✏ First steps on FP Open / first applications

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:information_source: This guide assumes you have FP Open OS installed, compiled it yourself or got rid of Google Apps and Services on FP OS.

to see how to get rid of Google click here
  • (Optional) Before Setup. [quote=“Spielmops, post:67, topic:11587”]
    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.

  • Setup

  • If you took out your SIM and didn’t configure the WI-FI, you’ll have to set the date manually or else the phone will think it’s 1970.

  • (Skip the step for entering a Google Account by simply clicking “next”.) Without internet connection this is skipped automatically.

  • Disallow Google to send your data for using & improving Location Services and for improving Android.

  • Disable and Replace
    Disable all Google Apps and replace them e.g. with apps from F-Droid.

  • To get F-Droid without a browser on your phone (you disabled Chrome) you’ll need to download it on your computer and send it to your phone via usb.

  • You’ll need to “allow unknown sources” in Settings > Security, to be able to install Apps from anywhere but the Play Store.

  • The following Services can be disabled: Google Account Manager, Google Backup Transport, Google Contacts Sync, Google One Time Init, Google Partner Setup, Google Services Framework, Google Play Services (The Disable Button for Google Play Services is usually greyed out. You’ll need to first disable it as a device administrator. Some also reported they were able to disable Google Play services if they disabled GAPPS in the right order)

  • Replace Services
    Replacing Apps is easy, for some services it’s not so easy.

  • Push Notifications (Google Cloud Messaging):
    Some Apps say they “need” Google Services to provide push notifications, but most of them offer pull notifications as an alternative. Those are found in the apps settings and when enabled allow receiving notifications in short intervals.

  • Location Service:
    Unfortunately Location Services can not be disabled, so you’ll need to choose “device only” as your location mode. Don’t ever allow Google to use the Location Service or you’ll be on “high accuracy” every time you switch on Location and have to change to “device only” manually.
    :warning: If you disable Google Services Framework you won’t be asked whether you’re ok to use Google Location Services, so you’ll be put in “high accuracy” mode automatically.

  • Backup.
    Click here for backup solutions that don’t need root.

1. Install your first Apps

For a general guide on how to install apps on FP Open OS click here.

  • F-Droid. It is a store that provides free and open source applications. Apps are clean (no malware, spyware or ads) and you don’t need any user account (but feel free to donate!). There are other alternative stores, see here, but we will focus on the basics for now!
  • The following preinstalled apps are outdated and not considered the best
    in their fields: Browser, Camera, Email. You should find
    alternatives on F-Droid. Some popular alternatives include: Firefox/Lightning, Open Camera and K-9 Mail. For more alternatives search the forum or
    browse the tag #apprecommendations.
  • For some functions there are no preinstalled apps at all, e.g. Maps, QR-Scanner, PDF Reader. Popular choices include OsmAnd, Barcode Scanner and Document Viewer.
  • You’ll find Apps for pretty much everything on F-Droid, even privacy aware alternatives to popular social media apps.
  • If you don’t find or can’t install/use a specific app you really need and are not happy with it’s alternatives see the Install Any App Guide for ways to make it work.

2. Make things work.

Some functions are restricted on FP Open OS, but it’s usually easy to get them to work.

  • Location Services: FP Open OS comes without any Wifi- or Cell Tower Location Services Preinstalled. You can simply download microg +backends from F-Droid or do a full installation (Step 5.5 in this guide).
  • If you still have troubles with location see the GPS Guide
  • calendars: The preinstalled Calendar only works with a Google Account. To install a different calendar client, enable offline calendars and/or sync with calendars see the following discussions here, here and here.

3. Get the most out of your System

FP Open OS comes with root access and TWRP, so you can do a lot of neat tweaks to the system (at your own risk).

  • enable root in developer options. (settings -> about phone -> tap build number 10 times then go to settings -> developer options)
  • Install XPosed downloader, open the app, go to settings and choose sdk level 22 on Android 5.1 (while sdk level 23 on Android 6.0) and platform arm. Restart the app and download the newest entry in the list. Reboot to recovery (TWRP) and from there install the downloaded zip file (with signature check disabled). Reboot, install the XPosed installer, reboot, …
  • Now you can install Xposed Modules like Gravity Box which adds a lot of functionality and personalization options to the system.
  • Install XPrivacy to prevent revoke permissions from apps.