How use my new FP3... also without Google!

Hi to everybody.
I am happy for my new FP3 but I am not expert with Android, Google etc… cause I had always very old phones and did with them just the essential (some photos and, just use like phone!)
My problem with the FP3 is that I have the impression that everything is made by Google: contacts, calendar, photos etc…

  • I can’t find the “gallery” with the photos
  • I can’t find a simple application to take some note
  • There is not just a calendar, but the “Google Calendar”
  • I can’t arrive to see the contact on my sim, just the contact in my Google account ( and I wouldn’t like cause there are a lot of work’s mail adresse that i don’t need to see on my phone

I have the impression that all that before was “a simple app” on the phone now is Google.
I Would like to know if I can avoid this, and specially with photos and video cause I don’t want that they are on the web.

I hope I explain my problem also if my english is horrible!

And thank you very much!


This guide has the answers you seek.


Have a read at this thread too:
Google Apps keep reinstalling/ reactivating

It also contains very good overview by @AnotherElk


Thank you! I will look this evening!
And thank you for the quick reply!

This is what Android works like by default. Android is an OS developed by Google and then customised by most phone vendors, more or less heavily (less heavily in case of Fairphone’s Android for the Fairphone 3).

There are ways to limit Google’s reign on your phone, but it’s not the smoothest of paths to follow, because Google doesn’t want it to be, Google wants your data.

Although in fairness a lot of it might be in an alien language for somebody with their first smartphone, and it’s not what to do step-by-step in linear fashion, it concentrates on clustering things around the general topics of what can be done at all.

Many people here have prior knowledge about the workings of Android in general and especially about concepts like #dic:adb, #f-droid (an Open Source only App Store) or #dic:apk.

If you happen to have #fairphoneangels in your vicinity, there’s a chance somebody knowing their way around Android and those concepts could walk you through in person.
Else … feel free to ask here in the forum. It might not be quick, but we’ll try to get you there.


Hello Viki!
Well, I have the same problem, but I can manage it in a way. I use other apps with no trackers.
For instance, for simple apps such as Contacts, Gallery, Calendar, etc I use “Simple Mobile Tools”. If you look for it on Google Play, you can find a series of apps:
These apps contains no trackers according to Exodus privacy:

What I do before installing an app:
I check on my computer if this app has trackers using Exodus privacy add-on in my Firefox, but you can just look for it directly on the website.

Also, I tried to unable every google app (it is sometimes impossible, though), but Google services and Google play (it becomes too annoying with its messages of “Alert! this app will not work properly if google blabla”). Before this, I remove all the permissions, and background connections (this takes some time and patience, because you should do it also into your google account), and sometimes some permissions are difficult to find. So, I recommend to have a very nice afternoon discovering your phone.

I have also F-Droid, where you can find as well these Apps and more, but I always check the permissions and trackers in Exodus Privacy.

Other tips: I also have Blockada, for Adds, and I use a VPN (ProtonVPN), and I use Quant and DuckduckGo as a search engine.

For more advance users: I usually activate developers mode, and I check all permissions and messages sent.

Hope that these tips can help.


Just FYI: those “simple” or basic apps that you used to know were usually written by the phone company. They were not necessarily better and/or safer, more private, etc.

As others have said, open source apps might be what you’re looking for. Sometimes the Google apps are pretty basic and may very well be more secure than some app written by a small-time coder.

Sometimes the Google apps have surprisingly limited functionality (see Google Sheets) as well, so trying some alternatives may be worth it. It sounds like you’re a basic user right now, so remember to not overload yourself by trying too many different apps at once. :wink:


Hi Viki,

Android phones come with Google apps by default, just like the iPhone comes with Apple’s. This is not necessarily a bad thing - just take it as a starting point for n00bs. And without Google’s efforts around and investments in the Android ecosystem, a project like Fairphone would simply not be possbible.

For most of the pre-installed apps, you can easily find numerous alternatives in the Play Store. You might also want to give F-Droid a try, an alternative, FOSS-only app store.

In many cases, Google apps are the “gold standard”, though. Google calendar and Gmail, for example, are really hard to top IMHO.
You can watch your photos right from the camera app - just click the thumbnail in the lower left corner -, with Google Photos, via the “Files” app or with a separate gallery app, just grab one from the app store of your choice.

It is, of course, important, to set up your Android as private (in German we have the word “datensparsam”) and secure as possible. There’s plenty of guidance out there on how to achieve this; this article from “WIRED UK” might be a good start.

Speaking of note-taking, “WIRED US” has just published some app recommendations. They do recommend Google Keep for Android users, btw.

Best wishes,


Thank you to everybody!
I am newbie about phones android etc so I need some times to learn, but, miracle!, I have understand the concept!
I think I will disactivate some Google apps, but I need “some Google” cause I work with my Gmail :slight_smile:
My doubt, now, is the photo gallery, cause I want really care about my privacy (and the privates pictures of my family). Do you think that i can solve it better with a Micro Sd card?
Thank you so much to everybody!

No worries about the photo gallery. Even photos that you store in the cloud with Google Photos Backup & Sync feature are by default private and only visible to you.

I cannot see what difference a microSD card would make (except for providing you with more storage capacity).

For a decent Gallery app, you might want to give Google’s own “lightweight” Gallery Go a try.

Simple Gallery (Pro) should also be worth a look, especially if you would like to omit Google whereever possible.

Best wishes, Thomas

1 Like

I found this blog post to be quite sensible about the pros and cons, and it got one simple thing exactly right:

"Don’t upload pictures you wouldn’t want leaked to the world."