Saving contacts to phone ONLY.. not Google account? Verizon disabling 3G?

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by MuseChaser, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
    Messages:
    2,039
    Location:
    Central NYS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MuseChaser
    I know this ain't exactly a Verizon support forum, BUT there's enough advanced techies and privacy advocates here that I figured this may just be the perfect place to ask the following questions...

    Against every fiber of my being, I broke down and bought a Moto G7 so that I'd have a hotspot while travelling; I didn't want a smart phone, but this was the most cost effective way, after doing a ton of research and wasting time talking to way too many carriers' salespeople. Our plan has enough data included, but I've never used any of it because of my distate for smartphones and preference for old-style clamshell phones. Sigh... goodbye Kyocera Dura XV, "Hello Moto." grrrrrrrr.....

    On my old phone, my phonebook was just that.. a collection of names and numbers saved only to my phone, for me and only me to manage, save, and know about as I wished.

    On this new one, I can NOT find a way to save anything other than to the google account(s) my phone is linked to. Is there a way to maintain my contacts locally on the device or card, and ONLY locally?!?!? It's hard enough to give up my conscientious objection to smartphones, but to have to adopt Google too is gonna kill me. Interwebs searches have been less than fruitful... everything I find is about how great and easy it is to manage Google contacts.

    Also, the Verizon salesdude yesterday (don't worry, I bought my phone unlocked elsewhere for 1/2 as much) told me that as of the end of December, NONE of the three 3G clamshell phones we currently have on our three lines will work anymore; they are shutting down their 3G network and all phones will have to be 4G/LTE after December. IS THIS TRUE?!?!? I hadn't heard a thing about it, and would have been mucho bugged if I woke up on Jan. 1st to find out that we had absolutely no phone service. Some rudimentary research shows that Verizon will not be allowing 3G phones to be ACTIVATED or added after December, but that they will leave the 3G network in place until December of 2020. Anyone have any other info?

    Sigh.. I just want a phone and the ability to get my email and do a little internet reconnaissance of new areas when travelling. That's all. Now.... I have to sell my soul to Google for that privilege?
     
  2. genna

    genna Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,532
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ТУ-104
    I may be wrong, but as far as I know 3G* is not related to phone(as in making calls and texting) service. This is purely data connection.

    In a clamshell phone that is not using data, it shouldn't matter. The question you should be asking is if they are shutting down their CDMA service(highly doubtful).

    *p.s. On newer phones with LTE and maybe 4G, that connection is used for phone calls as well as far as I know, but for Verizon 3G generation and before,CDMA is the calling network.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
  3. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
    Messages:
    2,039
    Location:
    Central NYS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MuseChaser
    Just following up..

    Solved the Google/contact issue. I finally got frustrated enough to just remove my google accounts from the phone. Magically, now the phone will accept my contacts locally. I can't access Google Playstore, but I've got the apps I use on the phone all working well, can sideload any other apps I want in the future from an apk mirror site, and, if worse comes to worst, can always add a Google account back on for updates as necessary, then remove it again. Should be fine.

    Re/ Verizon... as of Jan 1, 2020, you will no longer be able to activate or swap a 3G or other non-4G/LTE device on your line, existing or not. If you currently have one activated and in use, you will be able to continue using it until at least 12/31/2020.

    genna, I think you are correct above... it doesn't really have anything to do w/ being able to make phone calls, but rather whether or not they'll allow you to swap or activate a device w/out 4G/LTE built in. Thanks for the help.
     
  4. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,633
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GeorgeC
    Related question... iPhones can import contacts from a SIM card, but not export. Has anyone used a usb sim card reader to manage SIM contacts? If so, what software did you use?
     
  5. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
    Messages:
    2,039
    Location:
    Central NYS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MuseChaser
    Can't help GeorgeC, but after a tenacious week I've found some ways to get a lot of use out of an Android phone and remain pretty much Google-free without rooting it. You will need a a Google account, but you do NOT have to have your phone attached to it. Here's what I've found out...

    1. The Google Assistant seems like it requires you to give permissions to access and save pretty much everything you do, rendering it worthless for those of us who DON'T want to do that. HOWEVER, it only behaves like that if your phone is registered to a Google account. The minute you remove all Google accounts from your phone, it behaves very nicely and lets you make phone calls and texts by voice command.

    2. You can download F-Droid, an opensource and safe repository similar to Google Play but only hosting privacy-approved apps, via an apk on their website or via GooglePlay if you currently have access to it. From F-Droid, download Simple Contacts Pro which will act as your contact manager and phone dialer, Simple Calendar, and Simple Gallery. These all do a great job replacing the Google versions albeit with a few less bells and whistles but they work great.

    3. From either their website or F-Droid, download and install the apk for Aurora Store. This was the life-saver. It allows you to enter GoogePlay from either an anonymous back door (which still hasn't worked for me), or by signing on to your Google account. This enables you to check, as you wish, what apps need updating that you DO have on your phone from GooglePlay that simply aren't available elsewher, and update them. It also allows you to download any app you wish from GooglePlay, but you kind of have to know ahead of time what app you're looking for.. browsing randomly isn't really practical. Once you've updated your apps, sign out again. This is NOT the same as signing in or out of a Google Account on your phone.. whenever you do that, or at least whenever I did, your contacts, history, and a bunch of other stuff gets really screwed up. This sign in/sign out is just to access the apps on GooglePlay via Aurora.

    4. Google Contacts CAN be used w/out registering your phone and signing on to a Google account, and will store your contacts locally.. UNTIL you sign on to a Google account. At that point, the contacts automatically get moved to Google and you can no longer save contacts locally. This creates a HUGE mess everytime you sign on to gmail. Sooo.. Don't use Google Contacts. Use Simple Contacts Pro from F-Droid. That allows you to not only save your contacts wherever you wish locally and cloud-free, but also makes it SUPER easy to create a backup .vcf file containing all of your contacts, and import and restore them just as easily.

    Finally.. I've got a phone w/out any required permissions given to Google that I can voice dial while driving, listen to Spotify through my car, save my contacts locally and only locally, back them up to my own server, save my photos only locally and privately, keep track of my own appointments on the calendar, make phone calls and texts, and still have iFly GPS and a bunch of other commercial products only available through GooglePlay and keep them updated easily without ever having log in other than through Aurora. The only slight gotcha is that I have to be careful to never sign into and check my gmail account on my phone... but I don't use that email address for anything I care about ever anyway. For those that haven't used it yet, ProtonMail is a great privacy email alternative based in Switzerland, and their Android app works great. Firefox as a web browser.

    Not an easy process, and as evidenced in my earlier posts what few remaining hairs I have left have become fewer in number wrestling with this, but right now everything seems stable and very useful.

    Of course, the MUCH easier alternative is to just not worry about it and sign everything over to Google. Lots of folks do, and Google does certainly provide a GREAT deal of convenience and service. The ultimate price at which they do so remains to be determined. I almost reached the point of just giving up and "joining the Borg," but Aurora was the real breakthrough for me. Finding a way to maintain updates on commercial apps was a necessity, and once that nut was cracked and I found away to make voice dialing possible in the car, I was home free. Sure, I may be missing out on some of the "Golly, that's really cool!" aspects of the Googleverse, but I never had them before and never missed them... and the phone does everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, I need it to do now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
    denverpilot likes this.
  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    55,107
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    Great post @MuseChaser - disconnecting Android from the mothership is difficult but not impossible.
     
  7. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    1,663
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    When I create a contact on my Android phone (a Casio G'z One from 2012) it allows me to choose where to save the contact, on the phone, straight to the SIM card, or to my Google contacts. The selection is at the very top of the screen and is not very obvious until you select the option.

    Screenshot_2020-02-14-17-30-29.png


    Screenshot_2020-02-14-17-30-35.png