Possible to "De-Google" ANY android? (that Accept button google requires at startup of new handset...)

tl;dr- is it possible to use adb to “de-google”, and to add the Simple suite of apps instead, on a new out-of-box handset WITHOUT having to click that Accept button that Google has put as the last page of the device’s startup? If I don’t click that Accept, I can’t enable debugging, so can’t remove google’s…and if I click the Accept and subsequently do the replacement of google suite with the Simple suite (phone, sms, file manager etc), it almost feels like an empty gesture because I already clicked that Accept in the beginning which I’m betting isn’t very privacy-friendly, given they are an advert company :stuck_out_tongue: )

I was psyched to find the Simple suite of apps (and f-droid in general) when, last week, I went back to smartphones from flip phones after nearly a decade.

Thought I could de-google this “LG Journey” and thought I had my ‘beta’ version done well actually I do have it done now IE the phone all setup with Simple suite stuff for the base apps and all FOSS apps for anything else (and Web Apps for Instagram, which is the whole bloody reason I’m back on a smartphone in the first place) Was about ready to do a hard-reset, and make my current ‘beta’ setup become my new default/alpha/finished setup (because I can’t consider the current phone ‘de-googled’ as it was already turned-on with Google permissions galore!)

Then it hit me- I can’t get to adb/debugging and removing anything G+, until I’ve reached the home screen so I could access Developer options, but to get there you MUST click ‘Accept’ to google’s terms, it’s part of the phone’s initial setup!

So sure I could remove all the google apps (phone, SMS etc) to replace with their Simple counterparts, but the handset wouldn’t be close to “de-googled” if, at its inception, I basically sign a 1-side agreement with google (didn’t actually read the agreement but am gonna go on a limb and guess it isn’t in-favor of the users)

Thanks a ton for any&all advice, insight etc on this topic, initially I was worried that my biggest issue would be ‘sandboxing’ instagram (the only offensive app I actually need on this pocket-computer) but now it feels like I thought I was getting a laptop, only to find it was a chromebook - and with a chromebook I can’t fathom it’d make much sense trying to “swap it to FOSS” (though this brings up my confusion at why the grapheneOS, supposedly the most secure, is only available for google hardware…if there was NSA hardware I cannot imagine people would think it was somehow ‘defeated’ by flashing ROM’s, yet the most popular ‘secure custom ROM’ seems to be one that’s only usable on google hardware :stuck_out_tongue: )

[fwiw I’m using adb through linux mint with apt package manager/terminal. Also I’m operating under the assumption that lineage and graphene seem the only viable custom rom’s, I haven’t torn through the supported-phones lists of all the less-popular ROM’s yet but intuition from similar, past endeavors tells me that’s not gonna be a worthwhile road to take, that lineage/graphene level ‘support’ is about as far from default as I’m looking to go…since they’re not possible I thought ‘de-googling’ could be, but this chronological-roadblock of “I can’t remove google stuff via an adb bridge, til after I already gave google my permissions/acceptance for that instance of the OS”!]

1 Like

What happens if you press accept when it’s not connected to the internet? Nothing…

Don’t put a SIM card, bypass the need for an account and Wi-Fi, disable everything reporting, gps, whatnot

Enable Dev mode…

adb shell
pm uninstall --user 0 <everythingthatsnasty>

…enjoy?

3 Likes

You say “Nothing” happens if you press Accept while it’s not connected to the internet… You are speculating on that, and it’s a very irrational speculation. With that Accept, they’re aiming to get more invasive on your phone, yeah? That’s their intention- do you really think having it offline at that moment is something that they couldn’t easily surmount? Have you read the wording of those two policies the Accept binds you to?

The entire “de googling” approach is very “top layer” and its known that phones get compromised much lower / kernel layer, to think you’re “defeating” google’s intent once you’ve clicked their Accept, simply by not being online at that moment, is silly, it implies that you would be bound to the terms if only you were online, but were able to escape because - while you did go and Agree - you were currently offline. They make the device, they wrote the legalese you agreed to, thinking you’re tricking&beating it by being offline at that moment just doesn’t make sense they would of course have contingency for that (in fact they’ve got contingencies to fill-in the data about you they’re missing that range from trading agreements with apple/micro/etc, data trades with the gov & NIHS, with private heatlhcare etc) Their collection is so aggressive that I’m betting even grapheneOS is probably of little true utility, but androidOS - hell turns out there’s a line of google code I cannot even delete w/o destroying phone’s usability (causes endless looping on reboot) and another that kept re-appearing after reboot, so even after adb’ing (had to do the ‘long uninstall’ command since short command left me with reappearing programs) what I could it still left google on the OS/app layer of the phone, I dunno am thinking using androidOS, no matter how you configure it, is still wide open to google (and probably facebook/insta/etc, as well as - obviously - your carrier and the gov’t)

You next action is to DISABLE or UNINSTALL those apps, why does it matter?

The rest of your post talks about something else…you keep repeating the same stuff…

Yes, adb uninstall will disable apps for that user only.

Yes, they might be reenabled on update.

Also, YES you can’t reach “OEM unlock” to install Lineage or Graphene UNLESS you ACCEPT

Why post all that info then? What has Facebook anything to do with it?

Yes you can install Netguard (enable advanced filtering and manage system apps) to control internet access, take away access from Google products, use BLOCK ALL

Not sure why you are here to discuss Android if your whole stance is “but never can”?!?!!

2 Likes

I think you’re missing the actual point/concern of my post here… In the context of privacy from google trackers, many go ahead and proactively “remove google code”, “de-google”, etc their devices… Since I was returning to android/smartphones after nearly a decade, I had to relearn things but kept hitting a wall, which I describe in the OP, which - if not successfully surpassed - would almost 100% guarantee futility of any of the proactive “de-googling” people spend their time doing.

Will state it as simply as I can in hopes of clarity: IF you clicked “Accept” to google’s terms, which is now requisite to turn-on an android device it seems (initial turn-on), then you’ve just signed-over ‘sudo’ on your phone. Or, rather, you’ve just Accepted their terms which are of course vague/broad/1-sided against you. There’s no un-doing that and thinking you’ve tricked google by keeping wifi off is simply naive, it requires an assumption of such uncharacteristic incompetence on google’s end that it’s fantasy-thinking.

?
Facebook is, alongside google, the biggest commercial collector of your data…and is coming pre-loaded on many(all?) androidOS devices (IE this means it, too, is active on your handset during your startup, including that period in-between Accepting google’s terms and “de googling” the user account with ADB)
Furthermore, google&facebook began a new cooperative arrangement for data collection several years ago, so when speaking of google’s data-collection, speaking of facebook’s is nearly hand-in-hand. (and, yes, the point - for me at least - of de-googling, and swapping to FOSS alternatives - is to avoid such strong targeted surveillance)

…because I’m a human whose life involves phones! I ditched&avoided smartphones for ages almost a decade but now for business have to have one, it is MORE THAN fair for me to post & learn whether or not there’s actually a legitimate “de-googling” method, or if all the de-googling talk is pointless…I fear that it is - hence my posting.

Reading between the lines, maybe this is what you want or need to read. You are right. It is not possible to completely “de-google” any internet-connected device. Even if you could and did not agree, there may be hidden back doors.(1) You should be happy; you have no real choice. For all you know, your “purchase agreement” says you will not install unapproved software on your device, and you will help everyone monetize your activities.(2) You should re-install standard Android with all the official Gapps. You should post your pictures on Instagram, with GPS and other tagging, and be sure to accurately tag all people in them. Be happy in your job. Never question your bosses. Do as you are told, quietly and compliantly. Resistance is futile. In the end, you must love Big Brother.(3)

  1. https://www.zdnet.com/article/backdoor-in-samsung-galaxy-devices-allows-remote-access-to-data/

  2. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/google-says-it-doesnt-sell-your-data-heres-how-company-shares-monetizes-and

  3. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/478759-he-gazed-up-at-the-enormous-face-forty-years-it

Edit: (/sarcasm)

In my opinion what you have to do is remove android from google and put lineageOS (or another rom) WITHOUT Gapps.
I am preparing a mobile like that without any google and little by little I am getting used to it.
The bad thing is that not all mobiles are 100% supported, so what you have to do is the same as it was done years ago with the computers where you wanted to install linux. Buy only 100% supported parts.
For this reason I advise you to go here:

and see if your mobile is supported or search in Telegram-foss if there is a group of custom images for your mobile.
For example, I have for this experiment an old moto g4 that is not supported, but there is a telegram group that works very hard :slight_smile:

In this way you do not have to fight with your conscience or with the fears that the data to accept will remain in a queue, and when possible it will be sent to google even after removing the google apps

regards
MAX

Have a look on this Pine phone. It runs on different linux distros. Nothing to worry about de-googling.

Sshh. Too much of this would put F-droid out of business. :smiley: But no worry, all versions are “out of stock” now. If they weren’t, a “convergence” option with 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal flash memory, and docking bar, sounds good for $200. If the replaceable battery doesn’t swell… How much is a 2 TB micro sdcard? Asking for a friend.

Oh, wait, there is a bussiness here? :))

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