Maybe people should review, if they haven’t already, what microg itself says about status of core services, and adjust expectations to match. You may be surprised by how much is known to be not working or buggy. I am down to only 3 apps still using GSF (G00gle services), and one of those, c:geo, has an option for turning GSF off for location; however, it still “needs” (uses) the G for message sending and a little tracking of users. Only one thing is better than seeing “Uses: nothing” for my installed apps’ listings in Yalp, and that is: “Not available on Play Store.” My goal is to get to a ROM with G removed completely, and not even microg added. At first, I thought that was what /e/ was about.
I’ve been experimenting with a few ROMs that are both Google-free and microG-free. My needs are small/limited so it’s a bit easier for me than for others no doubt.
My best success is on my LG G3. One of the ROMs (I multiboot) is Candy7 Nougat that only has UnifiedNlp, no microG, no GCM. It runs snappier and has great battery life due to lack of overhead and unnecessary notifications that I don’t care for anyway. Social media, which I use rarely nowadays, is accessed via the web or WebApps Sandbox Browser.
My core Pro apps from the Play Store, locally saved, work just fine as they don’t do license checking. Examples being Root Explorer, QuickEdit Pro, SMS Backup & Restore Pro, Advanced Download Manager Pro.
Tried the same on Oreo ROMs but UnifiedNlp, even with corresponding Xposed module, doesn’t work (issue recently raised at the microG github). Still I attempted the same with microG but leave off Google Device Registration and GCM. So one of the ROMs on my Moto phone (also multiboot), AOSiP Oreo, is also good to go.
On both setups I use my /e/ account for syncing contacts and calendar.
Can’t say I’m 100% Google free as I’ll still use my Google account on Yalp Store to download updates to those Pro apps.
So I guess the thing is that one has to weigh wanting to be Google free yet insist on running apps that require Google services. One has to find alternatives, give in to Google (if they can’t live without certain apps), or compromise in some way.
One can also take a firm stand, and refuse to compromise and accept doing wrong.
I’ve tried to be sympathetic to the idea that “it’s up to the e-users to choose” to use proprietary, software (i.e. malware), but I struggle to find the fundamental principles being followed by the e foundation, when promoting leaving Google and Apple and some others behind, while at the same time making it easy to… in essence, do wrong.
FSF.org, in contrast, is much more consistent, with clearer fundamental principles. For example,
“The Injustice of Proprietariness: If the users don’t control the program, the program controls the users. With proprietary software, there is always some entity, the developer or “owner” of the program, that controls the program—and through it, exercises power over its users. A nonfree program is a yoke, an instrument of unjust power.”
“Distributing a non-free program to users mistreats those users; however, choosing not to distribute the program does not mistreat anyone.” (slightly modified from the original)