There has been some problem with Google as to how much personal information they track and everything knows about us. It is obviously what makes Google services so useful, but they can use that information to satisfy each of us individually based on our account activity. It serves a purpose, but it can also cause movement in personal data security.
Google has solidified itself as the best "go-to" platform for many different aspects of our lives, such as a search engine, a massive video platform, a navigator on the road with maps or even our digital assistant. It won't be easy to accomplish, but if you're worried about personal security and privacy when using Android, I can help you steer you on how to use Android without Google.
A comment on the root
The only way to completely remove Google from an Android phone that came with the Google Play Store pre-installed is to replace the operating system with a custom ROM. Although this does not require root, the method of installing a custom ROM is quite similar to the root by requiring you to flash files from your computer and it is only an option if your phone's boot loader can be unlocked.
If you're not comfortable with this, you can use this guide for tips without tips that reduce Google's tracking on your phone, so you can get back to this article on Step 3 as all Subsequent steps do not require root or a custom ROM.
Step 1: Installing a Custom ROM
The most thorough way to remove Google's presence from the device is to install a custom ROM. This will replace the Android version that came with the device and give you more control over what services and features you have by default.
Most custom ROMs are built on the AOSP source, but they will not pre-install with the Google Apps programs and services you usually see, including the Play Store. Of course, this means that you have to have some knowledge about unlocking the starter charger, installing a custom reset and flashing the ROM itself.
A useful custom ROM that works universally for most, LineageOS, is often considered one of the best ROMs for privacy and security. What was once known as the great Cyanogen fashion, LineageOS, is the spiritual successor to that greatness.
Installing LineageOS not only removes Google Apps and services you expect, but they now offer a new feature that they call trust. Like the BlackBerry DTEK, the user gives an overview and more control over the security of the device via an easy-to-understand interface. Not all devices have official support for LineageOS, but new phones are added to the list all the time.
So to take the biggest step toward removing Google from your phone, start by downloading LineageOS from the link below. From there, visit our guide on how to install a custom ROM for instructions, and then download right now in step 2 to see how to replace the missing Google functionality.
If the device is not supported But you can always check out the XDA forum to find many unofficial versions for a wide range of devices. Click the search icon at the top right to browse the entire forum, then search for LineageOS followed by your name. If there is an unofficial version of LineageOS for your device, you should see a post listed in the "Best Forums thread" section of the search results.
Step 2: Use MicroG instead of Gapps
As we explained in the previous section, most AOSP ROMs do not contain the core Google Apps (Gapps) and services. Therefore, they go far from removing Google from Android, but where do the essential apps leave to use the device? Because you want to use Android without Google, you need to install a new set of components called MicroG instead of the usual Gapps package from a regular custom ROM installation.
Many third-party applications are based on the Google Play Services Framework to run correctly on Android, and without access to this framework, you would encounter a problem where most of your apps do not work properly. In comes MicroG, which injects these necessary services back to your device, but without using Google and their standard environment.
Step 3: Replace Google Play Store
One of the hardest things to replace when choosing not to use Google and their services is Play Store. It offers millions of apps from a trusted first source, simple app updates, movies, books, music, security and easy payment options – Play Store would be hard to give up for many people because of how useful it is. But in your quest for integrity and security, there are other options that you can use to fill that gap without Google in your life.
The first option you can turn to in this situation is called Yalp Store, which lets you download and update the same apps you would get from the Play Store, but in the APK form. This is simply the best way to achieve an almost built-in way to get the same apps on your device, without having a Google Account or Google services. By default, you need to install apps and their updates manually, but it is a small price to pay if you want to take control of your personal information.
As a bonus, if you have root access available on your device, Yalp can automatically update your apps in the background and uninstall system apps too! This alone would be an incentive to access root as soon as possible to make your life away from Google a little easier.
Next option is called F-Droid, which lets you download free open source apps with a wide range of categories. Open source generally means that you don't have to worry about tracking or invading your privacy, so it's a plus considering the circumstances. This means that you have to install the apps manually and update them the same way every time you download all the apps. There is also another app that lets you see the apps available on the F-Droid, but with the appearance of the Play Store. The G-Droid does the same, but the G-Droid is designed to mimic the look of the Play Store.