I recently de googled my android phone by using a FOSS alternative to every Google App, even the stock ones. My app setup is pretty similar to what’s described in this Techlore guide: Some google app alternatives on fdroid - #30 by adijha91
I don’t feel that this De Googled setup is sustainable and will last for long. This is because right now, we are lucky that every Google app has a FOSS alternative, which has a beautiful UI, is functional, private, and is maintained by the developer. This will stop in the future. Something like Signal or Protonmail, will probably last for a very long time. But smaller apps from smaller app developers, may not last forever. Developers might stop developing and maintaining apps, reducing the number of FOSS apps available to us. In addition, our access to repositories like F Droid and Aurora Store may be limited in the future. Lastly, Google can say no to De Googled Android phones anytime they want. For these reasons, I feel that I cannot use my De Googled Motorola phone forever, and at some point I will have to revert back to using some sort of Google app. I’m glad that Google’s stock apps exist as a backup to our FOSS apps that might go away in the future, and Google’s stock apps have a very nice UI in my opinion.
Let me know what you think about the sustainability of De Googling. This idea of getting rid of big tech is highly dependent on our FOSS community, which is subject to change in the future. Do you think we can continue to use our de googled phones for a long time?
I think there will always be open source developers on android and thus apps to use that are private. Some may even be forking the one you are using right now as they get unmaintained. F-Droid has been around for a long long time so I doubt it will disapear in the near future.
About Google saying no to degoogled android phone, it’s already pretty much established with the google services needed for most non foss apps (and some foss apps also).
I think you should just be using whatever fits you and if something you like get unmaintained, find alternatives.
More and more companies are selling phones with custom software.
It’s getting easier and easier to buy degoogled phones.
Why would FOSS apps need Google Play Services?
For it’s notification system. It’s a minority of apps but Signal does need GMS to send you notifications for example.
I think that degoogled phones can be sustainable because there isn’t a resource reason for why Google can’t maintain the status quo. The FOSS community has also been around for decades, so I wouldn’t be worried about developers drying up (though it’s important to support those devs!)
What is the risk that degoogled phones are harder to make happen in the future? That gets closer to what I think you’re asking for. I think we should be fine, but based on recent moves by big companies against simple and longstanding privacy measures like adblockers, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google is looking to block off even small threats to their business now before it turns into a bigger problem. I always thought that adblockers were a small enough hit to YouTube that they didn’t care. Yet they are looking at how to put an end to that. This tells me that there’s a good likelihood companies are aware of privacy measures and may want to cut those down in search for as much growth or profit as possible in the current economy.