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Google Maps on LineageOS microG

March 27, 2018 — BarryK

Continuing to have fun with LineageOS and microG on my Nexus 5. I posted about the installation yesterday:

The ROM image also contains 'F-Droid', which is an app store, with only free apps. I had already installed 'FFUpdater' to install Firefox.

I also installed 'Safe In Cloud', a paid app, by sideloading. I extracted the .apk from my Mlais phone, then installed it to my Nexus, as explained in the above link.


I then discovered that F-Droid has an app named 'YalpStore', which can install apps from Google Play Store. If the phone is not rooted, it requires that sideloading be turned on in the Setup, developer's section.

YalpStore can even install paid apps, however it requires logging into my Google account. One of the main things that I am aiming to avoid is any automatic login to Google on my phone. This is a huge security weakness if someone steals your phone (especially as I only have swipe-unlock!).

Anyway, YalpStore seems to have a problem with Google's 2-step authentication, which is what I have -- new login sends an sms to my phone, with a pin.

But, YalpStore downloads free apps from Google Play Store, that works great.

EDIT 20180328
The security weakness of the phone automatically accessing my Google account, is easy to avoid -- create another Google account. Which I did, using a different backup email address. Gmail on this new account is empty, so not bothered if anyone is able to get into it.
I also installed the 'Gmail' app, via YalpStore, as some apps, such as 'TurboScan', use it to send emails (in the case of TurboScan, to send scanned images).
Note, apparently it is possible to install Google Play Store on a LineageOS/microG system, haven't tried that yet.
It should also be possible for YalpStore to access paid apps, paid-for on the new Google account.


There are a lot of settings for microG, the replacement for Google Play Services. I discovered this website, with tutorials for configuring microG:

Also, it is very helpful to read the six-part "No Gapps" tutorials, starting here:

But, what about Google apps, such as 'Google Maps', can they run on microG?

Google Maps

That website has a compatibility chart for Google apps on microG, and lists alternatives:

There is a "?" against Google Maps compatibility. Hmmm, went ahead anyway, used YalpStore to install 'Google Maps', and it seems to be working.

Note, there is 'Google Maps Go', a light-weight alternative, however it is just a frontend to the web browser access to Google Maps, and requires Chrome browser. I am using Firefox.

I think though, Google Maps is only using GPS. microG setup can turn on location via the provider's network towers, but as I don't yet have a sim in the phone -- or rather, I do, an old expired one -- that is ok.

Next, need to go for a drive, see if can direct me....

Tags: tech