Using an Android phone without a Gmail account


  1. puffolo

    puffolo Member

    I know this topic has already been discussed but I still need some clarification.

    I've never used an android but I'm planning to buy an Android device. Everything seemed smooth about it until I walked into a store a couple of weeks ago and started playing with an Experia X10 which was set up for testing...

    Since one of my major points of interest (actually THE major point of interest) in a phone is PIM and contacts I tried adding a new contact and I was very surprised to see that the phone was asking me to enter my Gmail ID (or something like that...)

    Now, I don't have a Gmail account and neither am I planning to start one since I'm happy with my private email service; is it just outright impossible to get my contact list working without a gmail account? Or can something be done to use off-the-cloud contacts like a regular phone?

    The same goes also for the calendar app: can I use it offline without linking it to a google account?

    I understand that keeping my phone offline and off-the-cloud will make it a crippled phone, but I just can't afford any data plan.

    Does the majority of apps require a gmail account to work? If not, which ones do?

    And finally, am I gonna be able to read my emails on my phone even though I don't have a Gmail account?

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  2. brownhornet

    brownhornet Well-Known Member

    Honestly... using an android phone without an email is almost pointless.
  3. lowgas

    lowgas New Member

    i am a new android user, so it is very possible i am wrong... but i believe in the settings there is a place to set up an alternate email account... where the alternate account must also be gmail, i do not know, but it maybe possible to set up with your current email.



    hrm... maybe i was seeing things... i can't seem to find it now.
  4. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    I don't believe so. Using Android without a Gmail account is like using an iPhone or iPod Touch without iTunes. You could do it, but why?
  5. puffolo

    puffolo Member

    Yeah, I KNOW I'LL BE "LIMITED" in the usage of my phone but that's not the point.

    I have always had off-the-cloud contact lists and would like to continue doing so...

    Also, I wouldn't wanna change my email just 'cause I'm changing my phone! Can't I setup my POP3 and SMTP (or whatever this phone needs to be setup) and just use my email address without opening a new gmail accoint? (even though I'm conscious that Gmail offers a tremendous service)

    @brownhornet: I have an email, but it's not Gmail... it's @mydomain.com and I can't (and do not want to) switch to gmail 'cause it's fundamental for my work! I don't plan to use my phone without an email! Hell I check emails even on my nokia cellphone (via wifi)!

    @AndroidSPCS: with all the due respect, "why?" is not the point... I just wanted to know if I could, and in case I couldn't which would be my restrictions.
  6. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    You are going to need a Gmail account, whether you use it or not will be up to you. To access the Marketplace and download apps, you need a gmail account.

    If you want to buy an Android phone, only only use POP / IMAP or exchange server to get email, yes that's possible. But it will be no better than getting an iPhone and doing the same thing, and you can still keep your email with the iPhone - and be able to download / buy iOS apps without changing your email.

    With Android you must have a Gmail account to get apps.
    puffolo likes this.
  7. puffolo

    puffolo Member

  8. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    You can use Facebook to sync your contacts. I am not sure on how / if 3rd party email can be used to sync contacts - probably so, but I've not had personaly experience.

    Calendar - you may need exchange server to access your own outlook server's calendar, not sure.
    puffolo likes this.
  9. puffolo

    puffolo Member

    But I just don't want to sync ANYTHING. All I wanna do is use my phone as a standalone device... is that possible?
  10. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    Not that I'm aware of, but I could be wrong.
  11. Tino

    Tino Well-Known Member

    You might aswell setup a Gmail account as it ask when you first use your Android device, and then just not use it. Just because you have a Gmail account doesn't mean you have to give up your old email account. Just set up the gmail account, sync your current email and just don't use the Gmail service, that way your phone will have full functionality and you will have your current emails being pushed through to your phone. And as for syncing your device with online services you can switch them all off.
  12. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    But he still wants to sync locally with a local calendar / email / contacts, without any cloud services. Kind of like how the Palm desktop used to do it.

    I am not aware that this is possible.
  13. gallandof

    gallandof Well-Known Member

    the only way I could think to do this would be to manually input you contacts/calender information, or, as stated use and exchange server. the phone will not sync with Palm desktop software or Outlook with out a gmail account, so thats out of the question.

    If you have a lot of contacts you can goto a local cell phone store and we can use our cellebrite machines to transfer your contacts onto the device. i

    Also it doesnt look like you can import VCD files at all to the default calender.

    so ultimately, without gmail, you lose access to calender sync, apps, chrome to phone, and other google services, You will still be able to use email, GPS, browser, MP3, phone and I believe thats it. there may be a way to install apps off your pc directly to the phones storage through terminal and having root access but im not sure if its possible and you would need to find the APK somewhere off the internet.
  14. qwertyaas

    qwertyaas Well-Known Member

    I just created a new Gmail account as I didn't want my primary account on the phone.

    I didn't sync anything to the email either. Right now it's just a blank inbox and no contacts. You can turn off syncing.
  15. Andy in NY

    Andy in NY Well-Known Member

    i think everyone missed this statement.


    puffolo, you NEED to have a data plan, and are required by the carriers to have one.

    like others said, start a gmail account, and never use it again. problem solved. you can still set up other pop and imap email addresses on the phone. i have 2 on mine.
  16. OMJ

    OMJ Bazinga VIP Member

    Well you can turn data off. Its in the mobile network settings. I guess if you got a gmail account then turned data off it may work although I never tried.

    Like others I dont see the point on spending the money on an android phone to use it as a feature phone. Why not just buy a much cheaper feature phone.
  17. Anthony1

    Anthony1 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's possible. You can have phone contacts, and sim card contacts, without then being google contacts. You can also use your non gmail address as your e-mail account, I use my yahoo one. I'm not entirely sure about the calendar, but I would have thought so. So, yes, you can pretty much use the phone as you would like to.

    However, as others have said, buying an android phone and deliberately not using the features is a bit like buying a Porsche to pop down to the shops and back. You might as well just get something cheaper that will do what you want it to.
    puffolo likes this.
  18. tfotos77

    tfotos77 New Member

    Even if you turn data off on the phone, I know verizon still requires you to pay 30 dollars a month extra for the unlimited data plan. So if you are buying a droid, pony up the extra cash.
    puffolo likes this.
  19. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

    Whether or not any of you get why the OP wants to do this doesn't matter. It's amazing that people still make such comments after all these years. Cheaper devices tend to be underpowered and dumbed down so it's not difficult to see why someone wouldn't go that route. And even without a data plan there's still WiFi. In any case, he doesn't need to justify his needs/wants or to have you push yours on him. Not understanding an option doesn't make it an invalid one (except in your opinion).

    ...and countless people do this sort of thing all the time. I'm sure you have products you've purchased that you don't always use to their full potential. We all do. It's a pointless analogy that's always brought up in threads like this.

    Incorrect. There are several wired sync solutions out there. IIRC, none of them require gmail to allow syncing with Outlook.

    Android can certainly be used without a data plan. Not all carriers require them.

    Where did the OP even mention a carrier or even make hints (devices being considered, etc) that suggested a particular carrier?
    puffolo likes this.
  20. Anthony1

    Anthony1 Well-Known Member

    No it isn't. A great many people who come here for advice are utterly clueless about this sort of stuff. It's far better to have too much information and take out the bits that you need, than to be given the most basic answers and end up doing something that's probably not the wisest decision.

    Nobody is forcing anybody to do anything. If you don't want opinions then an internet forum is most likely not the best place to come for answers.
    puffolo likes this.
  21. it amazes me that people will insist on buying smart phones, but only want them for non-smart things (ie - I have a Droid 2 but only want to make phone calls.....) Buy a jitterbug.... my uncle is like this. He doesn't email, won't text, hates the inet but bought a droid.... whatever





    As far as OP goes.... just get a gmail.... its not like they aren't free. never use it again and set up your POP3's
    puffolo likes this.
  22. Vehtemas

    Vehtemas Well-Known Member

    I imagine there is indeed a way.

    Although I would heavily recommend using gmail because it allows your phone to sync and auto sync if contacts are ever lost.
  23. puffolo

    puffolo Member

    OK then, I guess I got my answers.

    Thank you all, guys (and girls)!!!
  24. dragon2611

    dragon2611 Member

    As Others have said you will need a Google account for things like the marketplace, however that doesn't mean you need to switch to Gmail at all...

    Further more Android does have POP3/Smtp support, now it might have just been the device I had (Galaxy with android 1.5) but I didn't find the inbuilt email client that great with the IMAP based mailbox I was using at the time, however there is a free app called K-9 Mail which I found to be quite a bit better.

    In terms of syncing contacts.etc to gmail You should be able to disable auto syncing and then sync manually when/if you want to.

    The same goes with Data, android lets you switch off the data connection in the settings (Well Vanilla android does can't guarantee a particular carrier won't remove that feature) so you could for instance only use it on Wi-fi if that's what you wanted to do.
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