Upsetting news! Though I’ve always wondered if (though realistically when) Google would create issues for Aurora. Hopefully they bring it back, this would be a huge hit to the concept of a degoogled android device, Aurora is such an important project - arguably one of the most important for the Android space. Needing to use a Google account is less than ideal
So it finally happened! I have been using Aurora and FDroid for many years. What are the good alternatives now? Has anyone used Obtainium?
Obtainium just had an app update. It is not as easy as using something like F-Droid just for FOSS apps.
Yeah, but not every app you require is open source! That’s the biggest issue here. I use multiple profiles (with old version of android) and I am still dependent on some proprietary apps especially related to banking apps or payment apps. So I was highly dependent on Aurora store for all profiles.
Fortunate news is, you can still update existing apps in Aurora store somehow! I just could accidentally open aurora store (I have set opening play store links through aurora store as you showed in screenshot in another post here) And details of that app could not fetch but when I pressed back button, I was in home screen of Aurora store, but yeah search doesn’t work, you can’t find or open any app on it, But when I switched to Update section, I could see existing apps updates, and when I tapped on update app, it worked and started downloading the update!!! (Sorry for too much details😅)
Update : Devs are actively working on it and hopefully we will get fix soon. (I am in their telegram group now)
Obtainium is an alternative way of installing open source apps by fetching the APKs published by the developers from different sources like GitHub or GitLab. If an app is closed source and is only available on Google Play you can’t use Obtainium to install it.
This similar process worked for me.
Open a link to the app store, and or view store page. To access Aurora Store. This for me failed to load. Press back button. This goes to the Aurora Store main page, again no app details load. Go to updates and the available updates are shown.
My next test is to side load a new app not open source only on Google Play. Then try to update in the future via Aurora.
Is there a benefit to using Aurora Store besides the anonymous app downloads? I guess it’s at least a better client than the Google Play Store? Not sure how much of a difference it makes if you have to be logged into a Google account.
So keep in mind, “anonymous” logins are not anonymous as you think, Google will still have IP address if they want. Dev himself said you could use VPN.
The anonymity of the anonymous log in is not what is broken, correct?
More bad news:
First reports came in today. The accounts that got deleted were solely used with Aurora Store.
Still, if you want to be safe, make sure that you only use disposable accounts which are not associated with an important Google account to log in through Aurora Store. Also, it’s a not so friendly reminder to ideally make yourself independent of Google
Seems like the kraken has awoken.
If you’re wondering why anonymous logins currently don’t work: Aurora’s main developer Rahul Patel is working on it. It’s a good time to consider a donation for this project that is so central for the Open Source community around usable versions of Android free of Google’s PlayServices.
TLDR: Google is deleting some Google accounts that are used to log in through Aurora.
So anonymous logins are currently broken, as well as a risk in using a Google account.
I have a small friends group that uses Aurora, maybe to support them I should create an anonymous google account we all could use. Sharing a password in this group would be cool. An authenticator app might work better.
I have never used a google account with Aurora.
Well, I think its better idea to “donate” anonymous google account to their pool (check the link henry shared) (you have to generate some kind of token and have to share with them, not the password i guess) which will help to resolve this issue faster. I tried quite few times but google asks phone number to verify all the time.
Edit : be careful when you create such accounts to donate them. They strictly said not to fill phone number. In 99% cases, google asks for phone number to verify to create new account. Someone was saying if you have google service built-in and you try to create account then your IMEI number is linked with them and so they won’t ask you for phone number verification. So be careful.
I don’t exactly know how it works technically. But as what I could understand, they have a pool of accounts (I don’t exactly know what it means tho) and there’s a Despenser which generates token which in turn is used to communicate with google through aurora store (using one of those pool accounts) and aurora store can download or update apps on behalf of you (so you don’t have to do same using your own google account).
And what devs did is, they have taken down dispenser for now (token generator in simple words) to protect their google accounts (the pool accounts) to avoid bans. This is probably happening because of too many requests with high number of different IP addresses because the number of users are too many now. So they are increasing pool accounts. So the “rates limits” will reduced and everything will work stable (ideally).
Well I am no expert so I can be wrong, but this is what I understood.
You know sleeping gets in the way of getting things done. With this small group of family and friends I am thinking I can be admin over the phone number and just set them up with access, the authenticator app would just help with the password management.
I don’t want to do this just thinking of hopefully a short term solution.
I wanted to link a formal PSA from Rahul here that helps clear some of this up that just ended up on my desk:
Just wanted clear the air, Aurora Accounts are not permanently blocked by Google, it is more of a temporary soft ban.
Since we are growing in numbers & the workload on each account has increased, resulting in token rate-limiting.
Persistent limiting caused accounts to be temporarily blocked.
All accounts are now working perfectly fine (2 days cooldown), we are adding more accounts to the account pool to better distribute the load.
Personal note…It’d be awesome if projects didn’t rely on Telegram for PSAs lol. Not even from a privacy POV, just a….practical POV
Aurora supposedly working again!
Worked for me as usual this morning.