Digital nomad - A journey of de-Googling

Hello gents!
Posted an update to a recent thread where I shared my journey into adopting a new and different mobile OS, and accept all the hurdles that come with the territory.
Forum member @nate suggested a new thread where I can share my thoughts ans experiences in another journey I stared: De-Googling my life.

In case you haven’t heard of it before, de-Googling means removing Google services from your life and replacing them with their analogs. And yes, it includes everything from Gmail to the search engine to Google Chrome.

As all of EOS users replaced Windows with a new OS, the journey to remove Google and start afresh should be a new challenge, and by being here, we like challenges. A lot!

If you wonder why the long introduction, I have to clarify that I wanted a solid, secure base given by a locked bootloader, encrypted device and a private ROM and grew from there.
Let’s go!

So, when my spouse complained about her phone running slow, and not getting updates, I was pretty annoyed. So after a few days and gathering information, I managed to flash LineageOS on that device, an older Motorola.
this was an eye opener, the device ran faster and received a lo tof security fixes.

So, my phone also started to run slow and a few falls and a chipped screen made me look for a replacement. Being me, I wanted something secure, fast, able to install another OS or even more OSs.
When I flashed the LineageOS ROM, the message Your device can’t checked for corruption, lock your boot loader annoyed me a lot. That means that someone can hack you device and get the data from it by physically access it by means of adb commands.
But the storage is encrypted and if someone gets your hands on your device, you have bigger problems…

So, I wanted a device / ROM who can be locked back in, after the flash. I was presented with two options: GrapheneOS and CalyxOS, both able to lock the bootloader only on Pixel devices, with one exception on a Xiaomi model. Got a mint condition Pixel 4a and flashed CalyxOS on it.

Both GrapheneOS and CalyxOs are great, but in the end I wanted some convenience, and CalyxOS offered the perfect balance between security and convenience. And their OS is loaded from the start with some awesome apps, preparing the new user to step with ease in this de-googling path.

Sorry for the longest introduction ever, but I wanted to give the complet picture, some may relate.
So , how one can survive without G-apps? CalyxOS offers microG, a tool to have apps with Firebase builtin and can’t be run without Google services. So, most of the apps work and you can have multiple profiles in which you can log in Google services, but able to control them by the means of Datura, the CalyxOS firewall, which comes preinstalled. To check what apps work with microG, here is a treasure of information provided by Techlore
And there are more privacy oriented alternative to Google services.It may unpleasant to switch constantly profiles, firewall rules and different apps, but hey, that proves the point that Google infiltrated every layer of our digital lives. One has to give up something in order to take back control.

Example: I installed GCam, the best app for taking pictures with a Pixel phone, but I cut its access to internet and set up every photo without Geo-taggind and the Exif preinstalled app strips away the metadata from the photo, if I want to share with someone.

The transition is in the final stage, I have a meeting with my bank next week, I need to un-link my old phone from online banking activities, and bank stuff were puzzled about a phone without Google. I have to go there in person, to have a chat with their IT stuff.

So, i may or may not provided information you guys/gals wanted to know, so ask away! I will be more than happy to provide answers, if I can.



Yes, please let us know how you get on.

1 Like

Hope that they don’t flag me as a terrorist. Just because I deleted and canceled my Whatsapp account, made the situation even weirder on their part, because they wanted to have a chat on WhatsApp.
Sorry, can’t, I don’t have it.
Some IT guy called me and mumbled something about seeing in person and get this solved.


Hope so too!

I’m right there with you! I’m rolling a pixel 4xl on calyx and love it. If I need to access my Gmail which is mostly junk mail, I do it on a VPN within Tor. I also use Gboard and camera with removed internet as well. I’ve NEVER done banking on my phone, and won’t do good luck, in definitely interested in the outcome.

1 Like

Nice to hear that!
Well, the banking I did using the Calyxed Pixel was using Revolut and ING from a browser page. It worked, not the easiest method, bit doable.
Now, the real hurdle is the bank account that holds my mortgage and their app strictly requiring a Google account and security validation from Google Play and bank servers. Still one year and half to finish the mortgage and will close the account.
But I digress.
Will keep you informed about this journey.


I ran this a few times just to give it a go. I’d run it in a VM with normal safety protocols maybe?? It had the whole play store working and everything. Keep your current account and use the app that way for another year and a half? I haven’t used it in a while, but I was playing with it on a tiny USB computer with an idea of using the Netflix and Hulu apps in lieu of the smart tv