Living without Google 2.0 - A Google free FP2

/e/ app-store is afaik not yet available.

@Gobs have your original questions been answered sufficiently?
If so I’s suggest we close this topic and continue the derived conversation at Living without Google 2.0 - A Google free FP2 as it turned into a general discussion about the G%§$e-free lifestyle and this topic title doesn’t cover that.

PS: I moved the whole discussion as it all fits here.


Last year, a Portuguese company won a court case against Google, allowing it, ‘Aptoide’, to provide apps free. I now use Aptoide on my Freephone OpenOS.

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Very interesting discussion here. So I have a question: do apps like signal or threema store the messages encripted on the phone? I they would, also the gobble drive backup on your contacts phones would not be of use to gobble, right?
And if we are already discussing different Messengers: does anyone know about the safety of the app called wire? I do really like the app and they also say that its open source but I dont know enough to estimate their privacy friendliness.
What do you think?

Well, Signal once stored them encrypted if you locked the app with a password, but they abandonned this feature about a year ago (Signal is great, but there are some decisions made by Moxie Marlinspike which I don’t understand and in my opinion he has a little too much power over the whole thing…).
I know Wire, but I’ve never used it since I thought it wasn’t open source, which it apparently is, so I’m going to look into it. (I don’t know anything about cryptography, but I’m trying to get serious articles about Wire (essentially almost everything that’s not "THIS ist the best MESSENGER and why YOU should SWITCH TO IT NOW!))

Can you give a source for this? I thought they were still doing this, :confused:
I don’t know about Threema. It’s closed source, so it wasn’t never an option for me.

Great thing you bring here, in fact. There’s a switch for app developers to disable the Gobble backup feature when developing their apps (it’s true by default! :angry:), and Signal has it disabled.

One can argue “but Gobble services have root access, so they can backup it anyway!”. That’s not true. Gobble services are privileged apps with excessive privileges, but they don’t have root permissions (in the Unix sense). You can read more about the Android security architecture in the Android Security Internals book.

It’s open source, uses the Signal protocol and I read Snowden sometime qualify it as “great but sightly less well-thought than Signal” on Twitter (can’t find the tweet ATM, sorry). But, even being open source, it relies on Gobble’s libraries (at least for push notifications and maps), and even when there was once a 100 $ bounty to make a libre build flavour for its inclusion in F-Droid, noone achieved it, :(. I don’t really have a strong opinion on Wire, though, but I don’t have a major selling point for it over Signal neither. Still a walled garden not completely libre.

Talking about alternatives, Briar seems like the best available (libre, reproducible & already on F-Droid; P2P fully decentralized; anonymized metadata through Tor; it doesn’t even need an Internet connection), but the fact that it’s targeted at activist on dangerous areas and thus contacts need to be added manually to ensure trust, doesn’t make it easy for regular people. Although a remote contact adding feature is in the works.


Ok, so apparently, this isn’t quite true:

They still encrypt your messages, but with another method. Nevertheless they abandonned the passphrase and changed it to pin/pattern. But the thing is, the pin/pattern is the same one you use when unlocking your device and you can’t change it, so this feature is essentially completetly useless.

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Thanks for the sources, will take a deeper look later. But, according to the later link…

…this statement doesn’t seem to be accurate. A «random key stored in the Android keystore» is not the same thing as the user PIN. But anyway, I need to study the cryptography architecture of Signal to re-learn what’s this feature for (it must have a purpose).


Hello dear community,

I’d love to use my new Farphone 2 without the Google stuff that I find soooo invasive in privacy. I am defintly not a geek so I try to find tutorial to do so and got stuck… How to use my phone, the main daily apps without giving my full life to Google ?
There’s also a ethical confusion in my head to go for a Fairphone and still having to use Google everywhere…

Thank so much for your help/tips/ideas!

Here’s a starting point …


My fairphone runs fairly google-less. In particular, there is no Google search, no “Ok Google”, no Google maps, no Google PlayStore, no Google mail, no Google calendar, no Google account, no Google Apps (GAPPS).
My recipe:

  1. install Fairphone Open OS which replaces the default Fairphone OS. Official install instructions:
  2. go to settings → developer options → root access and check “apps only”. (Yes, rooting your fairphone is this easy …) This is a necessary precondition for the next step.
  3. Use the included www browser firefox-klar to download f-droid from Install f-droid. This is an alternative app store. The apps listed in f-droid are not only google-less but also seriously open source.
  4. Download and install a set of google-less Alternatives to essential smartphone applications from f-droid:
    • Internet search: duckduckgo
    • email: K-9 Mail
    • calendar: etar + Todo Agenda + DAVx5 (in case your dates reside on an external calendar server)
    • navigation: OsmAnd and/or Maps
    • public transport: Transportr
    • instant messanger: conversation (You’ll need a XMPP account. I’d recommend . But there are viable alternatives)

If a particular app is not listed on f-droid you give yalp a try. This app provides anonymous access to apps on google-play without a google account.

I am quite happy with the above set of apps. Some work even better than the google equivalent…


Thank you for sharing your G-free settings ;D.

A privacy/Security issue about Duckduckgo found this Blog (in German).


Thann si much KaiMartin for your réponse and recipe ! I’ll definitly try this out ! I was afraid to root the phone as many people say it could damage the phone. But now I know how to do it clean :wink:

An interesting Web site about how to live without GAFA.

A thorough guide about living without Google can be found here:


There is a critical difference between having to yield data when legally required and doing business based on user data.
Anyway, I recently switched to Metager. The society that runs this service is based in Germany and so is subject to European law. I tend to trust European data protection more than the US american counter part.


You are welcome!
My desktops and laptops all run Linux exclusively. Regular android with all the parts that are declared inaccessible to the user feels rather strange and limiting to me. If “rooting” your android were so dangerous as corporate information suggests, then why are all the rooted by default Linux systems out there virtually free of malware?

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The guy who writes this blog keeps recommending StartPage, even though they literally pay G00gle and he also wrote that it’s owned by an advertising company now, therefore I wouldn’t trust him blindly (as you shouldn’t anyone).


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