Four years ago, I began a never-ending journey to De-Google my life, no more Google and many others like Discord, Instagram, Amazon, Microsoft,…. As I said it's a never-ending journey, with new projects emerging every weeks and months (and I love to try new project and more if it's for a better UI).

This journey is made of several parts, I will divide my adventure into three posts. We will start with Android, then we will look at self-hosting before finalizing with everyday life.

First part about De-Googling your phone you need to select your Operating System, there are few Android-based OS without Google Services available. I chose GrapheneOS as I'm using a Google Pixel phone (currently on Pixel 8). ROM installation has evolved, now you can use a Web Installer and one is available from GrapheneOS Team, spoiler: it's working like a charm.

I'm using GrapheneOS since three years now and it's a real pleasure. The OS is updated frequently and includes some interesting features focused on privacy and security.

An OS without applications do things… but not everything. And even less when I was used to use Google environment/services. So today this is the list of applications I used with a little description and which service application it's replacing.

As GrapheneOS doesn't include Google Play Store and Google Services, you can't install apps as usual with the Play Store and some apps couldn't work as they need Google Services (example Pixel Buds app is not working). What a shame… but good news, there are plenty of open source applications as alternatives.

This is the list right now, it would be updated over time as I discover/change applications. I put only applications I currently use, but I have tested more applications than it seems.

  • adguard-home-manager beautiful AdGuard Home client (need a self-hosted service).
  • aegis TOTP let your account be more secure. And it's even more secure to not put them in your password manager but to disjoin password and TOTP.
  • aurora is a store to install Play Store applications without it… ⚠️ use it with caution.
  • bitwarden best open-source password managment I use it as a back-up (reason later 😉).
  • breezy-weather a weather app (fork from Geometric Weather not updated since 2021).
  • cashew manage budget and purchases.
  • catima a loyalty card manager.
  • clock a simple clock.
  • connect-you a privacy focused contact app (can be used for SMS messenger too).
  • cpu-info app providing information about your device hardware.
  • disky filesystem analyzer for android.
  • droid-ify F-Droid client with Material UI.
  • element rewrited Matrix messenger app using Jetpack Compose and Matrix Rust Sdk as a pre-alpha app.
  • eternity a fork from Infinity for Reddit application when it was Reddit Era, long live Lemmy!
  • etesync an app to sync my contacts and tasks (need a self-hosted service).
  • finamp Jellyfin music client app.
  • florisboard an awesome keyboard, but development has been quite stick last years… not my main keyboard.
  • futo-keyboard a nice and smart keyboard (currently migrating to this one).
  • gallery media gallery app.
  • heliboard keyboard with custom dictionaries and glide typing (not my main keyboard as I am moving to the FUTO keyboard)
  • hypatia malware scanner.
  • image-toolbox powerful picture editor.
  • immich Google Photos open-source (need a self-hosted service).
  • jellyfin Jellyfin client.
  • k-9mail now know as Thunderbird Android is one of the best email client on Android as far as you read theses lines.
  • kdeconnect get your devices connected.
  • kiss I really enjoy a clean and minimalist launcher, after many launcher tested, KISS is really the perfect one for me!
  • kitchen-owl a grocery list and recipe mangager (need a self-hosted service).
  • libretube an alternative frontend for YouTube.
  • linkdy beautiful Linkding client (need a self-hosted service).
  • localsend alternative to AirDrop to share files on your network.
  • lunasea to control *arr applications (need a self-hosted service).
  • mull browser built upon Mozilla technology.
  • ntfy an android app for NTFY we will talk about it in the second part of this adventure (need a self-hosted service).
  • obtainium no Play Store is not a problem, I install and update applications from GitHub, GitLab, F-droid and some websites obtainium, a must have!
  • opencalc a simple calculator.
  • organic-maps perfect to replace Google Maps, get informations about a place, a direction and load a trace for hiking. It's using OpenStreetMap data.
  • pdf-viewer a simple PDF viewer.
  • proton-calendar Proton Calendar application.
  • proton-drive Proton Drive application.
  • proton-mail Protona Mail application, ⚠️ still no independant push notifications.
  • proton-pass Proton Pass application.
  • proton-vpn Proton VPN application.
  • qbitcontroller a qBittorrent remote (need a self-hosted service).
  • quik SMS messenger app (fork from QKSMS) with new features in development.
  • read-you beautiful RSS reader (I am using it with FreshRSS).
  • scee OpenStreetMap surveyor app for experienced OSM contributors.
  • signal to keep contact with people, Signal is the best ent-to-end encrypted messenger.
  • sms-import-export perfect tool to make a backup and restore your SMS and MMS (can be used with call logs and contacts too).
  • steam as a gamer, I'm using it to buy and install games from anywhere. ⚠️ not open source obviously
  • syncthing-android Syncthing for android, I use it to sync my backups.
  • tailscale mesh VPN built on WireGuard.
  • tasker-settings helper app for Tasker.
  • tasker application for Android which performs tasks (sets of actions) based on contexts (application, time, date, location, event, gesture) in user-defined profiles or in clickable or timer home screen widgets (buy through patreon).
  • tasks to do list app (can be used with EteSync).
  • termux a terminal emulator with many packages (you can use it to selfhost a webpage on an old device using it).
  • translate-you translator application.
  • you-have-mail application to get notified about new emails on protonmail.

As said earlier, you don't have Play Store. Banks are not known for providing open source applications for example, or simply there is no open source alternative right now for a service… So there is the list of applications I'm using with Aurora

  • Banks applications (you don't need to know which banks I'm using).
  • camera Google Pixel Camera app.
  • daremote an app that monitors and manages Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and Docker systems through ssh tunnels. It shows system info and status by charts on your phone, and supports script features, SSH client and SFTP. A must have!
  • doctolib manage medical appointments.
  • planta manage your plants, I'll test plant-it to replace it, if possible.
  • trakt trak shows and movies I watch.
  • ugc reserve tickets in UGC cinemas.
  • vinted marketplace for buying and selling pre-loved pieces.
  • withings as I'm using a Withings Smart Scale and Watch, I need the application to update and monitor the stuff.

⚠️ It's your responsibilities to make applications (and data) backups: Be very careful!

So as you can see it's not 100% perfect as I'm using 8 apps, but on theses one I block network on the camera, trakt/ugc/vinted could be use through a browser… less pratical and I think that is the limit, changing the way you do things should only have a limited impact on your habits and ease. Which for my part, with only 8 applications seems to be ok.

Next time, we will talk about self-hosting.