you would need to re-install the Fairphone OS.

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Oh wonderful! Thank you for the help! Now I’ll buy one!


Oh so you don’t have a Fairphone yet? I didn’t get that.
Well atm you can only buy FP1(U)s second hand. (here is a little guide)
The FP2 will come “after this summer” (whatever that means exactly). We don’t know much about the FP2 yet but you might be able to install other operating systems than android. (Here is what we know so far)


Thank you so much Paulkreuzer… You’re the best.

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10 posts were split to a new topic: Voice Input without Google Services

Hi, it was great to read your post, I so far only use f-droid and had most your apps already in use. Will try out 2 or 3 of the others I did not know yet. One question: I am looking for an app to sync a to do list with my desktop computer, and also something easy to sync notes I am taking (I used to have a Palm long ago, there was something called Bonsay Day Notez) - any idea what could work? thank your!

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When you live without Google Apps, some apps might display an annoying warning on bootup telling you that you need Google Play Services in order to run the app. Usually you can ignore the warning (by pressing the ‘back’ button) and continue using the app, but you have to do it every time you boot up the app. This Xposed module supresses this warning. Very convenient! :smile:



I am using my FP1 without google apps and am very with that. Most of my apps I get through For ebooks (in epub-format) I am using the app epub3 reader
Now I have a problem. I bought an ebook (in epub-format) on but unfortunately it is “kopiergeschützt” (copy protected?). I had to install Adobe Digital Editions on my pc to transform it to epub (i.e. obtain an Adobe ID). But unfortunately on the FAirphone this does not work with the epub 3 reader, since it does not ask for the Adobe ID.
Does anybody know of a free, non-google playstore app that I can use to transform / decode the epub for my FP?
(For Germans: I was told by support that there is a free app called Thalia something in the google playstore, which could open the book without Adobe ID, and “there must be apps that ask for the Adobe ID”…)
Thank you!

As far as i know, there is no free app that can read DRM protected ebooks. Adobe ID is a proprietary technology and as far as i know, cannot be implemented in open source applications (see this discussion on stackoverflow). See also the Adobe Website: Closed source apps probably just license Adobe’s technology, which is impossible for open source solutions.

That said, there are probably ways to remove the copy protection (there always is), however, I do not know how that works and if this is legal or not (may depend on your jurisdiction). Be extra careful when searching for such tools, so you do not get malware when you decide to go that way.

thank you, this is is not good news. :frowning:
I bought the book (for 10 €) and did not see then that is is not easy to open, and obviously can’t change it for the paperbook now, and I don’t want to read it on the PC.
Is is possible that someone gets the (free) thalia app on google playstore and sends that to me?
Or transforms the ebook with the thalia-app in a way that the non-google ebookreaders can open it?
Officially I can share the book with 4 or 5 other people / devices, so it would not be illegal.

If did not clearly say the book is copy protected, you could try to get a refund.

Above, somebody mentioned this app downloader:

I have a slimmed down version of GApps, brought down to the most possible minimum.

App stores: GPlay (if I have GApps, why not have that), Aptoide (relatively secure and able to use root to install apps in the background), F-Droid, Amazon App Shop (not really using it)

Messengers: Telegram (open source software with more functions and way higher security than WhatsApp) and Threema (probably the most-secure-while-still-user-friendly messenger on the market, partly open source code, costs 2€)
I also use SMSSecure to be able to encrypt SMSes

Browser: Firefox… And Lightning, if something happens (both FOSS)

DAVDroid (FOSS) to sync calendars and contacts

Business Calendar 2 as calendar (proprietary), beautifully designed, allows you to manage both calendars and tasks and is able to access these from DAVDroid. Local calendars optional.

K-9 Mail + OpenKeychain (both FOSS) to manage my mails and be able to encrypt them.

Tinfoil for Facebook (FOSS) as a Facebook app replacement, eats more data but who cares.

Location services are being provided by Mozilla Location services and Nominatim using ugUnifiedNLP (FOSS).

Maps has been replaced by OSMand~, Camera by OpenCamera.

Although I use DB Navigator for my route enquiries, there’s an aspiring FOSS app called Liberario which can use the databases from various cities and countries.