A "degoogled phone" refers to a smartphone that has been modified or customized to remove all Google-related services and applications from the device. The goal of degoogling a phone is to increase privacy and security by reducing the amount of data that is shared with Google and other third-party companies.
A typical degoogled phone might run an alternative operating system, such as LineageOS or Ubuntu Touch, instead of Google's Android OS. It might also use open-source versions of popular apps, such as F-Droid for app downloads, and apps like OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps.
In addition to replacing Google services with open-source alternatives, degoogling a phone may also involve modifying settings and disabling certain features to further minimize data collection and sharing. For example, a degoogled phone may have location tracking disabled or have a firewall installed to block certain internet connections.
Overall, the goal of a degoogled phone is to create a smartphone that is more privacy-friendly and less reliant on proprietary software and services. However, it's important to note that degoogling a phone can be a complex and technical process that may require significant expertise and patience.
LineageOS, GrapheneOS and CalyxOS are phone operating systems that run on top of the core open source Android system (AOSP) to provide your phone with added function and privacy/security. They are all very good and secure options for your phone. Although other similar alternatives exist, LineageOS is perhaps the most popular while GrapheneOS is recommended by none other than computer intelligence expert Edward Snowden. One of the key differences between the operating systems is that GrapheneOS and CalyxOS will only run on Pixel phones while LineageOS runs on a wider variety of phones (although certainly not all). Also, CalyxOS comes installed with MicroG which does help make certain features more readily available including notifications and making payments via the phone.
The main ones that come out of the box are (you can add more):
Additional (we add these)
- Aurora Store
- K-9 Email
- Open Camera
You can add many more apps to your phone via one of the free android app stores (eg. f-droid which is already on your phone). You can also find many apps on sites such as apkpure and apkmirror (download the apk file and install with the press of a button - very simple). When you download apk files it is important that you do so from a reputable site such as apkpure and apkmirror. In the event you must have an app that is only available on Google Play - there is a way to acquire it without logging into Google and giving away your identity! Install Aurora - it is just like the Google Play Store. Aurora gets the apps for you from the Google Play Store and puts them on your phone (without you having to log in to Google). Think of Aurora as the 'middle man' that keeps your identify private.
Your new phone does come with an email client and there are also many others to choose from. Stay away from adding Gmail (as Google cannot be trusted). Some examples are:
- K-9 Mail
- Go to the apkpure site on your phone (m.apkpure.com)
- Search the wide variety of apps available on the site
- Select the app you need and press the "download APK" button (the file will be downloaded to your phone)
- On your phone navigate to your download folder (eg. via the File app), locate the apk file that was downloaded and install by pressing on the file
- Once it has installed you can delete the apk file from your download folder
There is a messaging app on the phone. You can add others as well, for example:
The simple answer is - do not log in to Google on your phone. This means no more Google Play Store or any Google apps that require you to log in to a Google account. Instead of using the Play Store, get your apps from F-Droid or sites such as apkpure and apkmirror or via the aurora app (which gets apps for you from the Google Play Store without you having to login to an account).
There are a couple of ways to move your contacts to your new phone. If your old phone has a memory card and your contacts are saved there and your new phone has a slot for a memory card then you can simply move your memory card from phone to phone. If this is not the case (and it often isn't) then you can take the following approach:
- From the menu of the Contacts app on your old phone go to Settings -> Export (from there you can save your contacts.vcf file).
- Send or copy this file to your new phone (eg. email it to your new phone).
- On your new phone, receive and save the file somewhere on your phone.
- From the menu of the Contacts app on your new phone go to Settings -> Import (from there you can specify the saved contacts.vcf file).
*** UPDATE ***
This is a good thing. Do not login to gmail or youtube or anything else Google-related on your phone. If you have added your gmail account to K-9 or logged in any other way on your phone you should probably remove that from your phone in order to ensure privacy. As a second step you had best also check to ensure your your device is not connected to your Google account in any way. This is done by logging into your Google account on your computer and disconnecting your device from there if it is listed (login to google account on pc, go to security, go to your devices section, select your degoogled phone (if it is there) and disconnect/signout).
If you are moving from an iPhone to an Android phone you need to take a few steps to ensure your messaging works as needed.
Before removing SIM card from iPhone
- on your iPhone go to Settings
- tap Messages
- set iMessage to Off
If you are in any group chats with friends who have iPhones you will need to start a new group.
If you are using a LineageOS de-googled phone there are actually new updates every week that come available (you don't need to upgrade every week). In order to update, do the following:
- go to Settings > System > Advanced > Updater
- click on 'download' for the most recent update (wait for the download to complete)
- click on 'install' (this will appear after the download is complete, the install process will take a number of minutes to complete)
- reboot phone
Perhaps the easiest way is to plug your phone into your computer with a USB cable. However, in order for this to work for file transfer between phone and computer you need to ensure the 'file transfer' setting on the phone is turned on. In order to make this setting you need to go into Developer Options on the phone. Take the following steps to do so:
- Goto Settings -> About Phone
- The last entry within About Phone is 'Build Number' - tap on 'Build Number' 7 consecutive times to go enable Developer Options
- Go back to Settings -> System -> Developer Options
- Within 'Developer Options' scroll down to about the 40th item called 'Default USB Configuration'
- Go into 'Default USB Configuration' and select the 'File Transfer' option
- Back up to the main 'Developer Options' screen and turn off ''Use Developer Options' then back out
Your phone should now be accessible from the file explorer on your computer when the phone is connected (and you can move/copy files from phone to computer).
There is also a solution called KDE Connect (which you can download/install to your phone from F-Droid). KDE Connect allows you to share/copy data between your Android phone and computer. You can also view and respond to phone notifications from your computer. Find information on KDE Connect at https://kdeconnect.kde.org
Yes, you can order a Pixel 3a or 3aXL with Ubuntu Touch (Linux).
Ubuntu Touch has a range of apps available through its own app store, the OpenStore, which includes both native apps built specifically for the Ubuntu Touch platform and web apps that run within the system's web browser. Some popular apps available on Ubuntu Touch include:
Morph Browser - a web browser designed specifically for Ubuntu Touch that provides a smooth browsing experience on mobile devices.
Dekko - an email client that supports multiple accounts and provides a range of features such as HTML formatting, multiple identities, and encryption.
Telegram - a popular messaging app that allows users to send messages, photos, videos, and files to individuals and groups.
uNav - a GPS navigation app that provides turn-by-turn directions and supports offline maps.
OpenStore - an app store for Ubuntu Touch that provides access to a range of native and web apps.
Libertine - a container-based system that allows users to run traditional Linux desktop applications on Ubuntu Touch.
Terminal - a terminal emulator that allows users to access the command line and run Linux commands directly on the device.
Overall, while the app selection on Ubuntu Touch is not as extensive as other mobile platforms, it has a dedicated community of developers who continue to build and maintain apps for the platform.
Google collects information about its users in various ways. Some of the most common ways that Google collects data include:
Search history - Google stores a record of all the searches you perform on its search engine, which can include personal information such as your location, interests, and browsing habits.
Location data - Google collects information about your location through various means, such as GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell tower data, which can be used to provide location-based services and targeted advertising.
Personal information - Google collects information such as your name, email address, and phone number when you sign up for its services, which can be used to personalize your experience and provide targeted advertising.
App usage - Google collects data about the apps you use on your Android device, including how often you use them, how long you spend on them, and the content you view.
YouTube history - Google tracks the videos you watch on YouTube, which can reveal information about your interests and preferences.
In addition to these sources, Google may also collect data from other sources such as websites and apps that use Google services, and third-party data providers.
Pop!_OS is a popular Linux distribution developed by computer manufacturer System76. Based on Ubuntu, Pop!_OS is known for its modern user interface, ease of use, and focus on productivity and performance.
Pop!_OS features a customizable workspace with built-in support for window tiling, making it easier to navigate multiple applications and work more efficiently. The distribution also includes several features aimed at gamers and graphic designers, such as built-in support for the Vulkan graphics API and automatic graphics switching between integrated and dedicated graphics cards.
Pop!_OS also has strong privacy and security features, including full disk encryption during installation and regular security updates to keep your system protected.
Overall, Pop!_OS is a well-designed and user-friendly Linux distribution that is suitable for both beginners and experienced users. Its focus on productivity, performance, and security make it a good choice for a wide range of use cases, from work to gaming and everything in between.