DeGoogle your life using Android-based mobile phones (e /OS/ rocks!)

Global IT companies like Google dominate and penetrate individual users life, allowing  them to collect massive amounts of user-specific data, which large risks for misuse of information, for example, for micro-targeted advertising, which may also be used to influence public elections. Furthermore, by basing basic apps for banking or authentication (e.g. Mobilt BankID, Freia ID) on propriety Google Mobile Services, it gives IT corporations leverage on national governments, for example, by limiting access of the public to bandwidth, technical details, or access to app stores, which may mess up people’s everyday lives and create a huge public outcry, if people cannot access their bank accounts, services of public agencies etc. Therefore, in the personal and national interest it seems important to become (more) independent of these companies, especially if they are located in politically instable countries, like the USA under the Trump administration (although the political instabilities are still not resolved under the Biden administration).

After first experiences with android-based, deGoogled Lineage OS [1], which did not allow the use of various essential apps in Sweden, e.g. Mobilt BankID, Freia ID, I have now started using a refurbished, pre-installed smartphone (ie Samsung Galaxy 8) using e/OS/ [2], which is basically Lineage OS with the microG suite [3], which re-implements Google Mobile Services without requiring a Google account or otherwise sharing data with Google. Although e/OS/ has its own app repository with a reduced selection of privacy-approved apps, it is still possible to access the original “Google Play Store” via an anonymous user interface of the AURORA store [4, 5]. Here, apps will be rated regarding privacy and some apps with excessive tracking still be blocked.

However, I can confirm that apps which I consider essential for making life work in Sweden (mobilt BankID, Swish, banking apps, …) work flawlessly on e /OS/, which makes it possible to completely deGoogle one’s life. The graphical user interface is extremely polished and efficient without any bloatware. So far, the only disadvantage I realized is that the browser every couple of days cannot access certain webpages, which I assume has to do with limitation of the default open-source meta-search engine  (spot.ecloud.global) which seems to be overwhelmed sometimes.

In summary, 98% satisfaction.

References:

[1] https://lineageos.org/

[2] https://e.foundation/

[3] https://microg.org/

[4] https://auroraoss.com/

[5] https://aurora-store.de.softonic.com/android

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