I’ve been a professional Free Software developer in the GNU/Linux area for 14 years now, and a hobbyist developer and user for much longer. For some reason that never extended much to the smartphone world, beyond running LineageOS on my older phones (my current Sony Xperia is still under warranty and I’m fine with the officially supported Android), and various stabs at using the Ubuntu phone (RIP!).
On a few long weekends this year it got a hold of me, and I had a look over the Google fence to see how Free Software is doing on Android and how to reduce my dependency on Google Play Services and Google apps. Less because I would actually severely distrust Google, as they have a lot of business and goodwill to lose if they ever majorly screw up; but more because of simple curiosity and for learning new things. I want to note down my experience here for sharing and discussing.
I started experimenting on my old Nexus 4 by completely blanking it and installing current LineageOS 14.1 without the Google apps. This provides a nice testing ground that is completely free of any proprietary Google stuff. From that I can apply good solutions on my “production” Xperia.
One of those topics not particularly suited for most smartphone users, but among OSNews readers, there are sure to be quite a few people who are interested in this.