Android without (too much) Google

2013-09-24 Last modified on 2021-05-23


I use CyanogenMod without the signed Google apps (available somewhere on the interwebs).

And I have not added my old Gmail account... So how to survive on Android without the Store ?


On F-Droid:

  • K9Mail: a very nice email client
  • Barcode Scanner: QRcode
  • RMaps: amazing maps
  • Pinboard: to manage bookmarks and stuff to read later. See here
  • Anki: to learn stuff
  • yaxim / xabber / gibberbot: xmpp and jabber client (for gtalk)

On Firefox, I went on their addons catalog for mobile firefox and installed the DuckDuckGo plugin.


I actually use OwnCloud so I imported my Gmail contacts into it.

I can then use CardDav (there is a direct link to the apk file) to sync them on the phone. More info on OwnCloud manual

But... Games ?

You should have a nice Humble Bundle collection... And they have a nice app to download and install your stuff.

But alors... All the stuff I bought on the Play Store ?

Apk downloader is your friend, it can help you retrieve apps from your account, but it's against the Google Play Store policy. And you can't download everything.

Still missing

  • Mightytext a web app connected to the Google Account from the phone to easily send text messages with your favorite browser.
  • A good japanese keyboard, so I'm still using the Google Japanese Input

What next ?

I talked about F-droid, but you may consider the Amazon App Store. You may not trust Amazon if you don't trust Google, but Amazon is (I think), more interested in selling you digital content rather than in leaking your information.

Finally... Why ?

I didn't want to bother you with my ideas at the beginning of this page.

I think Google is still an amazing company making amazing things (Google Glass, self driving cars...), but they made some choices recently that I do not like.

What made me change my mind about them was the dramatic shutdown of Google Reader. So I tried to find an alternative, and then alternatives to other products.

Here are some things I use know: