Like the FP2 the FP3 comes with GAPPS preinstalled and for now there is no option to switch to a Google-free OS.
Additionally the FP3 has hardware that the FP2 didn’t have which Google can use to gather more data about you.
So here is a little guide on how to stay as free from Google as possible. The guide will change as soon as a Google-free OS is out and anybody with actual experience withe the FP3 please add details at any time. It’s a #wiki.
This guide includes steps that may go too far and seem ridiculous to some users, but they are doable, will help you protect yourself from Google (at least to some degree) and won’t void your warranty.
- before unboxing put on a mask and gloves. You can take off the mask and gloves after you put stickers on the cameras and the fingerprint sensor or take out their modules
- don’t talk as long as the microphone module is inside the phone
- before you first turn on the phone make sure you’re somewhere where you have absolutely no signal whatsoever (including wifi, GPS & bluetooth) and make sure no other NFC enabled device or card is near
- turn on the phone and skip as many steps in the setup as possible
- try and disable and replace as many Google apps as possible
- Install as many apps that you use for your security as you can via apks & SD-card before entering your SIM card, e.g.:
- Get root rights (guide will follow) and block everything Google via hosts files and Adaway
- If you’re confident you’ve done everything you could to block Google put in a SIM and enjoy your new phone
Here steps are listed that will void your warranty.
- Uninstall the packages, instead of ‘just’ disabling them. This might have the additional benefit of avoiding the google setup process and having to run the phone with all the components active (see this post Google Apps keep reinstalling/ reactivating )
- According to the iFixit Teardown (Step 9) you can take out the fingerprint sensor. It looks relatively easy. Of course it doesn’t state whether the phone will work without it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. Don’t forget to offer the sensor on the #market, so someone with a broken sensor can fix it.