reclaiming android foss

i am gradually removing google apps, as they continue to bloat.

if you are looking to buy a new phone, i will only recommend those phones which have a sizable open-source developer community behind it. if you don't want to end up with a paperweight, do not buy any phones, which can't be hacked!

cyanogenmod logo
the first thing i do when i get an android phone is to remove the stock android firmware, wipe it and replace it with a custom mod. all spurious apps and bells n whistles like wallpapers, bootanims, startup music are purged. no wallpapers, black background, set most apps with black background. any apps becoming bloatware are immediately replaced with smaller, leaner & more focussed apps.

this should make your battery last a lot longer. note that, you have to remove/purge these default apps to get any benefit. always keep backups!

f-droid logo
google play store is simply not suitable for a phone, perhaps for a desktop or even a tablet. use foss alternatives, which supply foss apps. you will have apps with vetted source codes. no hidden surprises in code.

android foss repository has a client app. download fdroid.apk and install it. it lists each app version with size, and allows you to install any (older) version. if an open source app is not listed in the f-droid repos, you can suggest it to be added. you can also add custom repos, and/or disable the default f-droid repos.

for eg. to add the guardian project's repo. do
Menu -> Manage Repos -> New Repository -> https://guardianproject.info/repo/
Menu -> Update


some other bloatwares can be replaced as under:

google maps: navfree world, waze
google books: wordoholic reader (ebooks from pg)
gmail: k9-mail
google calendar: calendar pad
browser: zirco browser, opera mini
google drive: skydrive for android
gallery: quickpic
google reader: sparse rss
facebook: browser (no app)
twitter: cheepcheep, tweetsride

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