How do I know if an app is one of the Gapps

Hello !
I would like to know how I could find out if some basic apps already installed on my smartphone are Gapps / similar to Gapps. (it may be obvious for those with “Google” in the name but not for others)

For instance: clock, photo camera, photo galery, FM radio, torch/flashlight, launcher, and so on…

I recently got a smartphone which I couldn’t root (or didn’t find how): Crosscall Trekker-M1 Core, with Android 6. Before, I have been using an Apple iPhone 4S for years before it crashed.
Now I am trying my best to degooglise my life, but it’s quite hard to find my way…

Is there something I need to check on these apps to know if they are “evil” ? :wink:

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There is an app on F-Droid called ClassyShark3xodus that checks for trackers. You can check and see if these apps have trackers in them, there should be none from google. Also I recommend you install FOSS alternatives for every app you can. There is also NetGuard that acts as a firewall which can block apps access to Internet, you can use that if some fishy app is sending data when it does not need to. Let me know if you need an alternative to any app. :slight_smile:

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Google apps typically have their package name start with com.google.
AOSP apps are usually com.android.

Also the phone vendor (and if applicable carrier) apps might add things that are more unwanted then Google.

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If it’s not from F-Droid, throw it away and find an alternative on F-Droid.

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Hello to all of you.
Many thanks for your replies and advice.

@Iron,
I have installed Exodus and I only found one app with 1 tracker, which is from Google… Whatsapp. The tracker is Google analytics.
I know there are many alternatives to Whatsapp (Telegram, Signal…) but I work for an association that still uses this app. :slightly_frowning_face: So I guess I have no choice for this one until the people I work with are convinced that we all should forget this app…

I also installed Netguard but I am not sure about which app I should chose to allow/block.
How do you know if the app is a “fishy” one or not ?
For the moment, I denied wif-fi and mobile for all apps except those that should communicate with some external device to work (for instance: web browser, messaging app, podcast, radio, F-Droid,…)

In fact, I guess my device is now as “clean” as possible, given that I cannot root it (and still use the original OS) and that I decided to install WhatsApp…

@SkewedZeppelin,
Where do you find package names ?
I am aware of what you say in your last sentence but as I am a complete newbie, I don’t know how to distinguish between “good apps” and “bad apps”…

@adrianmalacoda,
Since I couldn’t “root” my device (didn’t find any compatible FOSS OS and/or don’t have sufficient technical skills and knowledge nor days to work on this), I have to deal with vendor apps which I cannot uninstall.

I apologize for any misuse of the english terms below. My device is configured in my native language and I don’t know the translation in english.

For some apps, I am able to “de-activate”. For others, I have only one option visible: “force shutdown”.

For instance, when I go to “parameters”->“apps”, I see many applications that I didn’t install myself, like “camera”, “SIM toolbox”, “Documents”, “E-Mail”, “Clock”, “Launcher3”, “Music”, “Downloads”, “Phone” and even “Parameters”…

Of course, I have already “de-activated” all apps with the world “Google” inside… :sunglasses:

What should I do with these apps ? I guess most of them are harmless but I want to understand this complex world of Android that is new to me.

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:smile:Welcome. You did the right thing with Netguard. Unless the app needs internet to work or share something, it is best it stays offline rest of the time. And I would not worry too much after, as most of threats come from apps accessing internet. As for whatsapp, it is FB spyware stuff, but yes some people still need it for connecting with family and contacts… We cannot be fully private and safe, it is that we can only mitigate the threats as much as we can. And you doing a good job at that.

Also, package names can be found in App settings and File explorer on phone. And try to install only FOSS software, as they are open source and because of that, more safe and accountable. Problem with proprietary apps such as from GooglePlayStore is that they are generally closed source so no-one can tell what sneaky stuff they doing.

Also another tip is turning off the cloud backup of Whatsapp chats, google can see it. And encrypt your data on phone, there are apps on F-Droid that can encrypt your stuff, do that before you put them on cloud.

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Thanks again, @Iron !
I think I get it :slightly_smiling_face:
Since I don’t use the cloud, I am not worried about my data there.
But, should I use some kind of cloud in the future, I would then know that there is a possibility to encrypt my data.

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Since I couldn’t “root” my device (didn’t find any compatible FOSS OS and/or don’t have sufficient technical skills and knowledge nor days to work on this), I have to deal with vendor apps which I cannot uninstall.

speaking from experience, you are far better off selling the device (or ritually burning it) than living with its infestations. Failing that, you might find this app useful in finding info about apps quickly.

App Manager - Android package manager (A full-featured open source package manager for android.) - https://f-droid.org/packages/io.github.muntashirakon.AppManager