Remove google services

Allow the application to run without google play services.

Are there any plans to remove the need for google services? I’d love to use your service, but don’t want to be tied into anything with google.


What google services does the Monzo app tie into? I thought it was fairly stand-alone.

What Google services are you referring to?

Google Maps, Google Location Services, etc.

All of the proprietary bits of modern Android.

And I doubt there’s any plans to work without Google Services, same as there’s no plan to work on Windows Phone, etc.

Google provide some of the world’s most powerful APIs and Monzo don’t want to waste time rebuilding the wheel.


Google Play Services runs the vast majority of Apps on the Play Store in one way or another. Pull it off your phone and see what stops working.

And presuming you have an Android phone - yet you don’t want to be tied into anything with Google?



Thanks for the responses, I work with app development - specifically android:

  • I know what google services are
  • Google does provide some great apis, but there are plenty of open source options out there - no reason to “rebuilding the wheel”.
  • Yes I have an android phone, running a custom asop. I run lineageOS - google isn’t the everything - I guess you believe by running android you need to be tied to Google. awkward.
  • I’ve tried running Monzo on my phone and it says it won’t without google services.

I’m going to look into what specific services they require as it was a quick look when I woke up and see if I can find a way around it. However, the main point of the post was to see if:

  • Anyone else wants this / waiting for this
  • If it was going to happen

From the response by Tommy, it seems there are no plans for this which is completely fine and I’ll just look for other options! I just wanted to check because I’ve been with Monzo since the beginning, I like what they do and I’d have preferred to stay with them.

Thanks all!

1 Like

Equally, any API has to be ‘workable’ with iOS. No point Monzo having to pull double duty depending on the Mobile OS for the app, no?

I never contested that, but google aren’t the only company to create apis that are for both android / iOS.

Tommys answer was sufficient to understand there are no plans for this - I’m not arguing or trying to cause an issue. I just wanted to see if there were plans or not because not everyone conforms to google / apple and I do really appreciate the service Monzo provide.

I just wanted to make sure there were no plans before I started looking into other options.


It would certainly future-proof Monzo if they used APIs that don’t rely on a phone’s OS, such as using OpenStreetMap rather than Apple Maps/Google Maps, especially with talk of Huawei having their own OS as a backup, and LineageOS getting increasingly popular (although most LineageOS users I know also install Google Play Services, but that’s not really the point).

In most cases, I think there is a decent equivalent API for most Google Play Services’ APIs, but since most people think of Android and Google’s mobile OS as one and the same (and the number of custom OS users is very small) there’s little reason to intentionally avoid Google’s services. That being said, I would be more interested in an Android device if I could run an alternative OS and apps didn’t refuse to run because of that.

You could say it’s the same thing that happened with Windows Phone. Great OS at the time, but most major app developers were waiting for the other major app developers to embrace it, and they never did. If Monzo made an app that worked flawlessly on custom Android builds, that would be great, but unless everyone else did, they won’t be interested.


To answer your question, there are no plans for this that have been announced :slight_smile:

Isn’t that similar to working for KFC if you’re a vegan? :speak_no_evil: :wink:


There’s a fun venn diagram somewhere with “Google Mobile OS commonly called Android”, “Android (Open Source Project)” and “Google proprietary software that comes with phones marketed as having Android (e.g. Google Mobile Services, Google Play Services)”. If @lbxyz develops Android applications that don’t rely on Google’s various proprietary shenanigans (where possible), then more power to them.



Well I fell into the trap of doing the one thing I hate doing, which is saying “I work in…” because stating I work in something doesn’t mean I’m right or achieve anything but I wanted to direct the conversation away from people trying to explain what Google services were etc. In this case, I highlighted android but I’m not limited to that or app development.

I’m surprised you were able to write KFC and vegan in the same line without causing the world to implode. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Thanks again for the responses everyone - now it’s time to hunt down this venn diagram @theshillito mentioned!!


It would be interesting to know if there are any banking apps that will run without Google services. Would love to see the results of your research if you have time to list them here.


Hey @lbxyz

Thanks! It’s a valid question, but the answer is no. There isn’t a huge appetite for this to justify the development time of rebuilding everything.


It’s not easy for me to find out exactly which services are being used without being able to directly see the code so I’ve taken a different approach and I’ve stripped down a device to the basics and slowly adding ontop of this. This is where I am in with my investigations so far:

Device has been installed with lineageOS and using open gapps, I have installed just the play services and the application now works fine. It was mentioned above by a user that google maps, google location services etc… are used but that isn’t true as I can run it fine without them.

I’m going to continue my investigations over the coming months and compare against two competitors (starling and revolut) and I will happily send my findings to anyone who is interested - just send me a PM.


Doesn’t Google Play Services include access to the Google Maps API, even without Google Maps itself being installed?

1 Like

I don’t work for Monzo it was only based on my knowledge from a) what I’ve read when this has come up before and b) my basic knowledge as a software developer.

I get that Android and Google aren’t the same thing. It’d be fair to say at this point that Monzo don’t and aren’t planning an “Android app”. They have a Play store app and there’s currently inadequate demand for them to make it work pure Android.

@lbxyz I’m curious - what are your reasons for not wanting to be tied into using Google API’s/services?

Well I’ve always found google play services is quite miss leading because it isn’t technically a service, but (as you rightly pointed out) it’s more of a gateway to access their services through various apis.

For example, if I have play services but no google maps installed - yes the api for maps is used, but it won’t recieve any data. (from what I understand) Further from this you can just deny all permissions for the services.

To be a little more clear about the test device set up, I originally changed permissions -

  • I’ve given play store 1 permission (storage)

But I went a little deeper since then, and I removed all permissions for my play services (seperate from the play store)
When I booted up the application, and went to my account (doesn’t happen anywhere else, so the call must happen on account) and I got a toast saying:

"This app won't work properly unless you allow 'Google Play services' request to access the following:
* Contacts
* Telephone

To continue, open Settings, then permssions and allow all listed items."

I understand that in the application, you can send invites to your contacts etc. but I don’t really understand why a banking application NEEDS this to run. Compare this with Starling, and it runs fine without having any of these permissions but it does require the play store to be installed (no permissions required).

@Liam_W I’ve always had concerns with google and their spyware, I mean services and their recent changes in policy in working with China have given me more concerns.
Even in the above example where I am removing the permissions from google services, there is no proof they have 100% stopped collecting data - there was some research that revealed that devices that had airplane mode turned on were infact collecting more data than devices with airplane mode turned off.

I don’t think I’m going to take this any further, but it was a fun little side project to explore in my own time. Thank you for everyone who has responded and helped me with my investigations and questions - it’s been fun.