I've had to buy an phone for reasons and I decided to NOT setup ANY account. This means no properly working browser (as the preinstalled cannot be considered properly working without and it doesn't let you install extensions without logging to chrome store) and no Play Store, that require you to autheticate even just to download a .

Well, with careful use of , and , (obviously with uMatrix and proper tuning), , and few other tools... it's working like a charme!

I planned to root it and install (which is still an option) but not giving it any account and using TorBrowser (still with uMatrix) for anything that does not require authentication seems really... enough to get rid of Google!

Am I missing something obvious?

@Shamar Then why are you not installing LOS?
LOS is basically Android without a Google account minus the annoyances and unuseful apps you get of a googlified Android.


That was the original plan, but I thought: let's try something anybody can do without voiding the warranty.

So far I only had to download one apk from apkmirror (printer driver) and I double checked SHA-256 from several sources.

Ultimately everything is fine.

Which is very interesting: it's a very simple way to avoid that does NOT require much technical knowledge once you know how to do it.

Yes you do!
The tor project recommends to not install any additional plugins, because they can probably deanonymise you.

Second is, even without any account there is the google advertising ID and several google apps (for example the play services) which work in background.

If you want to get rid of google root anf a firewall is required - at least.


I'll dive deeper into the Play Services thing. Actually I know about the advertising ID and routinarily change it (but I'd like an App that change it once an hour... i looked to write it myself but apparently I can't find the proper Android's API to use).

As for the Tor Browser's plugin, I'd say it doesn't take into account.
It prevents third parties HTTP requests to be sent, so there's nothing to anonymize.


Depending on the phone (what is it?) and its age, a big issue is that some components of Android are now updated via the Play Store
This is because many phone vendors release vital security updates months after they are made public
With these updates via Play, known as Project Mainline, folks using Play get them in a much more timely fashion, even if the device is no longer receiving operating system updates

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