How to avoid locked-up android phones

Looking for good hardware to install F-Droid. Are there phones to avoid, that are locked-up.
Or can I install F-droid on any android phone?
As you can easily see, I am a beginner. Thanx for your patience.

Should be able to install it on any Android phone.
While Apple phones do not allow such a thing.

I think it will install on any Android phone. You have to accept installing from unknown sources.

Here is a post that I postede in a small private group, I thought you might use it for inspiration:

I just want to follow up on my deGoogle thing. I did try to make a step-by-step guide on how to deGoogle an Android phone without root, but as far as I can se, there´s really no way of doing that. The problem is the diversity of spyware on different phones and very little documentation on what different packages do. Also when I got to step 30, I realized that most people are not going to do it or else they are not going to make it or else they are going to break it. Further different people would want to put different efforts into this and reach different levels of privacy, so it´s hard to make one shoe that fits all. Also people have to realize that if they really want privacy, then it´s going to get a bit complicated to set up and it´s not going to be as snug and easy as with Google.

I can share the document to people who are careful and to some degree know what they are doing and to those it will provide some good hints, but I think it shouldn´t be shared in general. We don´t want people to have a bad experience with leaving Google.

In general I would start with a clean phone, either new or factory reset. Then at the initial setup I wouldn´t connect to WiFi before everything is set as far as I can without WiFi, rejecting everything they suggest, no restore from cloud, no customization, no wifi scanning, no app access to location, no sending diagnostics, no recommended apps, no Samsung/Google/Xiaomi accounts, no no no no no nothing. Then when you have said no to everything, you will be surprised to learn how much spying is still going on on your phone, Google even connects to a server to tell them your real IP address if you are on a VPN. They have absolutely and utterly no respect for your privacy, to them your privacy is just a spot on a piece of shit.

The key element to deGoogling your phone without root is ADB toolkit, with which you can uninstall apps that you normally can´t uninstall. BUT BE BLOODY CAREFUL HERE! It´s not a total uninstall, but just an uninstall for the active user, which works out more like a deactivation of the program, but you can still brick the phone. With ADB toolkit I brought the amount of unwanted connection attempts down to almost nothing, from up to 10-15 unwanted connection attempts per second and the phone still works like I want it to, so completely unnecessary. The last bit of unwanted connection attempts I block with NetGuard. I can highly recommend to install NetGuard and donate 5 USD (to get the rights to install it on all your devices with full features). There is a learning curve with this program and it´s not entirely intuitive, but it gives you an overview of the communication and the ability to block it. Another great app for getting an overview of the communication is PCAPdroid.

For e-mail service I found that Tutanota is more trustworthy than Protonmail, they invested heavily in complying with the demands of F-droid and they provide end to end encryption. The end to end encryption is default between Tutanota accounts and you can choose whether it should be default to other e-mails. Because not all e-mails services provide encryption, like for example GMail, Tutanota makes temporary inboxes when you send e-mails and then you would have to pass the password to the one you are sending to, so, mostly for situations where you really need it… So my view on this is that Tutanota does it as good as they can within the limits that are and it´s very safe to communicate with other Tutanota accounts and it´s free. I decided to donate, because I like it, the benefits you get by donating is not really anything.
I also started using pDrive, which is very good. I wouldn´t recommend to buy more than a yearly subscription for various reasons, but I won´t get into that. They are not very good at promoting themselves, for example it´s vary hard to figure out which services integrates with pDrive. It took me a lot of searching to find a couple of apps that can play music for their drive, the one I can recommend is Astiga, that has a homepage, although it´s not uncomplicated to set up.

One key to getting apps that doesn´t spy or abuse you, that is to always to attempt to find an app on F-droid first, if that fails, consider whether it´s really important, if it is then get it from Aurora Store or APK Mirror.

Then when you are done with all of this, you´ll have some odd relizations like PreSearch that promotes them selves as a privacy search engine, absolutely hates privacy browsers and makes it impossible to browse via these. I can use Google, I can use DuckDuckGo, but not PreSearch. It doesn´t matter how many privileges I grant PreSearch, it only want´s to show me adds, not the results in three different privacy browsers. Add to that that they use Amazon Web Services, which is absolutely contrary to any idea of privacy. The good out of using privacy minded browsers is that you figure out which services to replace with other services.

The sad thing is that no matter how hard you try, there´s no 100% escape from big tech, if you want to search there are only Google and Microsoft, that´s it, nothing more. Every other search engine giving meaningful results get´s them from Google or Microsoft. I would say that Mojeek is the closest thing to a completely independent search engine, but honestly it´s a waste of time.

Thanx very much Frederik,

these are very useful informations.

Do you think, a Linux phone might even be better than Fdroid on an Android in terms on datasafety?



wondering, if Linux based phones are even better data-protected than androids with fdroid, what do you think? And if so how to get them ( living in europe),

Cheers Freedomlover

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Out of the box they most likely are better because they aren’t as likely to bundle spyware for proffit like a phone manufactuer using Android is.

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