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Home / Tips and Tricks / The ultimate guide to using Android without Google «Android :: Gadget Hacks

The ultimate guide to using Android without Google «Android :: Gadget Hacks

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.

Step 4: Replace Google Search with DuckDuckGo

Trying to break a decade of habit with "Googling" will be difficult for most of us. Google's search engine is where we lead others and ourselves to find something that we do not know the answer to – it has become a phenomenon altogether. If you really want to separate from the Google ecosystem, you need a new search engine to find your questions and information from.

Fortunately, a well-known search engine called DuckDuckGo will give you the same features you would get from Google, but with an increased level of privacy. You can do all of your online inquiries here without worrying about tracking ads or invading your search history. DuckDuckGo now also has a browser for easier access, just like Google Chrome, but with the same privacy and security features that the search engine has.

Step 5: Change Android Messages with Signal Private Messenger

If you were to install the Gapps package as usual. By default, the text program is Google's own messaging program. Because you are not using Google on your device, you need to find a new way to send and receive messages as you usually do.

Signal Private Messenger is the ultimate solution for providing standard SMS / MMS (texting) capabilities while providing an encrypted instant messaging platform. Two separate features for a single app make Signal a worthy addition to your messaging needs as part of your daily routine.

Step 6: Replace Google Maps with OpenStreetMap

If you drive a lot and use Google Maps daily to travel from place to place, in terms of directions or traffic conditions, you know how useful Maps is. Without using Google Maps, you are looking for another way to meet your travel needs, and OpenStreetMap can help you with that.

Based on the MAPS.ME project, it can provide things like accurate, updated maps, offline navigation, local traffic data and even being able to place bookmarks. There are many features to keep you happy and make your trips out there just a little easier without being tied to a Google Account.

Step 7: Replace Chrome with DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser

Google Chrome is the The most popular browser out there, is used by millions every day. Chrome offers a wide range of features and is tightly integrated with a Google Account, but that's what you're trying to get away from. Because Chrome is mainly the Internet window, you need a new way to access the web here.

Good news for you, DuckDuckGo now also offers a browser that focuses on privacy and security, just like the search engine before it. The Pairing DuckDuckGo search engine with the browser helps ensure that everything you do while browsing the web will be safe.

Step 8: Replace YouTube with Dailymotion

When you think of important video platforms in the online world, YouTube is the biggest name in the industry for one reason. It offers so much unique content and has grown into another big part of our everyday life. The problem? There are not many good alternatives to YouTube because of how big it has become over the years as a dominant driver of video content.

If you have to do away with YouTube altogether, your next choice may be Dailymotion – maybe. The platform has been around for quite some time now, but never really got busy as YouTube did. It's worth investigating, but don't expect the same level of content or user experience at the same time.

Step 9: Replace Google Drive with Dropbox

It may happen that our personal files and information about a cloud-based storage solution does not fit well with some, but for many it ensures that our files will not get lost and are easily accessible anywhere with internet access. Separating Google Drive means you can't rely on keeping your files connected to a Google Account, so you need to look for another option.

Dropbox is a solution that has been around since June 2007, even before the smartphone era came and changed our world forever. Dropbox is still a driving force in cloud storage and is an excellent choice to use even today. It has all the common features you would expect from a cloud-based storage service, but with great importance to privacy and security.

If you prefer an offline storage solution where you can keep track of your data and files all the time, there are always several sources You can check out. Our favorite is Simple File Manager, and it provides a quick and easy way to manage, transfer and retain all files in your internal storage. You can lock the app with your fingerprint for an even higher level of security, making it the perfect solution for offline storage.

Step 10: Replace Google images with Amazon images or single gallery

Photos and Videos are incredibly personal stuff, so it is understandable if you are hesitant about storing them on another cloud-based storage platform. Ditching Google Photos for Amazon Photos would give you a similar user experience, but you will still provide your data to another large data company. However, it's not Google services you use, but you have to trust that Amazon always keeps your personal photos and videos safe.

Amazon apps cannot be downloaded on trusted external sources such as APKMirror or F -Droid, so if you want to install Amazon Photos, look for the app on the Yalp Store.

If you It is not too important to give another computer business like Amazon access to private photos and video. There are plenty of offline solutions that you can use instead. If you keep the files locally on the device's internal storage, you will need something to handle all such information in the airline.

Therefore, we recommend an open source app from F-Droid called Simple Gallery. This is a fast, easy and feature-rich gallery app for all your offline photo and video needs. It is also possible to lock or hide the entire app itself with your fingerprint as security.

Step 11: Replace Google Duo with WhatsApp

Another hardware to solve because, exactly As our personal files, photos and videos, one-to-one video calls with our loved ones should always be secured. The Google Duo offers end-to-end encryption that most other video services can't offer you, making it one of the safest video platforms out there. So by not using Google Duo, you need to find another way to communicate with your family and friends while being protected at the same time.

There is a solution for you, because WhatsApp has become a great platform and now also offers end-to-end encryption through all aspects of the service. It includes video calling, which would make it perfect for replacing Google's Duo. You get a platform with a name that most people already know and have probably used before, which is a plus within itself. The only caution is that WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, another data-fast company, but end-to-end encryption will ensure that Zuckerberg and Co. Don't have access to your actual communication.

Step 12: Replace movies with Amazon Prime Video

This one won't be that difficult like others to give up, but Google Play Movies has an extensive library of movies linked to the Google platform. But Amazon Prime Video also has the massive library with a ton of Prime Original series to boot. This would be a worthy replacement for Google's counterpart as it is a name everyone knows and trusts in movies and shows.

Again, Amazon apps are not available for download on trusted external sources such as APKMirror or F-Droid, so if you were to

Step 13: Replace Play Music with Amazon Music

Step 14: Replace Google Assistant with Alexa or Cortana

This is completely voluntary, but if you can't live without a personal digital assistant you may want to read a little more. It has already been shown that Google Assistant is the most accurate digital assistant in the market. No proper compensation can compete with it, but there are at least some options out there – that is, if you do not mind giving up personal information to another large computer company.

For your digital assistant to work best for your own lifestyle, it requires personal information to give you a customized experience. You can't really expect to use a digital assistant without personal information, so you have to choose here. Because you want to remove Google from your device, you can either join Amazon's Alexa or Microsoft's Cortana for your digital assistant.

Both of these choices belong to large computer-like companies. You can choose one, or both, or even no one if you wish. This choice is entirely up to you and it is not something needed to use your phone every day.

For Alexa, Amazon apps are not available for download on trusted external sources such as APKMirror or F-Droid, so if you want to install Alexa, search for the app at Yalp Store.

(1) Amazon Alexa digital assistant. (2) Microsoft Cortana digital assistant.

Step 15: Replace Gmail with ProtonMail

Email is still as relevant now as it was back in the early days of online communication. Since the launch of Gmail, Google has taken the market by storm and is easily the most popular email platform so far. User-friendliness and multiple features make Gmail an essential part of our work and personal life, but it is important to remove what can take some effort.

Thank you very much, ProtonMail provides a very simple, fast, secure and friendly way to manage email. It's often one of the best options for Gmail, which is great news for you while on this "No Google" trip.

Step 16: Replace Gboard with AnySoftKeyboard

Google's Gboard has become many people's standard keyboard program the latest year or so for some good reasons. Why? It offers features such as sliding, voice typing, emoji search, GIF support and even the ability to translate language into the flight. With so many useful features it can be difficult to replace your keyboard with something other than Gboard easily.

But just like previous apps in this guide, you're here to remove Google from your device altogether. A good alternative is an open source key named AnySoftKeyboard, and it offers such features as multiple language packs, different themes, incognito typing and even emojis, all while still open.

Final notes and tips

To really remove Google from your life you may need to do even more adjustments or sacrifices outside the changes mentioned in this guide. You will no longer be able to think about getting or relying on Chromecasts, Google Homes or even Chromebooks! Google has now become a big part of our household after all these years, and it won't be as easy as possible, but you may have thought.

If you are someone who is really serious and worried about your personal data and privacy, you must learn to cope with the fact that you no longer have access to these Google services and products that you may have used before. If anything, take these tips and try them for a week to see how you manage when it's over. You may be surprised at how you feel afterwards, but maybe you may not be – there is only one way to find out.

This article has been produced under the Gadget Hack's special coverage of smartphone privacy and security.

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Cover image by Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks, screenshots by Stephen Perkins / Gadget Hacks ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/> 19659111]
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