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Frequently Asked Questions

Products & Services

Assuming an iPhone is secure or private requires blind trust in Apple. Why? iOS is Apple's proprietary closed-source software. There is no way to independently verify what Apple does with your data.

Apple is known to spy on its users and there are ample reasons why Apple cannot be trusted. Richard Stallman has recorded many reasons. Here are eight more obvious reasons.

Our smartphones don't eavesdrop on your conversations. They don't spy on you. They don't report your location to Apple or Google.

Each phone runs a modified version of Android that is specifically designed for privacy and security. The core system is Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is auditable and verifiable. The Google proprietary spyware is removed and layers of encryption and privacy-respecting applications are added.

By removing Google from the equation, the benefits are immediate:

  • No google account required - You become anonymous
  • No more data collection - Your personal activities remain private
  • No surveillance - Location tracking (contact tracing) is removed

It is the buyer's responsibility to verify whether their carrier will support our devices. Check your carrier's phone compatibility list before purchasing!

The fact that is a de-googled phone makes no difference in carrier compatibility.

Be aware that some carriers will not support older devices. 

Read our article, Choosing a Mobile Phone Carrier, to see which carrier we recommend and why.

A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a wireless communications provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers. An MVNO enters into a business agreement with a mobile network operator (major carrier) to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates, then sets retail prices independently.

The best MVNOs have specific advantages over major carriers.

  • Expect to save a lot - we've seen plans as low as $5 USD/mo and $35 USD/mo for unlimited data
  • No contracts - most MVNOs we work with don't require contracts. Ever.
  • Better customer service - generally speaking, you talk to a human; not the run-around with a machine
  • Less invasive - they don't try to sink their claws in you like the major carriers do

For more recommendations and discussion, see our articles about cellular carriers on the blog.

Since the Pixel phones operate on the GSM network, they will most likely work with other global carriers.  Use this Frequency Checker to verify which phones work in your country. Input your country and the make and model of the phone.

Yes. If you have an Android device, simply transfer your existing SIM card from your current phone to the privacy phone.  For most carriers, that's all you have to do.  In rare cases, you may need to provide the privacy phone's IMEI number to your carrier.  Depending on carrier requirements, this can be done through your online account or by contacting their customer service.

If you have an iPhone, you'll need to request a new SIM card from your carrier, usually at no extra charge. Your phone number will remain the same.

Yes, you can transfer personal information from your old phone using various methods. Depending on what you want to transfer (contacts, calendars, bookmarks, reminders, photos, etc) and which platform you're coming from (iPhone or Android) will determine how involved it will be.

Follow our guides Transferring personal data from iPhone, and Transferring personal data from Android.

CalyxOS and GrapheneOS offer straight-forward installation instructions.  If you're comfortable using a computer, especially on the command line, then you may want to try it.

LineageOS on the other hand requires a bit more patience to get up and running.  We recommend you have adequate command line experience on a Linux computer before attempting their installation.

When everything goes right, installing a custom OS can seem pretty simple.  However, if something goes wrong, the last thing you want is to "brick" your phone.

Contact us and we'll be glad to de-google your Android device for you.

We provide a de-googling service for select Android phones. iPhone cannot be "de-googled".

Removing Google apps means, no Google Play Store.  However, there are multiple ways to install apps:

F-Droid: The best place to find apps is on F-Droid, a repository that curates privacy-friendly open-source apps.

Aurora Store: If you cannot find the solution on F-Droid, the next step is to install Aurora Store, an open source app that lets you connect to Google Play Store and download anonymously. The Aurora Store app is available to download from F-Droid.

APKMirror & APKpure: Another less common but effective approach to installing apps is by downloading them from websites like APKMirror and APKpure. These sites have been proven to be safe sources.  They are especially useful when you need an older version of an app.

Direct Download: Finally, not all apps have to be installed using a repository like F-Droid or Aurora Store.  There are many excellent apps available for download from their developer's website.  Just search for a "download APK" link.

Note: If the app you installed complains about not being connected to Google Play Store, ask yourself "Do I honestly need this app?" If the answer is No, delete it. If the answer is Yes, then you'll have to use microG, a Google Play Store signature spoofer.  microG is optional on CalyxOS and LineageOS, and not available on GrapheneOS.

It depends.  Don't you love that answer?

  • Apps made by Google or any other Big Tech corporation should be avoided due to their abusive practices
  • Maybe your favorite app is open source and respects your privacy already.  You can probably find it on F-Droid
  • If it is a paid app, use Aurora Store to install it; however we recommend looking for a free and open source alternative
  • For apps on which you transact payments (Uber, banking, etc), they will probably complain if they cannot connect to Google Play Store; in that case you'll need to use microG, a Google Play Store signature spoofer

To get new ideas for your favorite apps, see our recommendations for privacy-friendly Android apps.

CalyxOS is an obvious choice if this is your first de-googled experience. It is user-friendly and comes with a suite of open-source apps. However, if security is your number one priority then GrapheneOS is a great choice.  They provide added layers of encryption for those that need it. 

LineageOS supports a broad range of older Android phones and tablets. Check out their list of supported devices.  If yours is listed, and you prefer keeping your current device, we can de-google it.

See our guide, Choosing Your Operating System, for an in-depth discussion.

All of the operating systems we install are open source and most are based on the Android Open Soure Project (AOSP). This means the source code is auditable and can be checked for ethical practices.

Also the majority of the software are community supported projects.  Rather than being dependent on Silicon Valley investors and corporations, open source software communities are typically egalitarian in nature. 

Most open-source operating systems are efficient, reliable and mature, having been refined by many programmers through iterative development cycles.

The Firmware update timeframe is a good note to keep in mind. However, those updates are for the hardware components (CPU, GPU, baseband modem chips, etc) only. Even after manufacturers like Qualcomm and RealTek stop sending updates for the hardware chipsets, Calyx Institute and GrapheneOS developers will continue to provide regular security updates and bug fixes to the operating system and kernel. 

Also, we've observed first hand that older devices that have not received a firmware update in as many as two to three years continue to function. The only scenario we recommend someone to a newer device is if they are in a high-profile situation (activist, journalist, politician, etc) and may be targeted by a gov't or well-funded organization. Firmware security updates may help defend their device from direct attack due to known vulnerability and exploits.

While it is ironic, the Pixel phone is the most customizable smartphone and can safely be modified.

The Pixel hardware team actually encourages 3rd party software development.  Pixel phones allow bootloader unlocking by design (with the exception of Pixels from Verizon).  Additionally, Pixels support installation of custom firmware signing keys. That's how CalyxOS and GrapheneOS are able to run with a locked bootloader.

We have trusted relationships with a group of electronics wholesalers that specialize in aftermarket digital devices. Every Android device is certified with PhoneCheck, the industry-leading diagnostic and certification solution. All pre-owned products are cleaned and sanitized thoroughly, and tested to ensure 100% functionality, quality and reliability.

Consider us your technical assistant for all things related to digital privacy and enjoy one-on-one support for the lifetime of your device.

Depending on the system in question, we'll guide you to the answer.

  • If related to the operating system, often times the developer releases software updates that resolve the issue
  • For mobile devices, we can help determine if you need to reach out to your carrier
  • When integrating apps, we'll share best practices and which apps work for your situation
  • Hardware issues are rare; however, we can advise whether to upgrade your device or seek out a local repair shop

Conveniently available when you need us.

We take pride in making sure you are 100% satisfied and that you have the knowledge to make smart privacy-minded decisions!

While we offer a hassle-free 30-day return policy, we cannot guarantee the manufacturer will honor a warranty on the devices we sell based on the nature of our services. However, in the case of Google Pixels, Calyx Institute claims that Google will continue to honor their warranty even with CalyxOS installed.

Back ordered products typically requires 7 additional days to receive. If you see a device that is labeled "Back Order", select Request This Item and we will initiate the order through our supply chain. You will be notify when the item is in stock and ready to purchase.

Account & Payments

To reduce spam and fraudulent activity, an account is required to make purchases. Creating an account is simple, and provides benefits that include order history, wish lists, downloads, and promotions.

Updating your account information can be done from your online account.

  1. Login to your account and go to "My Account"
  2. Select the "Edit your account information" option
  3. Enter new information in the text fields provided
  4. After you update the information, click "Continue"

Simply contact us and we will remove your account and personal information from our database.  We'll need to know your name or email address in order to identify the account.

We accept the following payment types in US Dollars:

  • PayPal
  • Debit and credit card (online checkout or phone orders)
  • Check or money order (US customers only)
  • Cash App (US customers only)

Cryptocurrency is accepted and preferred. Pay quickly and easily through our secure payment gateway:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • TrueUSD (TUSD)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Tether (USDT)

For local in-person purchases, we also accept gold, silver, and trades (case-by-case basis).

Yes, our website is secured by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for online transactions. SSL is an encryption-based internet security protocol that provides privacy, authentication, and integrity to Internet communications. SSL has evolved into Transport Layer Security or TLS as it is known today.  A website that implements SSL/TLS has "HTTPS" in its URL instead of HTTP. 

Also, we use precautions to keep the personal information you disclose both in your browsing and your purchases, and never release this information to third parties. Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.

On the login page click Forgotten Password. Enter the email address registered in your account and click Continue.
You will receive a link in your email inbox. Click the link to change your password. If you cannot remember the email address registered in your account, please contact us.

Yes, our products and services are subject to certain Terms and Conditions.  Once you make a purchase, you've agreed to them.

Delivery & Returns

We typically use United States Postal Service.  For larger packages, we may use UPS ground.

Shipping charge is calculated automatically at checkout based on the total weight of your order.  You'll likely save shipping cost for ordering multiple items at a time.

We process and ship your order within 48 hours.  Shipping time depends on the carrier.

Contact us and we'll determine if we can ship to your location.  There is also a possibility we can refer you to a privacy phone vendor in your country.

If you created an account before placing an order you can log into your account and check order status

  1. Go to My Account
  2. Select My Orders
  3. Select View your order history

Pending - Initial status upon placing an order 

Complete - Payment is confirmed and order is being processed

Shipped - Once we ship your item(s), the status will change to "shipped".  You will receive an email with the USPS or UPS tracking number.  From there you can enter the tracking number at the carriers' website to find delivery status.

Prior to an order being shipped, most orders that are not special orders or non-refundable may be cancelled by submitting a request to, or by telephone, or directly through the site contact form. For orders that have already been shipped, please refer to our return policy.

  1. Check the tracking number at USPS or UPS (where applicable) for your package delivery date
  2. If the package is reported as "delivered" by the carrier and you have still not received it, please check with family members or housemates to see if they may have picked up the package on your behalf
  3. Also check with neighbors to see if the package was delivered to their address by mistake
  4. Finally, if you are still unable to locate the package, please contact us with the order number
We offer no-hassle 30-day returns.  For full details, see our return policy.

Fill out the online Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) Request to get the process started. Make sure you have the Order ID number (check your paper receipt or Order History in your online account). Contact us if you need help.

We will issue a refund for the returned item as soon as we verify its condition. This may take up to 5 business days from the time we receive it. Alternatively you can request a replacement device, equivalent brand & model, instead of a refund.

Technical - Apps and Common Functions

The first time you open Aurora Store, you'll be greeted with several questions. Follow these steps to initialize the app:

  1. Install Aurora Store from F-Droid if you do not already have the app
  2. Open Aurora Store app; when asked, accept the Terms of Services and tap Next
  3. If asked to select an installer, select Session installer and tap Next
  4. Choose your preferred theme; selecting the default System is usually fine; tap Next
  5. Choose your preferred accent color; tap Next
  6. Tap GRANT next to External Storage Access heading and answer ALLOW when asked to grant access to photos and media
  7. Tap GRANT next to External Storage Manager heading
  8. The screen changes to All files access setting; Tap Aurora Store and select button to enable access to manage all files
  9. Tap the back arrow in top left corner twice
  10. Tap GRANT next to Installer Permission heading
  11. Toggle the button to enable Allow from this source
  12. Tap the back arrow in top left corner
  13. Select Finish
  14. At the login screen, select Log in using Anonymous

The log in may take several minutes so be patient. You should now see a list of apps. Tap the search (magnifying glass) button in the bottom left corner to find an app.

Troubleshooting: If the log in fails, disable any active firewall or VPN and try again.

The default calendar app that comes with CalyxOS is called Etar. It is just a client, or a shell that you sync with a calendar service. It relies on a program called DAVx5 to synchronize an existing cloud/calendar service to the phone's calendar. You can choose to synchronize the phone's calendar with many different services. For a full list of services and instructions, see the website below.

If you'd prefer using an offline calendar (one that doesn't synchronize to a server), there are other calendar apps available on F-Droid. Try searching for "calendar". A good example is Simple Calendar Pro. It's feature rich, fully offline and does not sync with a server.

If you notice photos taken by your Camera app are not being saved to your Gallery, or some other malfunction, try the following fixes:

  1. Restart your device
  2. Verify there is adequate available storage space on the device; Go to Settings app > Storage
  3. Check for system software updates by going to Settings app > System > System update settings > Check for updates
  4. Clear the cache of the Camera app; Go to Settings app > Apps > See all xx apps > Camera > Storage & cache > CLEAR CACHE
  5. Clear the cache of the Gallery app; Go to Settings app > Apps > See all xx apps > Gallery > Storage & cache > CLEAR CACHE
  6. Check relevant permissions for the Camera app; Go to Settings app > Apps > See all xx apps > Camera > Permissions
  7. Check relevant permissions for the Gallery app; Go to Settings app > Apps > See all xx apps > Gallery > Permissions
  8. Turn off any third-party antivirus apps
Test the camera again. If these suggested steps do not solve your problem, try to install other Camera apps from F-Droid such as Simple Camera or Open Camera. We also recommend installing Simple Gallery Pro from F-Droid.

Adding a custom ringtone to your privacy phone is easy. You don't need a 3rd party app. There are two private and secure methods that involve downloading an audio file to your phone then selecting it in the ringtones list.

Method #1 - Download audio file directly from the internet to the phone

  1. Download any audio file / mp3 to your phone (the file should be in Downloads folder - you can verify this with the Files app)
  2. Open Settings app > Sound > Phone ringtone
  3. The list of available ringtones appears. Scroll to the bottom and select + Add ringtone
  4. A new Files window appears. Select the Menu icon in the top left (looks like three horizontal lines)
  5. A menu appears. Tap Downloads folder and select the audio file you downloaded
  6. Your ringtone is now changed to your custom audio file

Method #2 - Copy audio file from your computer to the phone

  1. Create or download any audio file / mp3 to your computer
  2. Connect privacy phone to computer using USB type-C cable
  3. On the phone, pull down notifications from the top of the display
  4. Tap Charging this device via USB notification (if you don't see this notification, remove the cable from your phone, reconnect it and try step 2 again)
  5. Tap again where it says Tap for more options
  6. Settings > USB Preferences menu opens up. Select File Transfer
  7. The phone should now be recognized by the computer.
  8. From the computer file manager or Finder (for Mac) select the phone's filesystem called Internal shared storage.
  9. Within Internal shared storage folder, select the Ringtones folder
  10. Copy the audio file / mp3 from your computer to the Ringtones folder
  11. Now open Settings app > Sound  > Phone ringtone
  12. The new audio file / mp3 will appear in the list of available ringtones
  13. Select it and you're done

For those coming from gmail, hotmail, or outlook our advice is to leave them completely. The reason the services are free is because the users are the product. Google and Microsoft make huge profits by collecting and selling users' personal information by parsing the contents of every email. The great news is there are many excellent privacy-respecting email services today to choose from.

We understand there may be cases where you have to use gmail or outlook for work. The next best alternative is to use those services on a desktop or laptop computer and not on a de-googled mobile device.

But if you absolutely must check gmail or hotmail on your phone, it is critical not to install the gmail or outlook apps. Instead, log into the account through your internet browser. This will prevent a significant amount of metadata from being collected through their apps. However, they will continue to parse and collect the content of your emails.

For convenience, you can also make an app icon on your home screen for the gmail or outlook web page, so it looks and functions just like an app. How to do this depends on the browser, but generally speaking you navigate to the web page, then tap the 3 vertical dots in the top right of the screen, and look for a menu selection called "Add to home screen" or something similar.

A firewall provides the best first-line of defense against intrusion. We recommend NetGuard. Also, CalyxOS comes installed with Datura Firewall. Both apps limit traffic inbound and outbound.

Background: Connecting to port 9050 means F-Droid is trying to (or being forced to) connect to the Tor Network, and has failed. While it provides better privacy to route traffic through the Tor Network, it also creates complexity in your communications. Fast and reliable connections on Tor Network is "hit or miss". There have been many instances where traffic is routed through Tor and suddenly there is no connection.

Solution #1: First, we want to allow F-Droid to connect to the internet without forcing it through Tor Network.  This will simplify its network connection, and in theory resolve the error based on the message you received.

  1. If you are running Orbot in VPN mode, open Orbot and disable VPN mode and press the STOP button to turn Orbot off.
  2. Check F-Droid app > Settings > Proxy > Use Tor. This setting says "Force download traffic through Tor for increased privacy. requires Orbot". If this setting is enabled, disable it.
  3. If another VPN or proxy service (i.e. Calyx VPN, RiseupVPN, ProtonVPN, NordVPN, Mulvad VPN) is enabled in the background, disable it.
  4. Now, open F-Droid and try connecting by swiping down from the top to prompt Updating Repositories.

If this solved the connection problem, try turning on Orbot or another VPN at a later time. There may just be a temporary communication problem with the Tor Network.

Other Settings to Check: If that did not solve the problem, additionally check the following...

Check that F-Droid is at the latest version:

  • Go to F-Droid > Settings > About F-Droid > Version x.xx.x.
  • Verify the latest version at F-Droid's download page. If it is not, try downloading the latest version from your browser and installing it over the older version.

Allow F-Droid to automatically update:

  • Go to F-Droid > Settings > Automatically fetch updates > tap button to enable

Enable the F-Droid and Guardian Project repositories:

  • Go to F-Droid > Settings >Repositories, Activate all listed repositories

Check that F-Droid has the proper permissions:

  • Go to Settings app > Apps > F-Droid > Permissions. Grant Files and media, and Nearby devices.
  • Still in Settings app > Apps > F-Droid > Mobile data & Wi-Fi. Enable Allow network access, Wi-Fi data, Mobile data, Background data, and VPN data.
  • Still in Settings app > Apps > F-Droid, select Install unkown apps. Enable the button Allow from this source.

Finally, go back to F-Droid and swipe down from the top. You should see a circular arrow and the words Updating repositories at the top. After a minute or two you should see app icons appear in the Latest and Categories tab.

Yes. Although we don't recommend Google apps, Gboard, Google's proprietary keyboard app provides support for the AZERTY layout. To ensure your communication is not sent back to Google, restrict the app's network communication using a Firewall like NetGuard or Datura.

Organic Maps is an excellent privacy-friendly offline maps program and usually gets the job done for basic turn-by-turn navigation. Admittedly, it does struggle when searching by street address and it's been known to not always choose the fastest route possible. On the other hand it does a good job when searching proper nouns like the closest "Walmart". And it has a clean reliable interface and best of all it's open source.

BUT... if you travel frequently and need an app that accurately pinpoints a location based on street address, it's worth looking at Magic Earth. It includes more features that are similar to Google Maps, including crowd-sourced traffic information. The reason it's not on our recommended apps list is that it's not open source. The company states they do not collect user data, which is great. However you're left trusting them at their word.

We personally don't use or recommend microG. Here's why...

microG makes it possible to use apps that depend on Google Play Services, like ebay, Uber, Grubhub, Starbucks... shopping and banking apps; basically any app in which a financial transaction is processed. It provides a direct but anonymous connection from your device to Google's server. To improve privacy and security, we recommend NOT shopping and banking on your device, therefore NOT connecting to Google's servers, and instead choosing apps that don't require microG.

So... as long as you're not going to install shopping or banking apps on your phone, then you're safe to leave it disabled. If there is a possibility you will, then enable it.

Because of the way ProtonMail encrypts email locally before sending, you'll need to use their app and not a 3rd-party email client like K-9 Mail. The ProtonMail app can be downloaded and installed from Aurora Store.

See this article for more information on ProtonMail on Android devices.

Background: In rare instances, when installing Signal app from F-Droid, the app complains about not being able to connect to a network. We're assuming at some point in time the version hosted by F-Droid was dependent on Google Play services for notifications. When using a privacy phone without Google Play services, messaging apps like Signal have to stay on in the background and provide notifications independent of Google Play services.

This may have been corrected on F-Droid, but in case you have this problem, follow the steps below. If you don't use Chromium, do the same for the browser of your choice.

  1. Open Settings app > Apps > See all xx apps > Chromium
  2. Scroll down to Install unknown apps and enable Allow from this source
  3. Open Chromium app and navigate to
  4. Scroll down to "Danger Zone" for advanced users. Tap the Download button
  5. If asked where to download the file, the default location (Downloads folder) is fine
  6. If you receive a warning message that says "File might be harmful" or "downloading from this source could be dangerous", tap Download Anyway
  7. Once the file is downloaded, you should receive a message saying the download is complete. tap Open
  8. When asked "Do you want to install this app?" tap Install
  9. A message appears "App Installed", tap Open.

You can now setup Signal app normally

To disable this question in the Dialer app and only use your carrier to make phone calls, follow these steps:

  1. Open Phone app
  2. Tap three vertical dots in top right corner and select Settings
  3. Tap Display options
  4. Tap the button next to Show call provider selection dialog
The Dialer app will now automatically use your carrier's network to place a call.

We do not install TWRP on any of the devices. 

The only exception would be if we were to install LineageOS and the installation required TWRP rather than a LineageOS recovery image. Neither GrapheneOS or CalyxOS leave anything in the recovery partition. 

Our devices are generally set up for users that don't tinker with their phones and just want a reliable experience. But... If you're interested in TWRP for rooting and/or sideloading apps or custom ROMs, we can help you find a good phone and OS for that purpose.

Voicemail setup is determined by your carrier. 

Visual Voicemail - Most carriers support "visual voicemail" on an Android device. Open the phone dialer app. At the bottom right menu, tap Voicemail. If you have a voicemail message pending, you'll see it in a list and can tap on the triangle "play" button. If there are no voicemails pending, a message will say Your voicemail inbox is empty.

Dial your phone number - Most carriers allow access to voicemail by dialing your own phone number, then follow the prompts.

But to be sure, contact your carrier's support center.

Technical - Network Connectivity

5G technology as it is known today can be divided into two categories: Sub-6GHz and mmWave (millimeter wave). The obvious difference is in the frequency bands used for each. Sub-6GHz bands use frequencies below 6GHz, similar to the older 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies. So the improvements in bandwidth and latency are only slightly better than 4G. Most 5G signals today are in the Sub-6GHz range because network operators are able to use their existing infrastructure to deploy it.

The mmWave bands are currently using frequencies between 24 and 48GHz, much higher than the older cellular bands. This creates potential for much faster data transfer and ultra-low latency. However, because higher frequency waves travel shorter distances, new infrastructure is required. Therefore roll-out of mmWave has been much slower and is exists only in densely populated areas.

In the United States Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are deploying mmWave infrastructure. And phone manufacturers are gradually including the mmWave capability in newer phone models. However, most customers will only experience Sub-6GHz connections unless they are in large metropolitan areas.

Except for some of the newest Pixels, most of the devices we de-google and sell are Sub-6GHz only or 4G only. 5G sub-6GHz phones will generally have good coverage in the same places as 4G, since 5G Sub-6GHz antennas utilize existing 4G towers.

All of our de-googled Android privacy phones are equipped with the hotspot capability. You'll need to verify with your carrier that they support hotspot. Then follow these instructions to enable it:

  1. Open Settings app
  2. Select Network & internet
  3. Select Hotspot & tethering
  4. Tap on Wi-Fi hotspot
  5. Toggle the button next to "Use Wi-Fi hotspot" to enable it
  6. Adjust any settings (security, password, etc) as necessary

In order to use your carrier's mobile data on your de-googled phone, you may need to confirm specific Network & internet settings. After inserting the SIM card from your carrier into your device, the Access Point Name (APN) information should automatically update on the phone. However, sometimes this doesn't happen. APN is the network address your carrier uses to connect the device to the internet. Check these settings to ensure mobile data is activated:

  1. Open Settings app and tap Network & internet
  2. Tap SIMs
  3. Tap the name of the carrier (i.e. T-Mobile, AT&T, etc)
  4. Look for Mobile data and make sure the toggle button is enabled
  5. Next look for Roaming and make sure the toggle button is enabled
  6. Scroll down and select Access Point Names
  7. Note the network address under the name of the APN that is selected and contact your carrier to confirm it is correct

Often your carrier will provide the APNs for Android devices on their website under the Support or Help section.

In most cases, moving the SIM card from an Android device to your de-googled privacy phone and rebooting the device is all you have to do to begin using it.  In some cases, you'll need to notify your carrier that you're using a new phone by giving them the IMEI number.

On an Android device, the IMEI number is found in Settings > About phone > IMEI

If migrating from an iPhone, you'll need to request a new SIM card from your carrier.

When a SIM card is installed for the first time, your carrier will automatically load Access Point Names (APNs) into the device's settings that will allow mobile data to work properly. If mobile data is not working, this may need to be done manually. It's best to contact your carrier to verify correct APNs.

Technical - Texting

The problem has to do with messages from other iPhone users being exclusively synced in iCloud to your Apple ID instead of your phone number. That's how Apple texting works... texts between iPhone users are sent through iMessage, not standard SMS/MMS texts. So if you continue to get text messages from iPhone users in the Messages app on your Mac and not on your new privacy phone, the solution is to disable iMessage syncing in iCloud.

To turn Messages in iCloud off on your Mac, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Messages on your Mac
  2. Select the Messages menu in the top left corner
  3. Tap on Preferences from the menu
  4. Click iMessage
  5. Unselect the box next to Enable Messages in iCloud

All texts will now be sent to your privacy phone and not to Messages app.

When migrating from an Apple iPhone to a de-googled phone (or any Android), you'll need to de-register iMessages in order to get text messages from other iPhone users.

Go to Apple's "Deregister iMessages" website and follow the instructions:

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service and includes group texts and texts with attachments. It can be more problematic than receiving Simple Messaging Service (SMS) texts. If you experience problems receiving MMS text messages try these solutions in this order to solve the problem:

  1. Restart the device - If you haven't restarted the phone in a while, it's always a good idea to power off and back on
  2. Turn on Mobile Data - Mobile Data must be on for MMS to work. Settings app > Network & internet > SIMs > Mobile data > enable
  3. Uninstall problematic apps - By removing conflicting texting apps, sometimes MMS will start working again. Silence is a popular encrypted texting app that may cause conflicts. Uninstall and test to see if messages are able to be downloaded
  4. Delete old messages - Try deleting old message threads from recipients that are not downloading. In the messaging app, tap the name of the recipient, then tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner, select Delete
  5. Clear cache and data - Sometimes cache and files are corrupted, leading to MMS text messages not downloading. Go to Settings app > Apps > Messaging > Storage & cache > CLEAR STORAGE and CLEAR CACHE
  6. Reset APN settings - Your phone uses saved Access Point Name (APN) details to connect to the MMS server. If these settings are not correct, you can reset them to the factory defaults as follows. Go to Settings app > Network & internet > SIMs > Access Point Names > tap the three vertical dots in upper right corner > Reset to default
  7. Factory reset - As a last resort a factory reset of the device may resolve the problem. However it's likely you'll find a workaround before having to reset your device to factory settings

Although, there are numerous open source speech-to-text engines, there is a lack of support when it comes to integrating talk-to-text into encrypted messaging apps. It's possible that Android app developers rely on Google's native talk-to-text support. But since it is proprietary, once we de-google the device, that capability is gone.

Note: We do not recommend using proprietary closed-source apps, especially from Google. So proceed at your own risk.

To regain talk-to-text functionality, one can install Google's Android keyboard, Gboard, from Aurora Store. Enable the keyboard in Settings app > System > Language & input > On-screen keyboard, and select Gboard. It is highly recommended that you restrict Gboard's network communication using a firewall like Datura or NetGuard. In theory, this prevents Gboard from sending user information that you type or speak back to Google. Again, use at your own risk.