Living without Google 2.0 - A Google free FP2


This guide is meant to disable Gmail auto synch, but a lot of it can be used to prevent other apps to synch with google too.

I can’t answer 2+3 because I never used Google.


Could you be please more detailed? I can just click “no” and that’s all?

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When you first start the FP2 you’ll be taken through some Setup steps one of them is entering your Google ID. You can skip all of them by clicking “next” without entering anything. You’ll get a popup saying something like “do you really not want google, blah blah…”. Just say yes.
You can always add a Google Account later if you change your mind. (Settings > Accounts)

PS: a little later you’ll also have the option to decline Google the right to gather your crash reports and other data to “improve Android”. You’ll have to untick them before you click next if you don’t want Google to spy on you (that much). This is independent from having a Google Account.
Another Google Service you can decline is the Location Service. Unfortunately you’ll get a prompt every time you switch on Location if you don’t accept. (But it’s still worth it. GPS on the FP2 is good enough and Google will otherwize always know where you are.)


Oh, good to know. Thought that I read it is not possible.
Means I can use the phone without an account, thus it cannot upload anything by accident and start using it with F-droid etc?!..until an rooted version is there.
It is a kind of bad GAPP-free version, but with GAPS installed?!

I added a PS to my last post.

You can disable all Google Apps and replace them with Apps from F-Droid. I mentioned some examples here. You can’t disable Google Services though.

I always start all phones the first time without sim-card. It cannot connect to wlan, because no password is given. So when the phone was through the first-start-procedure, I could disable everything I won’t use. (After that I normally root my phone). Then installed fdroid (allow unknown sources) with wlan and so on. The last thing for me is always insert sim-card.



This is the way I should have done it - I sadly didn’t:

(If you have your contacts in a file, you can copy it to your microSD card if you’d like)

  1. Install MyLocalAccount (only available on the Play Store as far as I know, maybe there’s an alternative?)
  2. insert sim/micro SD with your contacts depending on your choice. I inserted a microSD, then in the contacts app I selected import from sd and was prompted to choose whether to import to Google or MyLocalAccount.

DON’T import before you have a local address book. Android will upload your contacts without any further prompt or warning!


Quick question - when I choose not to set up an account with Google, can I still use GCM (Push Services) for Signal, Threema and the like?


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Most Apps like that have a polling function. (I know Threema and Telegram have it.)
With polling you can set a time interval (like five minutes) in which the App will check for notifications. So it’s not quite as fast as push, unless of course the app is running, in which case notifications will come in real time too.

Btw, as this topic turns out to be just about living without google, I’ll move it.

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Doesn’t it help to just not connect an Google Account? Then there is nothing more to sync.

@root using SIGNAL without GCM…

Origional answer from whispersystem



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Thank you very much! I guess I read most of it. But one question remains - do I need to configure an account, or can a GCM token be obtained without an account?

I’d be happy to install a minimum GMS package (or use the FP2 unrooted) without a Google account, but using the push infrastructure (Signal and Threema being only two examples, there’s more… E.g. I’m looking into switching my WeMo infrastructure to an open source one which relies on GCM as well…)

I’m not having the phone yet, so it’s just what I think. First of all this

is the best way to avoid any synchronizing in the first place. So the phone cannot send any data (can collect them though).
As fas as I read (I think @paulakreuzer was the one testing it, but I cannot find it at the moment) you can disable everything google related and even uninstall some of the apps. The services you can only deactivate. So you can choose step by step, what you want and what not (that’s how I’m going to do it).
But paranoia altert: I woulnd’t trust that even with that way nothing is collected any more. I guess most of the personal stuff is safe by that approach but I’m not sure about meta data and statistiks (e.g. of usage).

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I updated the top post and made it a :pencil2: Wiki.
Feel free to contribute.

@Sonne: Most GAPPS can’t be uninstalled and none can be uninstalled without root. And most services can not be deactivated.

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Did you know that you can make F-Droid a system app, so you’ll be able to untick “Unknown Sources”?

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You’ll need root for that though.

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I found this topic very interesting and it really helped me improved my experience with my new Fairphone!
Thank guys :grin:



I’m using OSMand+ since quite a while and it works really well - thought it takes a while to get used to the somehow strange user interface.

One of the things I missed was an easy search, as in Google - so for example I mised that I could type in “Lunzers Vienna” (a shop in Vienna) and it would bring up a list of results, regardless of where I am currently and without the need for further information. On the web interface of one can do that, but in the android app OSMand I missed it. One could only search for full addresses, putting country, city, postal code, street name, number in (all (!) of it).

For me this was the reason to still go back to google maps every now and then. But now I found the trick.

Open OSMand -> Menu -> Plugins -> Online maps (Enable)
back to main menu
Dashboard -> POI (Points of Interest) -> Type in what you search -> click “Online Nominatim - Address” and woooosh the desired list is there.

This only works if you are online, but then again: same for Google Maps.

OSMand is a really good tool, it has many nice features (e.g. records your GPS tracks locally as GPX file). Give it a try.



My best hit today, seems very promising…but not yet tried…

Download APKs from Google without the need of play store installed:

I found two links to a german explanation how to use
here and here

It is an OpenSource Java-Program for desktop PCs to download APKs directly from GooglePlaystore with your google account login.
It is usable for apps, which you can’t access without playstore (e.g. DB Navigator, …) but while avoiding to install/use the PlayStore in Android.

Anybody already experiences?
Cheers, Robert

P.S.: As @Jordi wrote below: it also exists a web-based apk-downloader.

This would be great! Especially for FP2 - User who have no experiences in programming or rooting.