Living without Google 2.0 - A Google free FP2

I would also like to know how to remove the Google Apps.

I try to install as much as possible via fdroid to stick with open source apps. Not all is possible though (Titanium Backup e.g. in case of disaster).

Hi all,

I’m working to get an answer on the Google-free version. Hope to reply in the next few days.



I would like to get rid of the Google apps, but keep access to the Play store and push messaging, so this looks very interesting.

Is the Fairphone 2 an ARM or ARM64 platform?

@anon90052001 Thank you, less Google integration would be much appreciated!

Note: I’m new to Android, so take my words with a grain of salt! :slight_smile:

As the Play store access is a Google app you cannot have it at the same time as not wanting to use Google Apps. If the reason you don’t want Google Apps is privacy, you should resign Google Services as well. Push messaging is a Google Service, so here again you cannot use Push messaging at the same time as not wanting to use Google Service.
If you want to use apps that depend on certain Google services (e.g. an app that needs your location and demands to use the Google location service for that) there is a project providing alternative apps (as it obviously doesn’t matter from where you phone gets its location as long as it gets one): (that’s the successor of the “nogapps project”).

HTH Simon

If you just need Google for free (of charge) Apps, you can download most of them without the Play Store.
And as for Notifications: on the Google-Free FP1 it was possible to receive push notifications. It might not work with all Apps and with others - like Telegram - it only works well as long as you use the App regularly (every other day or so).

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Compiling Fairphone Open Source

It’s mostly the annoying Google integration in standard apps (like music player or photo gallery) that I want to get rid of. I have no problem with installing (and more importantly updating) stuff like Firefox and Signal from the Play store.

I’m using the Blankstore on my FP1 (why shouldn’t it work on FP2?) and it works quite well. I don’t get automatic updates, but have to do them manually.

Blankstore is discontinued, but can still be installed.

I think most apps don’t push because they’d need a push server, like Google provides it. Instead they do polling, meaning that they check for new messages in a certain time interval.

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That is understandable. However, as far as i know, Google Apps are provided to manufacturers like Fairphone in a package that contains mandatory apps. One such app is Gmail, for example. It means that if Fairphone want’s to provide the Play Store to it’s users (and i think it should continue to do so!) it sadly also has to install some of these Google Apps. There are some lists in the web which apps are actually mandatory, but i do not have a FP2 or a list of installed Google Apps, so i cannot tell if Fairphone actually already opted for the “minimun” amount of Google Apps allowed.

After everything i heard, Fairphone is extra-ordinary “clean” of excess apps almost everybody else cramps on their phones for you without asking or allowing to remove.


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I’m not entirely sure what blankstor does, but it seems to be part of the nogapps-Project, which is, as written earlier, replaced by the µG-project. Part of the µG-project is the FakeStore. My – unconfirmed! – guess would be that FakeStore is the replacement for Blankstore.

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In the description on the page, you linked to, it says:


An empty package that mocks the existence of the Google Play Store to the Play Services client. Requires the FAKE_PACKAGE_SIGNATURE patch to be functional.[/quote]
I assume that it doesn’t provide any functionality at all.

Blankstore, in contrast, is an almost fully functional app store (let alone paid apps and automatic updates).


We seem to be talking about different things. My impression was that this thread is mostly about AOSP images, which would come without Google Apps, AFAIK. This in combination with an Open GApps package containing only the Play store and services framework would be my ideal setup.

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Thanks for the clarification/explanation. :slight_smile: Some apps, like the by @7adietri above mentioned Firefox can be downloaded (and updated!) by F-Droid, others, like Signal need the underlying Google Service infrastructure (e.g. Push server by Google) thus neither blankstore nor fakestore on their own would be enough for it.

Sadly, Firefox is going to disappear from F-Droid. (And just personally, until we have reproducable builds, I’m more inclined to trust the Mozilla build infrastructure.)

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But as there is the FFUpdater that should not be a problem.
Afaik F-Droid recently also started to provide the infrastructure for reproducible builds (I believe I read it somewhere in the Signal issue about Google Play alternatives)

There is a way to install any app available at Playstore without gapps installed.
What you need is: another Android device, which needs to be rooted. (Maybe an emulator works, too(?))

On that device install Total Commander from Playstore. In it click on the home sysmbol. Next to your installed SD Cards you will also find “installed apps”. Click on that (this is where you need root access). Select all apps you have installed on that device using Play Store which you want to have on your Fairphone. Copy them e.g. to an installed external SD Card. Doing this, you copy the APKs of the installed apps.

Now you take the SD Card out and connect it to the Fairphone. In settings -> security you have to allow “installation from unknown source”.

Now, you will have to start a file manager, like Amaze or (again) TotalCommander. The problem is: how to get this onto the phone if you don’t have Play Store installed? Well, you have to push it over from Linux (explained in the forum somewhere already) or you can try to flash it from recovery. Here would be one:

Once you have started the file manager, select the SD Card and start the previously copied APKs.

This is quite some work, but who said, that living without Gapps makes life “easier”? :wink:

F-Droid has an option to share installed apps. It’s quite flakey though, and it might not work right away, but that should work on non-rooted devices.

Another option to get an apk into the phone: email it to yourself, download, save somewhere, then open with a file manager. That’s known to work, I just tried it :slight_smile:

The APKs are located in the sytem area. It would surpise me, if Fdroid can share them unrooted.

However, sounds easier than my suggestion.:+1:

PS: Just tried Fdroid. It only gives me a limited choice of “installed apps”. With Total Commander you can extract pretty much any installed app.

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Tried F-Droid again between two non-rooted phones (but with self-compiled images). It worked, it’s just a bit tricky to understand how to get it to work:

  1. Connect both phones to the same WiFi network
  2. Open F-Droid on both
  3. From the menu choose “Swap Apps” on both phones
  4. Make them both visible on WiFi
  5. Wait until they both see each other
  6. Click the other phone’s name on BOTH phones
  7. On the phone you want to send apps from, choose the apps you want, click Next
    Then you just basically follow the instructions. I just sent one application that’s not available on F-Droid, I had just grabbed the apk from a “honeypot” phone.


It would be great if some experienced users can post how to “un-google” Fairphone or at least which functions (sharing, syncing…) can be deactivated without problems.

For all who wants to know, what kind of information is already connected to their Google account - check your Google Dashboard:

Best regards