Living without Google 2.0 - A Google free FP2

Hello Marco
I have owned my FP2 for almost a year, I do not like the ethos of the Google corporation and would like to be free of it. I understand I can change my operating system but as I am 66 years old and while not stupid I’m confused by the jargen used when reading the topics on “rooting” etc. I would love the FP2 more if everything google was removed from it and I could download the apps I chose to have.

Andy Grant

It is actually not too difficult, you just need some patience!
Try to read this post first:

Begin with installing fairphone open os and then you can check what you miss.
Good luck and I hope that you will like the open os! Your battery should last longer.

And by the way, here’s the direct link to the instructions on how to install fairphone open os:
I used the first method, which is easy and worked fine for me!

Be aware that without Google Mobile Services (GMS), which you won’t have by default on the Open OS, you will not have access to the Google Play Store, which means, that you will have to make some extra effort if you want to install apps from there.
If you are happy with the apps from, e.g., fdroid, then forget what I said above.

There’s a lot of information on a phone without google here:


I have a FP1 and am Google free without having changed the operating system. Apps come from F-Droid, some directly from companies (german railway company e.g.). Some of them will tell you, that they can’t be used without Google Playstore account, but work fine if you ignore that.
Some Apps won’t be possible to install (the ones only available in Google Playstore), or maybe only with some tricks, which I don’t know as I don’t really miss them.
Big advantage: No Apps constantly sending data and “spam”: saves your battery and roaming costs (if you are frequently abroad this matters).
No geo-localization seither, which has advantages and disadvantages. I just decided to have an extra GPS for hikes in unknown territory. For maps I recommend Open Street Map.

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I have two questions: the first, if we care about open source and free alternatives we should not use owncloud while we should use nextcloud that it is the open source and free version. From wikipedia
Despite the fork’s young age, the amount of Nextcloud contributions quickly overtook ownClouds numbers as can be seen by GitHub statistics.[14][15] It has been compared multiple times with the fork of OpenOffice, where engineers left the project to form LibreOffice
What do you think?
The second, some of the user of the forum @paulakreuzer are able to use davdroid together with owncloud or nextcloud?
Thank you


I installed the latest version of open source OS of fairphone 2. Since the version release 16.05.0 it supports Unified Location provider.
What is better to do in order to use all features without google eye, installing µg UnifiedNlp (no GAPPS) together with some location providers or install microG or do I need both?
Thank you

Yes, Davdroid with Owcloud is a combination used rather often. I’m using this combination myself with a self hosted Owncloud-Server.

Btw: Owncloud is open source as well, so there’s no issue in using it in this regard.

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Ok thank you.
Of course both owncloud and nextcloud are open source software while only the second is free in the deep sense. There is the same ratio between openoffice and libreoffice as stated by wikipedia.

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If you just want to use it for the location services then the unified nlp is enough. Installing the core will emulate (and indirectly/anonymously use) more google services like play and push. If you want that you’ll need to follow this guide (Level 5 Step 5).

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Ah you’re referring to the ”proprietary Enterprise Edition with additional features" (cited from the Wikipedia article").

I personally don’t have an issue when a company is providing commercial add-ons to a an open source product. Probably without Owncloud Inc. Own-/Nextcloud wouldn’t have been started or got as far at all. I’m working for money myself.

Thanks for the hint to Nextcloud, I think I’ll have a look at it when I can afford the time.


Ah you’re referring to the ”proprietary Enterprise Edition with additional features" (cited from the Wikipedia article").

Since we are talking about living without google and its proprietary services and software, this difference is important in my opinion.

I personally don’t have an issue when a company is providing commercial add-ons to a an open source product. Probably without Owncloud Inc. Own-/Nextcloud wouldn’t have been started or got as far at all. I’m working for money myself.

I believe on free software where free means freedom and not gratis. However, I’m not against paying for free software, but I’m against proprietary software gratis or paid version. I agree with this point of view.

I don’t know, if anybody mentioned this already: Signal should finally work without Google Play Services now. I’ll switch off microG’s device check-in and (microG’s) Google Cloud Messaging within the next days to try it.


Hi everyone, quick update! So I got my new refurbished fairphone and installed FPOOS without any issue. I installed whatsapp (from their website) and instagram, facebook lite and messenger lite from yalp store, and they have all been working flawlessly so far, as well as the vodafone app. Seems that so far so good! Thank you all for your help :slight_smile:


Hello to all, I don’t know if I should open a new topic or just continue here.
I am quite a new owner of a FP2, and I am definitely new in trying to initiate a “life without Google” and all his big friends. Therefore I’m having 2 questions that may be obvious for you guys but I need to start somewhere…

  1. I already started to use my phone with all the pre-features, and I am really annoyed by this automatic synchronisation and spying thing from Google and co. I just want to get rid of the who-ole thing ! In the same time I am a beginner, so I’m wondering if I really have to re-set the whole phone to start with (= erase all what is there - I fear taking the risk to do something wrong, and to see my phone not usable anymore), or is it possible to replace the apps one by one, so that I can get used to the alternative apps little by little? Like I start with downloading Mozilla and deleting Google search ; next I download K-9 mail and erase the standard e-mail client, etc…
  2. How can I synchronise K-9 mail and another e-mail client on my laptop (e.g. Thunderbird…), if this is ever possible??
    Thanks in advance !!

K9-Mail10 is my email client and I have a riseup.net24 (FOSS, anti NSA, non-profit) email address.

Hello Paul, how can you synchronise K-9 Mail with the e-mail client on your computer (e.g. Thunderbird), if using a POP3 configuration? (due to storage limitation of
Thank you !

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With POP3 configuration you download the messages to your computer.
If you setup K-9 Mail on your phone you get the messages straight from the server.
So there is no synchronise with your computer.
With POP3 configuration messages that you already have read on your computer will show as unread on your phone. This is how POP3 works.

If you want to use your phone without Google, have a read switch to open os now-why-how


Just use IMAP (and not POP3) on both clients. When you first setup your email client (and it asks for your account data), you can choose between POP3 and IMAP. If you want to switch afterwards, you have to add a new account with IMAP into your client, move the emails from the POP3 account into the IMAP account and delete the POP3 account.

Please note that IMAP will really sync your email. So check your webmail for any unwanted auto-deletes (which would be synced to your other clients as well). Regularly backing up your emails is the best solution against any unwanted data loss.

And note that IMAP will keep all emails on the server, so you will need enough space on the server. (Most e-mail providers will give you many gigabytes of space, so this is not a problem unless you get very numerous or large e-mails or save many years of correspondence on it. You can look at your webmail how much space you use.)


Thanks a lot Tofra for your answer. Indeed IMAP is the 1st solution, but precisely I’d like to know if there is a trick while using POP3 (because my current e-mail account is almost full, and also I intend to open a new address with or something similar). Maybe it is just not possible, but I’ve read around that some other Fairphoners here use riseup and K-9 mail on their phone, I guess they also want to synchronise with their computer, though there is not enough space on alternative email providers to use IMAP on the long-term… If there is anyone here who has a solution to this, let me know !
Thank you…

In my knowledge, there is no other solution than IMAP to keep the e-mails synchronized (if you want to synchronize folders, read/unread states and deletion states; with POP3, you will always get every e-mail twice as unread into the inbox).

So the only answers would be “move your e-mails away from the server, into a local-only archive folder”, “forward your e-mail to a bigger mailbox” or “do not use synchronization at all”.