Living without Google 2.0 - A Google free FP2

I am advised by a friend to use : instead of apk-downloader on a matter of trust in the provider…

Apk-downloader web service is deeply bloated, and so it’s hard to trust them, not to bloat your phone via apk installations.

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This is my first Android phone and I would love to untangle myself from google but I have no clue how and this thread is waaay to technical.
Would someone be ok to make a step by step Howto for non developers ? With a list of limitations and protections gained as a result of going this route ?
Are there other ways to protect my data ? (especially contact/email/location)
Thanks a lot !

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The first post is meant to be such a step-by-step guide (and it’s a wiki so everybody can contribute). At which step do you need more help?

About the limitations: You can’t download payed apps from the playstore, at least not directly. A few apps will not work without Google at all, some won’t fully function (they need google maps or push notifications). But for almost everything you’ll have an alternative.

You mean ways to protect yourself without getting rid of google? I’m afraid there are not. At least not without root.

There’s an app for that. :grin:

No, seriously, try ApkTrack from F-Droid. It can check multiple sources for new versions and even download them conveniently. No need for keeping the Play Store.

By the way… I keep an alternative App Store on my PC using made-up credentials - Raccoon.


Really, for me these apps are not an option.

I want to avoid Google invading my private life as much as possible. This implies disabling most of the GApps and possibly installing FPOSOS in the future. But this also inplies giving up on the nice ‘free’ services of Google as well. In my opinion, you cannot blame Google for invading your privacy and at the same time use tricks to be able to use their play store. That is not working towards a google-free world, but just getting a free ride.

Instead, one could use the f-droid repository, download those amazing apps and donate money to the ones you like and use a lot. These choices actually help moving towards a world that is less google-dependent.


That logic is not necessarily consistent, since the Apps in the Playstore are not google-apps. It’s just a platform. So wanting some apps that are only available in the Playstore or sometimes on Amazon (don’t see how that is better …) is not the same thing as wanting to use the store.

Totally true but for the “instead” part. There are not always alternatives for all apps, and while some might be a question of comfort only others might not be.

Thanks, I will try that. I did not plan to keep the store, but I will have to see how much I have to update manually.


Most of the apps I use are indeed from F-Droid (and I’m ashamed that I haven’t donated to any of their developers yet), because I appreciate the high quality and the open-source-ness of these apps.

But I still (and for a long time will) rely on few proprietary apps that are only available on Google Play, for example DB Navigator. I’d love to see Deutsche Bahn release their software for direct download on their website, but they probably won’t do that. It’s a pity, but I can’t do anything about it. (I just checked if all of the app’s functionality is exposed via their mobile website, but they even disabled buying mobile tickets from there - what a bunch of [insert appropriate phrase here].)


Same thing here, I also need a few proprietary apps, for instance a good scanner like CamScanner or DB Navigator in order to buy train tickets since I don’t have a printer and don’t wanna look for a copy shop before every travel. But I do see @schept s point, so I’m wondering if there is a way to encourage companies like Deutsche Bahn and others to make the .apk available for direct download.

(Or get newspaper apps to work without GCM since “urgent” push notifications on what’s supposedly important right now are in any case one of the more annoying things in the digital world.)

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Trying my best to follow all this, thanks again for all the help. I don’t have root access, and maybe that’s as I don’t really know what I’m doing here. I’ve removed google apps, but I haven’t removed google services, because I don’t understand how to (need root?).

Question1: I can’t get Orbot and Orweb to work, do I need root for that? Using firefox for now.
Question 2: Any recommendation for contacts to replace google?

You can disable everything google except location services if you do it in the right order.

Orbot allows access to Tor by accessing a local SOCKS or HTTP proxy.
On a rooted device, the proxying can be completely transparent i.e. the
app that accesses the network need not be aware of the proxy’s
existence; you can choose which apps go via the proxy in the settings.

If you don’t have root access, there are some apps that are designed to work closely with tor or allow proxied connections: ChatSecure, Lightning and Twidere. There is also a proxy configurator addon for Firefox called ProxyMob (not yet available from the Mozilla addon site).

Source: F-Droid

Thanks, I seem to have removed all google stuff! In fact, I can’t see them anywhere on the phone, not in idle apps or anything. If I need to enable one of them, where do I find it?

At the moment I can’t save any contacts at all. Now trying to connect to my owncloud contacts and calendar with DAVdroid. It’s telling me ‘no address book or calendars were found’. I don’t know if that’s trouble connecting to ownCloud (I can access the files just fine) or because there’s no contacts and calendar app on the phone?

If you disabled them at

Settings > Apps > All

you can reenable them at

Settings > Apps > Disabled

Then you disabled the contacts app which is not actually a google app.

I don’t think ownCloud or Davdroid can replace a contacts app, they can only be used for syncing.

Many thanks @StephanK for this cool little Apptrack. I have now disabled the Play Store. The only Google-labelled stuff I have now running on my FP2 is the Google services Framework as at least one of my vital apps won’t run without it.

Just for the sharing I am using the following alternatives:
1mobile Market, F-Droid, SlideMe and Apptrack for downloading and updating apps.
Apollo for music playing
Gcloud and CloudGallery for photo gallery and file and photo cloud backups
MyLocalContacts as a contacts account
ES File Explorer
Fast facebook as a Facebook client
Jorte as a calendar app (syncs with my Google calendar that I update on PC)
k-9 mail as email client
OsmAnd for maps and navigation
Turbotube as a Youtube client.

I am not happy with TurboTube as it keeps crashing in the middle of the streaming. I have also wanted to try Freedi Youtube player as it looks good but it just won’t start. Please reply if you know of a good Youtube client I can use to log in to my Youtube account, this seems like the challenging one…

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A post was merged into an existing topic: [HOWTO] :pencil2: Compiling Fairphone Open Source / Rooting

Try WebTube from F-Droid. It has an option to log in, but since I didn’t try yet (and since I’m not eager to do so) I can’t tell if it works.

NewPipe is another App from F-Droid which takes a different approach by parsing the YouTube website, but I don’t know if it offers login functionality.


Thanks. I had tried Newpipe before but it’s too basic - no login to own account for example. I will give Webtube a try…

If someone stumbles over the info

:gb: Couldn’t add widged.
:de: Widget konnte nicht hinzugefügt werden.

in the recent apps panel. That is because the Google search bar is supposed to be there and you probably disabled it.

It can be fixed with GravityBox. There just go to Miscellaneous tweaks and under recent panel set Search bar visibility to Hide and keep/remove space


@Johannes sent me over here - because yes he sort of red it right between the lines that I’m mainly annoyed with google … so I read my way through … got some good suggestions and solutions for the time being but nothing permanent yet…

So now it seems all I can do is wait for Method 1 - because I’m not smart enough to use Method 2 and 3 is not really an option

So I guess a main question is - how much time should I invest feeding the phone with Data? calendar? contacts? mail? … if I’m waiting for Method 1 to become a possibility? — see I’m completely clueless about these gadgets, but where and how are the things stored - inside the app - in folder / database the app then access, then do all the apps use the same “datapool” so I could just save my handishly put in data someplace that’s not affected by installing a new OS, I’m sort of working on the assumption that removing all google stuff is not just like updating the OS but actually more like newly settign up the whole OS?

[with that I go back to cross reading my way throught the internet …]

I know Method 3 is not an ideal solution but it’s a great way to bridge the time until Method 1 is available. If you disable all GAPPS & Services you won’t feed any data to Google.

Hi everyone!
Thanks a lot for all your useful suggestions and explanations!
2 questions:

  1. Someone promised an official FP guide to degoogling your FP 2 - has it appeared yet?
  2. I need to synchronize my contacts and calendar with a Mac running OS X. I was planning to install SyncMate to do this. However, I asked and the app works only with Google Contacts and Calendar. Does anyone know another solution? I’ve tried to understand whether ownCloud would do the job but I’m still not sure… Plus, I was trying to avoid cloud solutions in general because I don’t see why my data needs to be anywhere else than on my devices - having two backup disks at home seems like enough security to me.
    Thank you in advance for your help - and good night!