January 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm #1195
I had been using archos devices without any google apps for which f-droid was perfect and recently I just got my first android phone which came with the google market et al pre installed.
However, I intend to remove the market along with other google apps and was wondering if any one has any resources or articles of people getting on with a google-free android. It’s not really a popular concept according to my google searches but there must be some guides as to what you can and should remove, as well as things you should not remove.
Obviously gonna root my phone first. I have already considered cyanogen mod but it’s quite buggy for my device and the stock rom and warranty along with the greater funtionality is more valuable to me.
I know this is not directly linked to f-droid but I thought someone here might have some insight to share. I plan to use f-droid as my only market like application, supplementing with apk’s from the android market which i will install on my archos and then rip for convenience (on the odd occasion where I might need a specific app).
..and thanks for sharing all the hardwork that’s gone into f-droid!
PS. are there many/any alterate repos that also work with f-droid yet?January 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm #1201
There is a list about what parts are save to remove from CM.
http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/BarebonesJune 15, 2012 at 7:12 pm #2240
It might be a good idea to have a separate category for Google Replacements.
Cyanogenmod keeps the nonfree Google apks in a separate archive called gapps, so you can avoid flashing those at least or remove them if you have them already. There are free clients for all the Google services if you count the browser. K9-mail can access your Gmail since that is an Imap service. Beem and the built-in SIP client can replace Talk. You might want to consider using a different product for some of the others. Osmand allows you to use free mapping and navigation from Openstreetmap. Firefox will sync your bookmarks. Owncloud does many of the Google services like calendar, contacts and music if you are willing to rent your own server. Sparkleshare is a similar replacement for Drive, Tiny Tiny RSS for Reader, WordPress for Blogger. If that sounds too difficult many things can be done very nicely without cloud syncing. It is easy to make backups of your contacts within Android and you can read your feeds with Sparse-rss. The calendar is actually a bit trickier. Once those are sorted all that’s left is face-unlock, DRM for movies, voice search and possibly video chat and text-to speech.June 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm #2363
Cyanogenmod keeps the nonfree Google apks in a separate archive called gapps
That’s true, but they ship their own unfree software – ROM Manager
Does somebody have information about what license policies the bigger mod projects have? Did CM, AOKP or MIUI ever state that they only ship unfree stuff if there is no alternative? (like firmware/drivers)
all that’s left is face-unlock, DRM for movies, voice search and possibly video chat and text-to speech
there are free libraries for face recognition – if you really want it.
DRM is not a feature you want in a free environment
CSipSimple does (nearly) support video and imsdroid does too
I’m not sure if the tts engine is part of AOSP and therefore apache licensed but there is also eyes-free.
Fazit: you don’t need google at all! 😉June 22, 2012 at 10:10 am #2373
Maybe we should submit the eyes-free apps. They look like they’re free but I saw them in gapps so I thought there might be an issue.
IMSdroid has different apks for different protocols, among them webrtc. Webrtc is supposed to be available in Chromium 18 with a flag switch but it doesn’t work for me (ubuntu is still on version 18). I haven’t tried Linphone but it’s supposed to handle video on armv7, according to the market description.
AOKP is one of the few other roms that keeps gapps separate,I think only because they are region-locked apps in the Market. I don’t follow the project but maybe they could be convinced into including F-droid? Somebody on xda said that there would exist support for a “tinfoil-edition rom”. I don’t think replicant is to many peoples liking but maybe cyanogenmod – nonfree apks + f-droid for the nexus devices would be worth pursuing.June 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm #2393
Beaten to it, as it were //forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=27522482&postcount=1 . The thread is for to replace Market, Network Location and Maps Api with non-google alternatives. A replacement map api would be the one that would interest me the most as it would allow me to install the large number of free apps that wont even install unless you also have Google Maps.
Cyanogenmod doesnt give you much of an alternative if you want to use a different search engine in the browser. Also they offer no way to disable auto-complete of url entry. I dont want everything I type into the address bar being sent to Mountain View so I use Firefox which has become just as good and allows you to have custom search engines like we are used to on the desktop.
Even with all this done I still see connections to Google via the SystemUI and Key Chain processes (using the OS Monitor app in the repo), even though I dont use any special certificates.July 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm #2832
“Somebody on xda said that there would exist support for a “tinfoil-edition rom”. I don’t think replicant is to many peoples liking but maybe cyanogenmod – nonfree apks + f-droid for the nexus devices would be worth pursuing.”
And for the Xperias!
Anyways, I’m currently in the same bind as ‘smoki’. This week I received an Xperia X12 (marketed under Arc S) and I’m striving to get along without any specific Google app (including a Google account and the Market). If all goes well in time I plan to gain ‘root’ access and strip whatever is unnecessary, according to CM wiki . I will also remove some suspicious permissions from the handful of closed-source apps that I use.
Sofar the following works for me:
– I installed F-Droid and a load of open-source apps. Some do not excel in design, but most apps cover most of my needs. Sofar I don’t need Gmail (K-9 Mail), Maps (OsmAnd+), Talk (Linphone), etc.
– There are several closed source that I want to use (Opera Mini and Mobile, Economist, Cherry SMS), others that I have to use (WhatsApp), and others for which there are no decent alternatives readily available (Android System Info, QuickPic, Handcent SMS, F1 Live Stream). To acquire these free apps I do not want to use Market and there are several ways to do so.
– To install some of the closed-source apps listed above I use Aptoide, an (almost ) open-source market from which F-Droid was forked.
– If you are migrating from a phone using Market and you already have most of your needed apps installed, use Open Manager to backup the apps (generate a folder with all the required APKs) and use those on the new phone.
– Another way to obtain Market APKs without having a functional Market on your phone is the ‘APK Downloader’ Chromium extension . I haven’t yet tried it, but it looks promising.
– There are also fancier ways to do this, such as install an Android Emulator on your computer  or edit your build.prop file to use a fake device fingerprint . I’m not yet there.
One thing that bugs me at the moment is how to obtain notifications of new versions of Market apps. Is there some online service that notifies of Market updates for a specific list of apps? AppBrain? AndroidZoom?
 http://oruxmaps.foroactivo.net/t325-download-apk-without-market#9678July 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm #2833
“Cyanogenmod doesnt give you much of an alternative if you want to use a different search engine in the browser. ”
You can always use DDG  for this. In my experience it gets better and better with time, with more relevant results. It doesn’t track. DDG itself ships a non-free client, and F-Droid contains an original FOSS DDG client.July 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm #2835
About DDG in CM: Patch supplied!
https://code.google.com/p/cyanogenmod/issues/detail?id=3928August 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm #2887
I used this guide: http://fsfe.org/campaigns/android/liberate.en.html This is how I learned about f-droid .August 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm #2889
“how to obtain notifications of new versions of Market apps. Is there some online service that notifies of Market updates for a specific list of apps?”
It turns out that there is such an app. Unfortunately ‘App Update Notifier’ is closed-source and ad-driven. It can be installed from the SlideME market (for those with no access to Google Play). The app allows to check updates on Play for _all_ apps installed on the phone (even for those installed installed from F-Droid, etc.). Other than the ads and license issue, pretty cool.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.goddchen.android.x.appupdate&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImRlLmdvZGRjaGVuLmFuZHJvaWQueC5hcHB1cGRhdGUiXQ..September 27, 2012 at 7:43 am #4337
I don’t try to remove Google from my phone, but it’s nice to replace closed source with open source.
For Google Network Location there is an alternative: NOGAPPS Network Location
It even works offline, see
For the Google Maps API there is a replacement as well. It’s called NOGAPPS Maps API v1
You can have a look in the thread here
“NOGAPPS Network Location
Open Source replacement for Googles NetworkLocation.apk
Network location can be determined online or offline. For offline use there is a database of gsm phone cells at /sdcard/.nogapps/cells.db required. The NOGAPPS NetworkLocation Database (copy to /sdcard/.nogapps/cells.db) is based on dumps of opencellid-project and can be downloaded here:
Project Website: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1715375
License: Apache License, Version 2.0″
NOGAPPS Maps API v1
An Open Source replacement of the often used Google Maps API using OpenStreetMap.
Project Website: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1715375
License: GNU LGPL”
By the way, instead of Beem you can also use Gibberbot (it is already in F-Droid). For me Gibberbot worked more smooth than Beem.December 30, 2013 at 6:21 pm #9978
beem –> or linphone!! it good too!! for replace Talk/Hangout
me too i have a an android that i have to take out all google apps (but still stay some processu that communicate with google.com ….)
but i cant put cyanogenmod with my phoneFebruary 9, 2014 at 2:35 am #10365
I’d like to see F-Droid become as big as Google Play as an app store, but there are some big gaps right now.
Compared to Google Play, F-Droid doesn’t have ratings (why not do it like Ubuntu Store?) and installing and updating requires watching the download bar go across, then clicking ok to upgrade/install. (The last step can easily be done with rooted devices, why not make it 1 step?)
The applications seem a bit sparse compared to all the spam of Google Play, but the biggest problem seems to be the application support. I notified you guys about my security and compatibility release about 3 weeks ago, with no response: https://f-droid.org/forums/topic/tunesviewer-university-podcasts-for-android/page/2/#post-10085
Also Ghost commander seems to have the beta 1.51 while 1.51 is available on its sourceforge page, the “added on” date is missing on the repository webpage listings, and I’ve noticed some apps say they’re incompatible when they aren’t, or the other way round. (for example, Anagramsolver actually only works on newer Android versions.)
There really should be a testing/QA group for final updates of these on F-Droid, or at least comments/reviews. I would be glad to do some testing and hope that Fdroid doesn’t get slowly discontinued, because it’s a great idea.February 9, 2014 at 8:25 am #10366
You can propose app inclusions and updates yourself by filing a Merge Request at Gitorious. See https://f-droid.org/forums/topic/adding-apps-with-git/ . For things in F-Droid that you consider as bugs, feel free to report them here: https://f-droid.org/repository/issues/
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