How do I remove Default apps?

Because none of my contacts use, and neither of them wants to use, Telegram I would like to remove it from the phone. The chat on the /e/ channel is all about cooking 0.2 so I left the channel and have no use for Telegram anymore.
The same for Signal. Nobody of my contacts uses Signal, so I only need to find another SMS app, and after that I want to remove Signal.
And I never use microG and never use any Google services so that app has no use for me either.
I’d like the same freedom on my phone as on a GNU/Linux computer: the freedom to remove applications which are just bloatware to me.


You can disable them.

You can’t remove system apps on Android. Well at least not without root and possibly bad consequences.
You can disable them in Settings > Apps and set other apps as default app for e.g. texts.

Tbh if you don’t need microG, than /e/ doesn’t really seem right for you.

But when I remember right, Gael has written, that he will us a way to decide which apps are installed and which not or a way to remove the default apps.
I also want to delete most default apps, because I want use differnt.
And I don’t know why all the default apps must be systems apps. Could be that the developer better know the reason


Definitely. All I know is I tried a few different Android flavors and none of them had preinstalled apps that were not unremovable system apps.

I guess it could be possible to create a very plain OS and then offer multiple zip files to flash while flashing the OS, each of which installs a certain app as a system app - which is necessary for some apps to function properly.
Then again the way I understand it one of /e/'s main goals is to provide an OS that is easy to use for non-techy people while being as FLOSS and non-googly as that goal permits. And e.g. offering an OS that comes without a texting app preinstalled doesn’t really align with that goal.

The opposite approach would be to offer the standard OS flavor with a standard set of system apps and then flashable zips for uninstalling certain system apps. That would probably reduce the risk of someone accidentally installing an OS without apps for standard functions.

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I don’t see non-techy people use microG

I did, microG immediately after installation.

I believe after installing and using Lineage, Replicant, Fairphone Opensource an now /e/, what are all nice systems with too much Google in them (even /e/ has some google in it), Android is not the right system for me. I’ll continue using /e/ until the first phone that works completely without non-free software becomes available.

Have you tried Ubuntu touch for phones?

It is definitely on the roadmap of /e/ to have an OS with all apps as removable. Right now the focus is to get the nougat and Oreo versions stabilized.


On a personal note I entire agree with @pjmbraet on having an OS with only core apps. May be it could be because I do not belong to the cannot-live-without-facebook generation. Any thing above that should be user controlled. Let the end user decide what his mobile should have instead of defining it for him.


The first alternative Mobile OS I tried on Fairphone 2, it failed: the UB-Ports installer tool did not recognize my FP2 as being a FP2.

Perhaps the Librem 5 phone or one that supports SailfishOS would be something better for you?

As a non-techie who studies the impact of tech on society for years my conclusion is: for ‘techies’ there are already several possibilities and options, such as LineageOS and Sailfish and to some degree the Fairphone community. Soon the Librem 5 will come and we have don’t know yet if this will be suitable for non-tech people. The world of techies is a world of individualists, not of entrepreneurs. unfortunately. Until now not one created a chain of software services in order to help non-techs.Yet, what is the aim of Gael Duval, Jolla and others? To become a third OS, a third option for everyone! If you have this aim, you must develop an OS plus an appstore that can compete with the Big Bad Two. You have to contact game makers and app makers and banks for payments. You have to create devices with a ready made OS. I understand that /e/ is in development and that microG is necessary for installing apps that don’t leak to Google. If this now is the only way to use android apps safely, why should this not be for techies? What is the point of creating something for techies only?

I have 5 years experience with Sailfish. Because I did not want to be only dependent on Apple anymore. In the behinning I struggled a lot with the system, because we could not install quality apps from the Play Store. I was used to iTunes. At first we could buy a Jolla. A few years later Jolla had a disaster with a tablet that never came and the company shrunk. Then they decided that you could buy a SonyXperia, unlock the bootloader and flash the OS by yourself. You had to buy the OS for E50. As a non-tech I succeeded in unlocking the bootloader, but I was not able to flash the OS myself. Someone from the Jolla company did that for me, as an exception. I had to send my device to Finland. Now the story is repeating with Sailfish 3.and Sony Xa2/Xa2 plus. I cannot do this twice, although I like the elegance and userfriendlyness of the OS. I can recommend it, but not for non-tech people.

I sure am going to try out the Librem 5 phone too next year, as I am a Linux user. And I will be able to compare it with the first stable version of /e/. I have noticed while building SailfishOS is full of Google. So /e/ and Librem 5 are the remaining candidates for a phone.

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have you heard / tried syberia OS ? It’s a AOSP fork, but I don’t know if it is available for your device

Syberia OS works on only one device and it looks like it is more something for real tech people like XDA-developers. /e/ is much more user-friendly, my only question here was to be able to remove or delete unused default apps. Maybe my English isn’t good enough, after mentioning removal of microG some people seem to misunderstand me, I just never use microG, that’s all.

No, I think we have you understand right. And your final question was answered. But than you have written, that Android seems to be not the right for you, so you get more answers regarding that.

And by the way, Syberia supports 10 devices and it’s user friendly as linenage or e.

But anyway. your final question is answered so, I will write no further answer.

Well there is a technical reason why you cannot remove the stock system apps. When you flash a ROM to the device the files for the base OS all get copied into the /system partition. After completing a flash the files on /system cannot be changed during the normal operation of the phone… Thus if an app like Telegram is included in the ROM it cannot be removed.

When you install apps or make other modifications in the OS all these files are stored in the /data partition. These are your customizations made on top of the stock system. So you can remove apps that you have installed.

So in theory yes there could be a way to remove apps from the ROM like telegram at the time of doing the flash. Once flash mode is complete no more changes can be made.