Everyone loves the Android OS and the amazing features it offers on a mobile platform. Google data mining and censorship has become a really big problem from big tech. Everyone is wondering how can I De-Evilize my Android smartphone but still keep the features I have grown to love. Hopefully this guide will help you achieve these goals.
The right Android device.
Starting with the right android device is the key to success. Having a device that meets a couple specific features is needed.
- Bootloader unlock.
- Supported by custom rom development
- TWRP recovery available.
- A new device with good specs.
Generally speaking and Pixel device will be supported by all custom roms and would be the best option in my opinion accept for the fact that you are supporting Google when purchasing their devices of course. Another Good options are devices from Oneplus like the Oneplus 8.
List of supported devices by Rom developers. All of these roms come without any Google services installed.
Services and the ecosystem
How can I escape the ecosystem and De-Google my phone? There are a couple options available here and I will admit they are not as seamless as what Google offers but they do work. This just goes to show you how much Google has a monopoly on Android.
- Simpe Mobile Tools
- Now, you’re probably wondering, what are actually Simple Mobile Tools? Well, it is a group of simple, open source Android apps with customizable widgets, without ads and unnecessary permissions. And many other benefits. These apps are a great replacement for Gallary, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, File Manager, SMS, and much more. Learn more at the official Simple Mobile Tools site.
- MicroG Project
- In case you really need to still be able to use some Google products but you want to limit the collection of your data to as little as possible you need the MicroG Project. A free-as-in-freedom re-implementation of Google’s proprietary Android user space apps and libraries.
- While the Android core operating system is still released as part of the Android Open Source Project, the majority of core apps are not. It gets worse: More and more libraries and APIs are only available on phones that run various Google apps pre-installed, effectively locking third-party apps to the Google ecosystem. For these reasons Android is described as being a “look but don’t touch” kind of open.
- At this point, several popular open-source applications already require some of Google’s proprietary libraries to be installed. Increasing demand in the free software community in addition to severe problems in Google’s proprietary software discovered by the Android modding community, have led to the development of a free software clone of Google’s proprietary core libraries and applications – the microG Project was born.
- Although most microG components are far from complete, users are amazed by the results. Free software users got extended application support, privacy-caring users can reduce or monitor data that is sent to Google and especially older phones can expect some battery life improvements. microG is not only used on real devices, but also replaces Google tools in test emulators and is even used in virtual mobile infrastructure. Micro G also works great in custom roms like Lineage OS and many others.
- Google Play Store
- Replacing the google play store is a difficult challenge. You could go with just using the Amazon app store or even sideloading apps yourself with either adb install or just downloading them to your device and installing with package manager. But this would become a huge pain as apps are updated all the time.
- APKMirror offers a pretty good solution to these problems with the APKMirror official installer. This app helps you to find the apps you need and install them along with updates when new versions are released.
- Everyone has heard of F-Droid as it has been out the longest as an alternative to Google Play. This might be a good option for you.
Join me on this journey to De-Google your Android device. Please comment below with any other tips or tricks to help me out. Extra Points if you know the reference.