Removing Google Places from FDroid Flavor in Orga App

In the Open Event Orga App one of the libraries used was the Google Places by the Play Services. According to the FDroid inclusion policy, proprietary software such as Google Play Services cannot be included in the project and hence it needs to be removed or another alternatives needs to be found. Following steps were taken to remove the Places API and make sure that it is used only in the playStore version of the app.


  • Initially we will change the implementation in build.gradle file to playStoreImplementation to make sure that Places API is used in the playStore version.
playStoreImplementation “${versions.play_services}”
  • A class is created in the fdroid and playStore directory. In the fdroid directory of the project we need to make sure that there is no implementation for the method launchPicker. Following is the code for this class. There is a method name getPlaces which has the following parameters : Activity and the Intent. It will return the Location object where we pass the the demo values for latitude and longitude and null value for the address string.
public class LocationPicker {

  private final double DEMO_VALUE = 1;

  public boolean launchPicker(Activity activity) {
      //do nothing
      return false;

  public Location getPlace(Activity activity, Intent data) {
      return new Location(DEMO_VALUE, DEMO_VALUE, null);

  public boolean shouldShowLocationLayout() {
      return true;
  • Now we make the following class Location which will receive parameters from fdroid as well as playStore version. We will include this class in the Create package of events so that it can be shared by both LoactionPicker class of fdroid as well as playstore. The location class will take in 3 parameters i.e latitude, longitude and address. Its a normal POJO class.
public class Location {

  private double latitude;
  private double longitude;
  private CharSequence address;

  public Location(double latitude, double longitude, CharSequence address) {
      this.latitude = latitude;
      this.longitude = longitude;
      this.address = address;

  public double getLatitude() {
      return latitude;

  public double getLongitude() {
      return longitude;

  public CharSequence getAddress() {
      return address;

  • Now we need to implement the class in playStore directory so we need to implement the Google Places API in this particular class. Following is the implementation of the launchPicker class. We will create an instance of the googleApiAvailabilty and pass the activity context through it. If the places API is present and the connection is successful, new intent is made from where the place is selected.

We include the intent statement in the try block and catch the exceptions in the the catch block.


public boolean launchPicker(Activity activity) {
  int errorCode = googleApiAvailabilityInstance.isGooglePlayServicesAvailable(activity);

  if (errorCode == ConnectionResult.SUCCESS) {
      PlacePicker.IntentBuilder builder = new PlacePicker.IntentBuilder();
      try {
          activity.startActivityForResult(, PLACE_PICKER_REQUEST);
          return true;
      } catch (GooglePlayServicesRepairableException e) {
          Timber.d(e, “GooglePlayServicesRepairable”);
      } catch (GooglePlayServicesNotAvailableException e) {
          Timber.d(“GooglePlayServices NotAvailable => Updating or Unauthentic”);
  return false;
  • Finally we modify the code in the EventCreateDetails class as well.


  1. Official fdroid website
  2. Places API Official documentation
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