Let’s face it: Google is fantastic. It provides the best app and services for no cost. There’s no doubting, though, that nothing comes for free. If you use a free service, you either pay for it with your data or by watching advertisements. So, after I made the decision to ban Google from storing my data, I intended to take action. Follow the step-by-step guide provided below to fully remove all Google Apps from Android.
For example, I was wondering if I could use my Android phone without Google. On the Internet, I’ve seen a lot of articles and movies that accomplish the same thing. But, for the most part, they switch to an iPhone or abandon Android entirely. I wanted to do it on an Android phone because it’s meant to be open-source, as far as I know. As a result, this shouldn’t be as difficult as everyone believes.
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Steps to Completely Remove All Google Apps From Android
A custom ROM might work, however, since Android’s evolution, more and more apps have begun to use the Google API. As a result, even after installing the custom ROM, apps will rely on Play Services, i.e. Google API, to function. After that, I came across microG, which is a Play Services alternative. It’s smaller than Google Apps and acts as a clone for Google’s proprietary libraries. In other words, every app that uses Google’s library or API will be handled by microG’s API and libraries. As a result, I’ve found a solution to my initial issue.
Fortunately, microG comes pre-installed with Lineage OS. So all I have to do now is flash my Android using Lineage OS’ microG edition. For my Google Pixel, I’m using the current Lineage 16.0 build on top of Android Pie. The instructions to flash Lineage OS for microG are listed below.
Flash Lineage OS for microG
Before we begin, ensure sure your screen pattern and password have been disabled. Google has made it impossible for third-party custom recovery tools to decrypt System Files in the current version of Android. So, to avoid any additional issues, turn off the screen lock. Take a backup of your Android to your computer as well, because we’re about to wipe everything.
1. Ensure that USB debugging is enabled on your device. To do so, go to settings and press on the build number 5 times to activate developer mode.
Now that you’ve enabled the developer options, go to the System Options menu and select it. Navigate to the Debugging section of the developer mode and enable USB Debugging.
2. The phone must then be rebooted into fastboot mode. To do so, simply turn off your phone. After that, simultaneously press the power and volume down buttons until you see the screen below. Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable now.
You can also use ADB to quickly reboot your phone. Connect your phone to your computer via a USB cable. Now open a command prompt and navigate to the ADB folder. To boot directly into fastboot mode, type the following command.
adb reboot fastboot
3. Next, we must clean and wipe the existing operating system’s files before installing Lineage OS. To do so, I’m using TWRP, which is a custom recovery program. Depending on the device you’re working with, you can get TWRP from here. As soon as you’ve downloaded the file, double-check that it’s in the ADB folder. The command to boot into TWRP is as follows.
fastboot boot twrp.img
4. Once you’ve entered TWRP, you’ll be asked whether you want to allow TWRP to make changes or keep it read-only. We need to give TWRP permission to make changes, so swipe on the slider to grant it.
5. Now that you’re at the TWRP menu, do the following. The second button, “Wipe,” should be pressed. The previous OS files and directories will be deleted here. To advance to the next page, press the Wipe button.
6. Now, in the bottom left of the screen, tap the Advanced button under Wipe Options.
7. Select Dalvik/ART cache, System, and Data from the Advanced Wipe menu. This will clear the Internal Storage of system files and app data. Swipe to delete the data after that.
8. We’ll sideload Lineage OS after it’s finished. If you’re unfamiliar with the word, it basically means that I’m flashing zip files onto my Android from my PC. It’s merely a clumsy way to avoid having to transfer things from your computer to your phone. Return to the main menu and select the “Advanced” option to enter sideload mode on the phone.
9. In Advanced Settings, tap the ADB sideload button, then swipe to enter Sideload. The phone is now in sideload mode and can receive commands from the computer via ADB.
10. Switch to the ADB command line on the PC once you’re in sideload mode. The Lineage OS for microG zip file must now be flashed on the phone. Inside the ADB folder, copy the Lineage OS zip file. After that, type the command below.
adb sideload lineage-16.0-20190318-microG-sailfish.zip
11. Now you must wait for ADB to finish installing Lineage OS. The installation process on the ADB command line may finish in the middle, but that’s okay. When you’re finished, go to the bottom right corner and hit the “Reboot System” button.
12. If you see a notice that says “No OS installed!” ignore it. TWRP is unable to recognize the newly flashed operating system. Reboot the System by swiping.
Now, the first boot will take around 10 minutes, so don’t get too worked up. Allow the phone to restart on its own. If you get stuck in the boot loop, repeat the procedure, this time wiping the internal storage as well.
After the phone has properly booted up, we can proceed to set up microG. You don’t need to install anything else because this is a microG variant of Lineage OS. Go to the microG settings in the App Drawer to see if microG is working properly. Tap the first option, “Self-Check,” under the microG settings.
There are a number more sub-sections on the Self-Check menu now. We need to make sure that microG is successfully faking signatures, that it has all of the relevant packages installed, and that it has all of the appropriate permissions. To do so, make sure all of the checkboxes under “Signature Spoofing Support,” “Installed Packages,” and “Permissions Granted” are checked.
You can remove microG and reinstall it from the microG official website if you get any warnings or problems. Restart your phone and check the Self-check area for problems or warnings once more. Now that we have microG, we need an app repository where we can get apps to download.
F-Droid comes pre-installed, although there are only a few apps available. As a result, I created the YALP store, an open-source app repository that pulls programs from the Google Play Store. You may download apps from the Play Store without having to sign in. Exodus Privacy, which informs you about the various trackers in the app, is also available in the YALP store.
However, the YALP store has difficulty with split APKs. As a result, it won’t be able to download programs like Twitter, Sync, Netflix, and others. So, along those lines, I discovered Aurora Store, a fork of the YALP store. It also includes auto-update of apps and switching between numerous anonymous identities, in addition to installing split APKs.
Google Apps Alternatives
We’ll need a suitable alternative for Gapps as we won’t be using them. My GApps alternatives are listed below.
- Calls and messages The AOSP variations are already there (use built in dialler).
- Then there’s the DuckDuckGo browser, which is a private and safe alternative to Google Chrome.
- As an alternative to Google Maps, there’s OpenStreetMap.
- Because there is no apparent YouTube replacement for video streaming, I’ll attempt to stick to Netflix and HotStar.
- Instead of Google Drive, use Dropbox.
- As image viewer alternative use Prime photos instead of Google photos.
- Also use Open camera instead of GCam or use built-in camera.
- And finally ProtonMail is the best option instead of Gmail.
Yes, these apps are from other IT companies, in case you were wondering. However, by putting all of your data in one location, such as Google, you are centralizing it. Data that is centralized is more vulnerable and can lead to accurate profiling. If you share data with other companies, though, it is more widely distributed and less vulnerable. Second, Amazon will not share your information with Microsoft, and Microsoft will not share it with Samsung. As a result, this scenario is preferable to GApps. If you follow all steps prescribed above you can remove google apps from android without any problem.
Week of Experience
Now, during my week of testing, I had no problems installing programs from the Aurora Store. I was able to use most of the apps with minor difficulty thanks to microG. To begin discussing concerns, most Android apps use the Google Cloud messaging API to send notifications from the server to the mobile app. It works with microG to some extent; I do receive random notifications. It works great with WhatsApp, but with Instagram, I have to open and refresh the app frequently to receive notifications.
The Google Maps API is another famous Google API. The Maps API is now used by the majority of apps to acquire the location or draw the map. With the support of microG, Instagram and other apps can now fetch location names accurately. However, there are challenges when it comes to designing maps. The Uber app, for example, displays an incredibly shaky map. It can pick up my current location and book a cab, however, the UI is clumsy and the map is undrawn in certain spots.
Except for Open Street Maps, all of the app options worked well, and I never went back to using GApps. I had no choice but to use Here Maps, which comes with its own set of trackers and data harvesting. However, it works well, and I found the experience to be equivalent to that of Google Maps at times. As a result, I could live with Here Maps as a switch.
Conclusion: Completely Remove All Google Apps From Android
For me, this week of experience was an eye-opening adjustment. I’ve always had the feeling that I can’t seem to fit my hobbies into my everyday schedule. However, in my quest to eliminate Google’s data mapping, I discovered where I spend the majority of my free time. YouTube suggestions are fantastic, but they may also lead you down a rabbit hole. Because I am not a big movie fan, I used my YouTube viewing time to read books or spend time with my family. This really increased my productivity while also reducing my weariness. This way you can get rid and remove google apps from android phone easily.
I strongly urge you to give it a try because it is both realistic and feasible. Please let me know how your experience went and if you have anything to add to mine.
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