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    If you give an advertisement company the keys to your kingdom, you should not be surprised to find it defiled by its henchmen.

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      Good point, some of our tech giants are actually mega (or “meta”) advertising companies. Ads should be fine, but when advertising starts to mingle with maths, neuro marketing, and technology everything gets dystopian.

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      Just in case anyone had any remaining doubts about the purpose of Android or whether or not you own your devices, this makes it pretty clear who your Android phone actually belongs to.

      I really need to check in on the state of the PinePhone Pro soon and give it a whirl as a daily driver.

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        Not all Android. LineageOS is Android with the Google-tumors removed. Together with the FOSS F-Droid-“Store” you are very independent.

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          Kind of. You’re independent until you try to run any app from outside of F-Droid (e.g. anything you need for booking tickets on busses / trains / planes, mobile banking, work apps, and so on). Then there’s a significant chance that these will pull in a dependency on Google Play Services, and so you need to have that installed and it runs with basically the same privileges as the kernel.

          I tried using a de-Googled Android phone, but eventually had to give up and install a minimal Google Apps distribution, and the smallest ones come with Google Play Services.

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            MicroG replaces Google Play Services. I’m using LineageOS with MicroG and no Google apps, and almost everything works fine, including work apps, the local parking app, and so on. The only thing that doesn’t work currently is anything that uses in-app payments or Google licensing servers (which shouldn’t be surprising). In practice, that meant not being able to let my youngest run Minecraft on it, and that’s about it. YMMV, depending on the apps you need.

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              Yep. The only app that causes me problems now is Grab. One of their updates a while back doesn’t let me do anything in the app and there are no errors.

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              I never had problems with this, but maybe I’m better off here in Germany. Of course I don’t want to discount your experience, but this kind of unspecified FUD discourages others from at least trying it.

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              It shouldn’t be the reserve of nerds like us though. Even getting decent location working on lineage requires microg or google play, which is either a pain to set up or defeats the object of using a de-googled phone.

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                Location works just fine for me on Fairphone 3.

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                Ah, yes - good point. I’m running LineageOS on my old Pixel 2 and it’s great.

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              I was under the impression that the Play Store already banned VPN ad blockers, but maybe they’re just making it explicit?

              I was not aware that the apple VPN api was only available to non-independent developers.

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                I am using both BitDefender and ProtonVPN, and they both have the option to block ads. I don’t think it was that explicit before this new change.

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                This doesn’t affect apps of F-Droid, right?

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                  As long as the Devs are disabling the feature for Play and let live for the APK or other app stores.