A Google free or "DeGoogled" phone is one in which only the "open source" portion of Android has been installed (AOSP). AOSP does not include any of Google's software and setup that they bury into the phone (even before you get it). The phone is then enhanced with an operating system such as Lineage or Graphene (which are also open source). Lineage or Graphene working together with Android Open Source (AOSP) provides you with a very stable phone environment (with functions similar to other Android phones) without any of the Google infringement on your privacy. Google can no longer track your activites or locations.
Lineage is a free and open-source operating system that is based on the Android mobile platform. It has been developed to provide the user a stock Android experience (no vendor "bloatware" from Google and others) yet with a number of enhanced features and functions. Lineage is fast and very easy on the battery (you will get up to twice the battery life). It is also simple to keep your phone (or tablet) current with free and automatic updates.
Graphene is another free and open-source operating system that is based on the Android mobile platform. It is available to run on a number of Pixel phones and is focused on providing the ultimate in privacy and security.
When you login to Google on your phone (into a Google account to access the playstore or use gmail etc), Google is able to watch, track and monitor you. In particular, they track most everything you are doing and accessing on your phone, monitor the history of your movement and have a fingerprint of your phone. They have a record of where you have been and when - they know where you are at this moment within a few feet! They tie all this information together so that they have (and keep) a comprehensive record of your life and activities. Your privacy has been compromised and noone really has a full understanding of what Google and others do (or will do) with all of this information about you.
INSTALLING APPS TO A GOOGLE FREE PHONE
DeGoogled phones come out of the box with many if not most of the features and functions that the typical person requires - browsers, email, texting, music, photos, camera, contacts etc. While it is nice to have a relatively clean phone (without too many unnecessary programs), you are likely going to want to install some new apps at some point.
A typical Android phone user finds and installs new apps from the Google Playstore (using their Google account). Google really likes providing free apps to people (under a Google account) because it allows them to learn even more about you. For the best in privacy you do not want to log in to Google and the Playstore. So, how will you add apps to your Google free phone? No problem, there are many other places to get the very same apps for your phone that you find on the Google Playstore. A few examples are:
- F-Droid (an Android app 'store' that is already on your phone - lots of free apps here that are all open source)
- APKPure.com (a website providing many Android apps for download)
- APKMirror.com (a website providing many Android apps for download)
- Aurora (an Android app 'store' that retrieves apps anonymously for you from the Google Playstore)