With all the talk about privacy issues recently, the name Google continues to emerge because they are a very data-based company. As an Android user, they basically know everything about you based on your device usage. That can easily scare some people who are worried about their privacy and security. You do have voting rights in what personal data is controlled by Google, but what if you want total control?
One of the best ways to take full control of your device is to install a special ROM. A typical special ROM comes without Google’s core application (Gapps), but you will usually install a separate Gapps package to get it back. However, if you want more freedom and privacy, you will just skip the Gapps package and go with MicroG instead.
You should note that many applications require Google Play Services to work properly; if not, there will be no point in installing them. MicroG injects a modified version of the core Google services needed by most applications, but without all the tracking that comes with having a Google account. This increases your level of privacy and can even increase battery life too.
1. Make Sure Your ROM Supports Signature Spoofing
Almost all custom ROMs support signature forgery by default, which is used to make the system think the actual Google Play Service has been installed. This is necessary and necessary for all this to work. You might need to double check where you got the special ROM to see if it supports signature forgery in the first place for MicroG.
2. Skip the Gapps Installation
At this point, you must take the custom ROM that you plan to flash to your device, and should have support for falsifying signatures. As mentioned earlier, you will usually install the Gapps package after installing ROM to get Google services back to your device. However, to use MicroG, you must ensure that you do not install the Gapps package at all when following this guide.
If you accidentally installed Gapps (second nature), go ahead and flash the custom ROM again and delete the data to be safe. After you resolve this, boot into the operating system, and make sure Google applications and services don’t exist, then you can move to the next step.
3. Install MicroG for Your Device
In the past, for the entire MicroG package to work, you had to download several separate applications. However, NanoDroid is now here to simplify things with one ZIP file that you can flash right into a custom recovery, such as TWRP. There is also a newer and more convenient Magisk module that is perfect for root users out there. You can’t go wrong with any method!
For TWRP Users
For all the TWRP people out there who like to keep things as simple as possible, installing NanoDroid with MicroG that is baked directly into it couldn’t be easier. To get started, press the download link below and save the file to your Android phone’s internal storage through the “Download” folder.
After you download the file, continue and boot into recovery mode to the TWRP main screen. Tap “Install,” browse to the location where you saved the NanoDroid file, tap once, then move the slider to start the installation. After the installation process is complete, you can reboot your device, then you can go to the next step below.
For Magisk Users
For root users, the nift4 developer (formerly Hieu Van) has created a special Magisk module to complete work without a system without having to rely on TWRP. To activate and run MicroG via Magisk, follow the quick instructions below.
Open the Magisk Manager application to the main screen, tap the menu icon on the left, then open the “Downloads” section. Tap the search icon and search for the term “microg,” then the required module will immediately appear in the list as the only entry. Tap the download arrow once, then “Install” to get started.
After the installation process is complete, tap the reboot button to restart your system. Now you can go to the next step below.
4. Grant the Proper Permissions
Open your application drawer, find the Micro G application, then open to the main screen. You might see a notification at the top, telling you to give permission to the application. Expand the notification, tap “Request Missing Permission,” then allow permission as requested. If you do not do this, your application will not have access to modified Google services, which defeats the purpose of MicroG.
5. Take the Self-Check Test
Open the MicroG application and tap the “Self-Check” section at the top of the screen. If your ROM supports signature forgery mentioned in Step 1, the first check box must be checked. That will say, “The system has signature spoofing support” if everything looks good from here.
You should also note that almost everything else has an active check box, which is exactly what you want to see. If you receive a message that says, “Your ROM does not have native support for signature spoofing,” then you must return to Step 1. At this point, you need to do a little more searching and find a custom ROM that supports signature spoofing before you can continue.
Your experience won’t be amazing without signature spoofing, so you should get a special ROM that supports it. Look at the documentation for ROM, ask the developer, or even ask the community if you can’t find it. Or, you can flash the ROM and do a Self-Check test to find out in a flash. After your custom ROM passes the test, then you can continue to the next step.
6. Configure Location Services (Optional)
If you want to be able to use location services, such as GPS for maps or weather, you must activate the option in the MicroG application. Because you no longer rely on the official Google Play Services to retrieve your location data, MicroG handles it through the UnifiedNlp settings.
From the main screen of the MicroG application, tap “UnifiedNlp Settings,” then “Configure location backends,” and make sure Mozilla Location Services is checked. Tap “OK,” then tap “Configure the address lookup backend,” and also make sure that “Nominatim” is checked too.
Open the quick settings from the status bar and make sure your location settings are active so you can use the new location services without Google. From now on, GPS will function just like you use the actual Google Play Services. Now you can start building your application list because you have to skip the default Gapps package. This is needed to keep your privacy intact.
Don’t forget that you can use MicroG with any custom ROM that supports signature forgery. This ultimately means you will have a variety of choices to choose from at a certain time for your device. If you don’t have a favorite ROM or don’t know which one best suits your needs, don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the right choice. Good luck, and enjoy increasing your privacy level!