Living without Google 2.0 - A Google free FP2

I use DAVdroid, Tasks and Etar to synchronize my calendar, contacts and tasks with Posteo.de (they offer an email address, three calendars, and contacts for 1 € per month). Alternatively most email providers grant one calendar per account for free (e. g. gmx.de or web.de). I bet there are Belgian email providers which offer the same.

[quote=“Spielmops, post:325, topic:11587”]
GPS as the service that receives sat-signals can not drain the battery. I think you used something like Maps. Is that true?
[/quote]By ‘using’ I indeed meant ‘using any app that uses GPS’.

As it didn’t work at first with FP Open OS, I tried so much to get it working - changing gps.conf manually and with fasterGPS, installing microG stuff to at least get location services to work, downloading all kinds of maps-apps - that I think in the end just something in the android-gps-locationservices communication went crazy. I configured it to use ‘GPS only’, but it kept switching back to using wifi/gsm location services as well, and each time I used any app that tried to find my location (OsmAnd~ or SatStat while on GPS only, Google Play with location services), my battery drained in about half an hour. I figured re-installing the whole thing was probably easier than finding the source of the problem. :wink:

My Dutch provider doesn’t - and its free web space doesn’t even support PHP to run Owncloud or something like that. I’m very attached to it though, so I won’t switch providers.

But I’ll check out the alternatives you mentioned, thanks! (Seems to be quite a German thing to provide calendars with e-mail, if I google it I get a whole bunch of German websites - although of course that might have to do with the word ‘Kalender’ with a K being the same in Dutch and German. ;))

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So I guessed. I beg to differ, because if users read “GPS draining battery” they try to avoid using GPS. Thats not neccessary. The important information is: “every navigation app uses GPS (or network for location) and drains the battery”.


As discussed in the forum: There is a new OsmAnd release with useful features you want in such an app in the first place.

A quick search was probably one of the most requested features we’ve received. A first version of it is included in this release. Now, you can enter almost any type of query, be it a type of POI, an address or even a link to the map and find it using the Search button on the map screen.”

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Thanks a lot for your replies to Installing Apps on Open OS !

Some more questions:

  • Will raccoon work on a Mac?
  • Are APK-downloader, APKmirror and raccoon three alternatives that do more or less the same thing? (From a dummy-user point of view - I won’t understand anything too technical… I chose to investigate raccoon further because I like the name best…)
  • Am I blind? Or is there no way to get a list of apps available through raccoon on their website? Or is it simply that you can get any app available from Google Play?

Thanks again!

PS Still looking for an active fairphone user community in Switzerland - I’m based in Bern and fluent in French, German and English. Anyone around?


Check it by yourself on the fairphoners map @Stefan and myself did, and add yourself to the fairphoners address book, :wink:
(Please, continue this conversation on another forum topic for avoiding the offtopic)


OK, thanks!..

They provide a .jar which should be executed on a Mac with Java installed.

The purpose is the same; the method, different:

  • Raccoon lets you get paid and free APKs directly from Google Play to your computer (thus it have virtually all the apps available on Google Play)
  • APKdownloader gets free APKs from Google Play for you, and lets you download them from your browser
  • APKmirror redistributes free APKs uploaded by users, usually extracted from Google Play, and lets you download them from your browser

There’s more Raccoon info here and probably another fairphoner could help you set it up (I’m still using BlankStore, which is now discontinued and a pain to set up)

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Thank you!
Do you know whether one of the three is easier to use?
Otherwise, guess I’ll try raccoon - if I ever get my phone running again. I seem to have messed it up completely (I started a new post a moment ago…)

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Because I don’t trust these third party sites I am using a more hackish approach for getting the APKs:

  • Install Android in a virtual machine. I am using Virtualbox and Android-x86. The Android 4.4 (Kitkat) versions work best for me. You will need “bridged” networking.
  • Configure this Android normally (with your Google Account) and install the apps you want.
  • Install ADB on the host machine - this is your Desktop / Laptop running Virtualbox.
  • Run the ADB debugger on the Android VM in a terminal, for example: adb tcpip 8080
    Now on the host machine (your Desktop / Laptop that runs Virtualbox):
  • Connect to the Android VM from your host: adb connect [IP of Android VM]:8080
  • List the installed packages and identify the name of the required package: adb shell pm list packages
  • Identify the full path of the package: adb shell pm path PACKAGENAME
    PACKAGENAME is the package name identified in the last step.
  • Download the APK: adb pull PACKAGEPATH DESTINATION
    PACKAGEPATH full package path
    DESTINATION local path to save APK

At the end you can do an “adb disconnect” and / or simply shut down your virtual android.
The saved APKs can now be transferred to the phone and installed via Amaze or other file manager.

ATTENTION: Please do NOT use to violate copyright (pirate copies).

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Raccoon is a client of Google Play, AFAIK, so it is not a third party service and it is trustable (see the source code and compile by yourself, if any doubt).

Anyway, your method is another valid one. Have you tried to share APKs with F-Droid instead of the command line and pm? With a bridged network it should work, shouldn’t it?

Thanks for your info about “Raccoon” - I completely missed that one! I will see what is possible with F-Droid.


I just tested with F-Droid both on the VM and on my FP2 in a bridged setup - and it works ! :joy: The only little problem was that the phone could not see the VM, but that could be easily fixed with the “Scan QR code” option in F-Droids “swap apps” setup.


I think about installing FP Open.
And… currently I think I need (for my work) the Skype App, the MS-Outlook App and for fun the Napster App.
Has anybody succeded in using those with FP Open?

Thanks for any reply,


If you get them from the google store, you could install FP Open OS followed by an installation of GAPPS Pico.
In this way you install a bare minimum of Google and are able to use the play store of Google.

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I have not checked the other apps you mention, but you get Skype from the Amazon store. You can install the Amazon store just like a normal app and then it lets you install all the other apps.
Beware: Do not use the “amazon underground” store as this is a bloated and in my opinion very questionable (from the security and privacy) point of view app. Use the standard store instead (although it’s advetised for tablets, it works well on phones).
I am running OpenOS and Skype works - just ignore the “Google Play not installed” warning.

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Or install microg (see first post) to get rid of this warning.
You don’t need any store at all, you can get the apps through apk mirror.
Microg will make the apps that “need google” believe that the play store and services are installed.

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Thanks. That was the information I am looking after. I do not think I will have many troubles installing those - but I would like to minimize the risk of finding out that those Apps do not work with OpenOS before trying to do it.
So I am still looking for any hint on somebody using or who tried using the MS-Outlook App and/or the Napster App on OpenOS.

Kind regards, mentos

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Some questions for Raccoon users:
I installed Raccoon and downloaded a few apk’s successfully. :slight_smile:
What I still haven’t understood: Raccoon doesn’t seem to have installed as an app on my Mac. Should I delete the .jar file and download it again whenever I need it?
And will I get updates to the apps I downloaded or do I have to download the latest version once in a while via Raccoon?

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And one for Safari users:
I created a google account on my mac using safari. How the h*** do I log out of the account? When I quit Safari and relaunch it, I seem to be logged out but is that the only way?