Is Google unavoidable

I realise that this topic is too broad in some ways, but I expect there is a simple yes or no answer to my query: Is there no way to avoid Google completely?
I have spend literally years fighting this beast and have a murena ‘google-free’ phone. But I find myself more and more isolated as a result of being unable to use apps without registering with googlestore. I need a medical app, two banking apps, and a couple of store apps, but none is available in AppLounge. I have tried everything I can find on the problem, with no luck, although I admit that I am not technologically advanced.
I am so frustrated that I am about to give up. On the other hand, why should I let Google win? I would use old-fashioned methods such as emails and cheques, but these have been declared redundant, and I am expected to use Googlestore or go without.
Please could someone help?

Thanks for asking this question.

I fight Google tooth and nail, also, but I avoid those apps that require giving Google personal information about me. (I don’t do banking, medical stuff, or other sensitive operations on any phone; I reserve that for a computer where I have greater control of what happens in my browser and on my network.)

But to your broader question, “Is Google unavoidable?” Yes, I think that’s true these days, sadly:

  • Google tracking, analytics, and/or (re)CAPTCHA/gatekeeping have been embedded into nearly every website, even the most sensitive ones, like banking and healthcare websites, where you would think your privacy would be more protected.
  • Google is the dominant search engine (probably its primary data collection mechanism); in fact, “searching” became normalized as “Googling” in the vernacular many years ago.
  • Google dominates the browser market share, and therefore has undue influence over how all browsers work (and collect personal data).
  • Google controls much of the world’s email; sometimes it arrives on your devices as “gmail,” and sometimes it’s rebranded and masked behind some other business or personal domain.
  • Google created its own MVNO: Google Fi. What data does it collect from its millions of users?
  • Google controls a large chunk of internet infrastructure: cables, servers, routing, etc.
  • Google controls most of the world’s smartphone market… and personal data harvesting.
  • Google is used extensively for DNS lookup, and is usually the default in electronics (streaming boxes, “smart” TVs, etc.)
  • Google’s “Safebrowsing” is used in most, if not all, web browsers.
  • Google pays to be set as the default search engine in most browsers.
  • Google dominates in digital mapping and navigation…and tracking of your location and movement.
  • Google has captured and made public a photograph of your home and its precise location, and probably most homes in most of the world. (At one time, the collection vehicles also captured your home wifi network name and particulars in the process.)
  • Google controls most of the video that users generate on the internet, and tracks users and those who view the content.
  • Google is now embedded in cars’ digital systems.
  • Google is in residential audio/video-capture devices, not just inside homes, but outside, on the front door, pointing at the general public.
  • Google tracking is present in almost every commercial Android app, and probably every commercial iOS app; every business that publishes its own app directs you to Google or Apple to install their app (tracking by Google included).
  • Google has convinced a large part of the world’s population that they are synonymous with “security” on the internet, while deflecting attention from their privacy-abusing practices.
  • When it comes to phones and operating systems, bloggers and journalists continually downplay protecting your own privacy from Google, and instead focus on “handicapped” functionality of degoogled devices, and the “danger” of using alternate app stores like open-source (privacy-respecting) F-Droid.

There’s no doubt much more that Google is doing that should cause concern. (I edited that last sentence for clarity.)


All apps should be available in the App Lounge.
Which device + /e/OS version do you use?

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I think Google’s unavoidable, but my take on the situation is that I don’t have to make it easy for them.

Yes, they are going to get data from my smart TV, from YouTube, from every service they have a hand in that I’m not aware of (or the ones that I’ve restricted access to but they lie regarding). But you can still prevent them from getting ALL your info. AntennaPod, Feeder, MagicEarth/OSMAnd, Retro Music, Standard Notes, Proton, there’s no shortage of FOSS apps you can use to minimize your connection to Google.

Additionally, Lineage, /e/, etc extend the life of your perfectly good device. There’s no reason for me to replace my phone when security updates stop this March. /E/ will prevent me from having to.

Unfortunately, you are going to have to take a stand on some things. My hockey team puts a lot of info out via a Facebook group. I’m well aware that I miss a lot of conversation and info, but I don’t want Meta to have my info. Either you’ll find ways to replace what you’re missing, or it wasn’t that important at all.


Google can also become history.
It enough that people demands that all applications which works with money, can be used for money transfer, goverment / e-id related must be fully opensource, so must work without google services.
All UI like keyboards used in this apps must be opensource. This is crucial for safty of your accounts otherwise what prevents google to get your passwords from bank account and sell them? What prevents google today to use google services and modify your phone, change your files,add files, and for example set you for crime you did not do? Or make your wife divorce from you finding data which is not yours but planted via these services. All this can be done via google services.TODAY. So have dual usage.
This is more than privacy. This is direct power over your life. Does any one think that google will not make their services feasible for this while every single person on planet older than 10 have smart phone in pocket.? Most with android. Send google service to history and you have serious reason why you must force your governments to do so.Once you do that this empire will go down.


My philosophy, exactly.

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They really should be: any app that is in the play store should be accessible from App Lounge. If that isn’t working for you, then install Aurora Store and use that instead of App Lounge.

I should like to thank everyone who replied to my request for help. I am pleased to know that others share my dislike of Google and would like to avoid it completely. If I were younger I’d attempt to set up an organisation to fight it, even though chances of success are infinitely small. I am particularly grateful to Taurus for summing up objections to their virtual monopoly of nearly everything. I wonder if I can have permission to quote those objections please.
I’d like to make some comments on individual points that were made. I am using the latest version of the e/os operating system but have run into a good many problems. I should like to repeat that I am not an advanced user and will gladly accept that I may not understand all that is needed in order to make technology function properly. But like the rest of the responders I have done my best over the years to fight the beast. I suppose I can’t give up Android, as I understand it is the base for e/os. I don’t use social media or google maps, G-mail, or anything else that I am aware of that comes from Google. I have to disagree to some extent with HellsBells with respect to noting if one can’t find a substitute it isn’t important after all. I am being urged (not quite compelled yet) to use a device that permits my health team to monitor a bodily function, but it is available only from playstore. So far I have refused, but it hasn’t helped my relationship with the health service. I also have a bank which directly states that the app must come from playstore and not be side-loaded, and a large department store says the same. I can say categorically that they are notavailable from App Lounge. I have tried to download Aurora store, as suggested, but it is noted as N/A and I haven’t succeeded in getting it by direct download. The same is true of DuckDuckGo privacy app. My efforts to use F-droid always ends in frustration.
I fought even getting a mobile telephone, but circumstances forced me into it. I can’t even use a car park without one. But I insist on privacy and reject very much the comments of friends who say they don’t mind if everyone knows they stopped for a pizza on the way home from work. That misses the point entirely.
I appreciate the encouragement and look forward to any other advice on offer.

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Absolutely. Feel free. (With the caveat that I’m no bona fide researcher of these things.)

Try to clear the cache + storage of the App Lounge and see again of you can find the apps. I f you give us the names of those apps, we can try it on our devices as well.

No problem for me to find and install it from the App Lounge.

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Hello MRTN,

Thank you very much for your help. I am utterly frustrated, as you may have guessed, since nothing I do seems to work. I have now cleared cache and storage and tried everything once again. For the medical program to work I need the ‘FreestyleLibre’ app. It does not appear in App Lounge at least for me, and when I try to download it directly, it only shows availability through Google app play. I have tried again to install Aurora store, but after I tick on it in the App Lounge menu, it comes up with ‘N/A’, and as I said before I can’t download it from any other source. Despite the N/A I have tried to download it, but after showing 100%, the message reads ‘retry’. The store app I want is John Lewis plc (or their credit provider, NewDay) and the bank Santander. None show up in my App Lounge menu, although John Lewis did at one time. I never got it to function, and it no longer appears.

Since you appear to be successful, as with Duck Duck Go privacy app, I must be making a simple mistake -doing something wrong- but I can’t work out what it is.

Thank you once again.

I guess this is /e/OS v1.15?

Re App Lounge, you are probably aware that some users have issues – there are some ideas in this thread I answered recently. Need help: Issue with lounge app by app installation - #2 by aibd

I’m in a quite similar situation. I’m talking about it with my lawyer

Autora store is available in F-Droid.

I had problems with /e/ os store few times. It did not give me some apps like in your case and when I started using /e/ os, it did not give my banking app but asked me to login in google play first, giving me google play login screen in side store app.
I did not log into but install banking app on smartphone of my friend, and than pull it via adb on pc, and from pc to /e/ os smartphone. Not very convenient but you do this only once. Aurora ( e os ) store recognize and continue to update banking app although it was not installed via store.

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Thanks again for all the comments and help. I hope it won’t seem too whingey to reply to some individually. First, thanks, Taurus, for your permission… I wrote a ‘thank-you’, but it wouldn’t go through, as the message was said to be too short! With respect to getting Aurora Store on F-Droid, I have tried that several times. The app seems to download, but when I go to log-on, there is a choice between signing up with Google or anonymously. Ticking the latter does nothing: I just can’t get on. I am using the latest update MRTN: /e/OS v1.15. I would be fascinated, nottolino, to learn if you get any satisfaction with legal advice. I am told by everyone or every organisation I have consulted, that I ‘take it or leave it’, as far as Google goes. I shall follow up any other suggestions, but so far no luck.
I’m sorry this seems to be a list of failures, but judging from replies, I feel there must be some way through, and perhaps all this will lead somewhere in the end.

I searched the App Lounge for the apps you mentioned, this is the result :

That is incredible MRTN. I have just gone back to App Lounge and got nothing like that. Am I doing something completely stupid, do you think? I tick on the search icon, type in the name of the app, and click on find. I get a list that bears no relevance to what I have asked. I see from your screen shot, for example that H&M comes up, but not so on mine. I am really puzzled, but given what you have shown, there must be a simple solution somewhere. Any ideas where I go next?

There are a few things you have to get right as mentioned here Is Google unavoidable - #13 by aibd