Is this phone actually "unGoogled"?

I read from the /e/ products intro that /e/ is an “unGoogled” version of Android OS. And yet, when I look at the settings (MicroG Settings), there’s a whack of “Google Services” listed. I’ve used LineageOS (without GApps) before, and I don’t recall any of this. And the App Store is cluttered with stuff that I generally associate with Google Play Store. So is this really an “unGoogled” version of Android OS?

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There recently was a very interesting review about /e/ that I think you should take a look at, I’ll leave the link below. In short, there are still a number of concerns regarding connection being made to Google and therefore it is not 100% unGoogled as it stands right now (more details in the link provided).

However as far as I know /e/ is still in beta version and work in progress; as they mentioned in the article there have been a number of reviews of /e/ and there’s definitely some improvement being made each time. Whether this improvement is enough or not I can’t really say, nor can I speak on behalf of /e/ as to when will the product be ready to be considered fully unGoogled.

Click here to read the full review article, and click here to read an ongoing discussion in this forums about the review and the current state of /e/ today.

So, we should delete:

  • the default browser

  • the default app store

  • the default weather app

Does anyone know how to explain the process to delete them, but “for dummies”?

Actually there is no need to delete them. If you don’t open them it won’t be a problem.
Furthermore you can in Settings block every permission for those apps, like the possibility for them to use WiFi and mobile data.


What you mentioned are the microG-services which are implemented by /e/ to reach a high level of compatibility with all apps that rely on google play services.
MicroG is an open-source reimplementation of google play services - it basically allows closed source apps to still function on a phone which actually has no “real” play services with a google account installed. This allows you, the user, to gain more control of what actually happens “behind the curtain”.
You can read more about microG here:

@dotcoma As all the mentioned apps are system apps, I’m afraid that there’s no “easy” way to delete them at this point of time. If your phone is rooted, you could delete system apps with more or less one click by using certain deinstallation-apps. As far as I know, Titanium Backup has this functionality built in.
Another way would be using adb, but I unfortunately don’t know how to do so.

Not using it is one way to avoid tracking. I agree with @Anonyme. Another way is to uninstall this apps (without rooted device). Remember the discussion → Uninstall default apps?

Is a 100% unGoogled Android-based smartphone even possible?

Does a “fully UnGoogled smartphone” mean a 100% unGoogled smartphone?

I have doubts. Nevertheless, I’d prefer a phone stripped of as many G°°gle elements as possible rather than from other developments.

As an alternative to /e/ OS ROM, I could still sympathize the customROM with GrapheneOS, but not on a G°°gle device and not if the development team has far too little manpower.

@exyna, I have no problem with the MicroG stuff. But I did find it odd that under that heading in the system settings was also the option to enable a bunch of actual Google services. Like I said, I’ve not seen that before in my prior LineageOS settings (which were installed without GApps).

Anyway, I’m pleased with the system. A lot of options for privacy are made easier (email, cloud services, pgp key stuff, etc). I guess they feel it’s necessary to give mainstream options to people to encourage a wider audience to adapt.

And as far as the browser goes, I figure using Chromium is okay (rather than Chrome). It’s open source afaik. And developers often squabble about such things. For instance, I recall that Debian had a squabble with Mozilla a while back over what they felt was Mozilla’s improper use of proprietary bits in Firefox. So, Debian redid their package of Firefox and renamed it “Iceweasel” :laughing: It seems that Debian and Mozilla have made up, since “Iceweasel” in Debian is now back to being called “Firefox”.

Not only there’s no way to delete a system app, but if you’re dumb enough to copy a system app under your ‘work’ profile in Shelter like I did with ‘Apps’, you will not be able to delete that, either :frowning:

hello all, i believe the option to turn on Google services is to improve compatibility of the phone with a host of apps that rely on that. I think it’s pretty great /e/ offers this as an option, so that we all can choose whether we want better compatibility or better privacy.
I also second the view above: /e/ is still in beta and a work in progress. From this forum you can read that they are doing a lot of good work to unGoogle this new platform. Let’s give them our feedback and a chance to improve things further.