MicroG and Google account

Good day,
I just installed /e/ on my OnePlus 6 and I am very happy of this transition ! I am not an IT specialist and I have difficulties to clearly understand how MicroG works and what is the implication of adding a google account within its setting. I have not found answers to my question on the forum. Sorry if it is redundant.

Indeed, even if the purpose of transitioning to /e/ is to degoogle our online life, I still did not find good alternative of Google maps for instance. Therefore, I was wondering what would be the impact of adding my google account to MicroG which would enable me to have access to my saved places and other services of maps.
Will, adding my account to MicroG, totally break the purpose of /e/? To which extend? Or does it only enable the connection to the google service for maps while blocking all trackers and autorisation?

Also, what is the impact of using an app that use google services such as Strava for instance?

Many thanks for your help !

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

Hi @Thenals welcome to the /e/ forum. What I hear you saying is “I have not done enough microG reading yet”, and “I degoogled my phone, can I google it again?” Thing is, without quite a lot of reading you would not know how much presence G has in your device. /e/ is really about doing the reading so that you can live without Google. If you like Google maybe you will not have the motivation to do that.

Your could have a phone with less bloatware but Google by installing Lineage OS with Gapps. Devices | Lineage #oneplus

You ask about strava. IF that would work at all on your default /e/ device as an html page, not an app, you would get an idea of microG performance. I tested this briefly without a strava account and it did not look promising (strava seemed to me to be heavily into cross-referencing other consumer services).

Another test, google-com/maps will run as an html page in the default browser (you do not have to sign in, only accept cookies) using this for a little while might demonstrate what you can actually do without installing an app !

For a while Strava’s app did not work on /e/OS, so I accessed it via a web browser (Fennec) shortcut on my homescreen, and it worked fine. In more recent versions of /e/OS, the Strava app is working fine too.

Another privacy-preserving alternative is to install Google’s Maps app from Aurora Store, and use it without logging in. I did this because Maps’ navigation functionality is quite a lot better than any of the alternatives I tried (Magic Earth, OsmAnd+, Organic Maps). Every time you use it, you will see a notification saying you need to update Google’s Play Services, but you can ignore that, and the app just works :slight_smile:

If you don’t login, then you won’t have access to your saved places, but you can save them as addresses in the Contacts app, and then click on the address to either show that address in whichever maps app you choose, or to get directions.

Hi @aibd ! Many thanks for your quick reply!
It is not exactly what I said :smile: However, I am pretty sure, I have not read all on MicroG which explain my lack of knowledge on how it works in the details. If you have sources, I would be very happy to read them however I have not been able to find the answer to my question on the forum.

My question was rather: what is actually happening (to your phone, privacy, setting of /e/, etc) when you sign in with a google account in MicroG. If MicroG proposes the option of logging in, I would tend to believe that there is a reason. However, I do not understand the impact. Is it like going back to my OnePlus Android settings, with all the trackers and autorisation open, or does it just open what is needed for your application (i.e. maps).
It is really a “technical” question to understand how your level of privacy is impacted when you just use MicroG, when you loggin, and all that compare to a Googlised OS.

I am quite serene with the reasons that push me to transition to /e/ even if it is not the most radical.

Thanks a lot for the help! I am here to learn.

Hi @petefoth ! Thanks a lot as well for your reply. Strava app is working quite well on my phone. My question is rather, what is the impact in term of privacy when you use such an app that use the google service. I cannot find the answer.

For maps, I downloaded the app that work well and I do not loggin and just autorise the location when I use it. However, what you recommend (save the address in contact) is a super idea. Pretty simple but I had not thought of it! We are too used to the service ahahah

Thanks a lot!

From what I have read and discovered, I don’t think there are many privacy implications associated with using things like Google’s reCapcha (which I think is what Strava, and some others of my apps use). I never use the ‘Login with Google’ functionality that some websites and app offer: I always register with a different email address and password.

Loggin in (with your Google ID_ in MicroG clearly does have some implications - you are logging in to Googles services, so they will know (and remember) that you have logged in. I have never needed to that in the 18 months or so I have been using /e/OS.

As an additional privacy-enhancing measure, I have logged into my Google account (from a computer because it’s easier) and on the Data and privacy page, disabled just about everything. And then, apart from Maps, I don;t use any of their apps :slight_smile: