microG - What you need to know, A conversation with its developer : Marvin Wißfeld

Hi @andrelam, I’m familiar with the functionality of microG GmsCore with Exposure Notifications API. I’ve demonstrated it several times in the near past here in the forum.

The crux is this: On my device with microG version GmsCore does not show the option ‘Exposure Notifications’, no matter if ‘OFF’ or ‘ON’. The brand new UK NHS Covid-19 app version 3.10 (100) 100 from 05.11.2020 can be installed but not used.

Please also compare with image #1 in posting obove.

This may not be any help for you, but I can confirm that version of microG does include the ‘Exposure Notifications’ framework / API. I am running it under Lineage 17.1 with the latest NanoDroid (NanoDroid- on a Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact (lilac). The version of microG is GmsCore - same as @SuzieQ’s, but the microG Settings page shows ‘Exposure Notifications’ under ‘Location modules’ as in @andrelam’s image.

I have installed the UK NHS Covid-19 app, version 3.10 (100), Date of release 09/2020, which runs, and the Contact Tracing function (which uses the Exposure Notifications) seems to be working.

So I think it’s not a problem with the microG version, but with maybe with how it is setup on your device. (And I know you know more about this than I do :wink: )

@petefoth, thank you for your statement. Your LOS 17.1 with microG is GmsCore installed via NanoDroid- is not the same as an unofficial /e/ OS with preinstalled microG GmsCore Optically almost identical “like an egg”, but internally different “like apple and pear”.

Another test with two different COVID-19 Apps on an Samsung Galaxy Tablet with unofficial /e/ OS ROM e-0.13-Q including microG GmsCore shows the same negative result. Among other things I get the following message:

CAUSE: 3 Something went wrong. Your Covid-19 app is correctly installed, but the Covid-19 Exposure Notifications System is not available on your smartphone's operating system.

Up to now, running various Covid-19 apps under microG GmsCore v0.2.12.203315 was absolutely easy and without any obstacles. But now …?!

That must be the new /e/ “feature” :nauseated_face:

same issue as @SuzieQ overhere.
Fairphone3 with e 0.12-q-2020111084008-dev-FP3 and MicroG
Exposure Notifications are just not there in MicroG settings

Thank you @screenager, your experience is extremely helpful to me.

Another test with microG is GmsCore on a third device shows a different result: the option ‘Exposure Notifications’ is displayed.

First I installed on a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 “mido” this latest LOS-ROM: lineage-16.0-20201022-UNOFFICIAL-microG-mido including preinstalled microG GmsCore v0.2.12.203315 from the official LineageOS for microG website.

As Covid-19 app reference I use the German RKI Corona Warn App. It’s known for its proper functionality, its privacy friendliness (for this the Chaos Computer Club e. V. (CCC) has among others) and last but not least the German main developer of microG, Marvin Wißfeld, is interested in the app working with his microG system.

As a second test app I use UK NHS Covid-19 App to check the camera option “venue check-in” which does not work in all versions of microG GmsCore so far.

The installation of OS and Covid-19 apps was done as usual without any additional changes to the default settings.

The option ‘Exposure Notifications’ is available in both microG versions: GmsCore v0.2.12.203315 + GmsCore Both Covid-19 apps work with both microG is GmsCore versions.



So I have to say that if you install the Covid-19 apps the same way on different /e/ OS and LOS, the results will be different.

On my two unofficial /e/ OS e-0.13-p [pʰeː]) + /e/ OS e-0.13-q [ kveː], the option ‘Exposure Notifications’ is not displayed and an activation was not possible with until now.

The current (16.11.2020) unofficial mido build from the official LineageOs-for-mircoG website works as described by other forum participants.

By the way, my question remains: Are there two different versions of the current microG GmsCore v0.2.13.203915 or how should I explain all this?

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Well my screenshot is from /e/ 0.11 pie custom build, so they must have removed it in preperation for the final solution. I did not check this though.

@andrelam, it’s good for me to know that the ‘Exposure Notifications’ option worked on a previous /e/ 0.11 pie custom build - and now, one or two releases down the road, it doesn’t.

This process shows that the /e communication is once again more than sloppy and not timely. I’m not saying that other institutions do it better, but the /e/communication is not image-enhancing according to the philosophy laid down in the /e/manifesto. Talk is silver, sil/e/nce is gold/e/n.

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I thought someone mentioned somewhere (sorry for the vagueness) that with the update to 0.13 an app will appear in the app store which enables the switch to toggle on the API in the settings. This switch however will only be visible/switchable once a covid-app is installed. The version 0.13 shall be released within the next week (if not further delayed).


I seemed to remember the same thing … here it is:


Thanks, @harvey186! We got our FF3+'es just because of the changed Exposure Notification Express spec that allows the government to enable tracing by submitting config information (https://www.xda-developers.com/google-apple-exposure-notifications-express-covid-19-contact-tracing/).

I am concerned about this. I just want to be able to decide on my own if the government traces my contacts or not.

Could somebody please tell me how we can avoid getting any Exposure Notification API Express implementation on the phones? Where would I find the source code so I could write something that “implements” the API by logging stuff to /dev/null?

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I still have the question:

Is there any update on the Timeline? So far, the APK has not been made available, or have I missed something?

Still waiting to revert back to /e/ but I am starting to worry that the implemntation has been given up altogether.

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No it has not been released as yet. I just tested it this morning. There are some issues in the framework integration which still need to be resolved. Unfortunately there will be a delay of another week at least.


Sorry. I dont understand this. What it really means that about the covid contact tracking framework in e/od?

Can @Manoj please explain me if you have install that API of contact tracing in e/ and we have to say yes or yes to it?

In standard setup it is not active. If you want to use it, you have to install the extension.


By default /e/ comes with a version of microG without the Exposure Notification API.
Users who want to use the Exposure Notification API need to install a different microG version which includes it. The “System apps” category was introduced to the Apps installer for this purpose.

If you don’t consciously take steps to get the Exposure Notification API, you will not have it.

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Thanks for reoly guys. I got crazy just thinking about the goverments will force it. :dizzy_face: