Is there an under a hundred quid way of getting a modern smartphone that Google (or Apple) can't use to spy on me, without any messing about with jailbreaks or firmware flashing?
Undeterred by US boycotts, Huawei has pushed out a new range of Android smartphones without the Google software that usually comes with them. As is the case with the previous entrants in Huawei's P-series, the focus with the new P40 series is unabashedly on photography (pun absolutely intended), with the embattled Chinese tech …
Friday 27th March 2020 20:14 GMT Oh Homer
In a word, no
But you can do it for $749.00. In about 6 months time. Maybe.
But frankly, why bother?
The whole point of a smartphone is convenience. Take away the convenience and you might as well just go back to dumb phones. A phone without SafetyNet is basically useless to me. No banking apps, no Google Pay, hell even the bus timetable app refuses to run. I've tried hacks like Magisk but it's a game of leapfrog with Google and the banks, so ultimately it's a losing battle.
The top 3 apps I use are all Google: YouTube, Maps and Search, in that order. And BTW that's on both smartphones and the desktop. That, combined with SafetyNet restrictions, means I'm basically Google's bitch, so I may as well suck it up and let them compile whatever data they want on me. It's not like I'm going to die from a fatal case of "Google spying". In fact, as I sit here, I can't imagine a single negative consequence of allowing Google to know that I watched PewdiePie, listened to Eminem, then bought a USB cable on Amazon. What exactly could Google do to me armed with that data, that would in any way cause me harm?
So yeah, rooting and modding and hacking in general is an interesting exercise, and of course taking steps to protect yourself from genuine threats is essential, but this ain't one of them.