May 30, 2023
Garmin Smartphone link app logo

Chapter 8 – solution to get Garmin Smartphone app working on non-google android phones

May 2023

Last summer my Volla phone arrived with volla os as the operating system. Generally, I am now pretty happy with it. There was a system update in January 2023 which brought built-in micro-g functionality with it and this has enabled various apps to work without having to have the actual Google Services Framework installed.

So far so good BUT no amount of fiddling about or reinstalling, resetting or various other methods could persuade the Garmin Smartphone Link app to work without Google background services. I even tried using other operating systems on the phone such as Ubuntu Touch and SailfishOS but no success here either. Basically, the app gets stuck right at the beginning trying to verify the google account via the play store (which is, of course, not possible if you don’t have any google play store functionalitiy).

I finally decided to be a bit adventurous and try finding an older version of the app. I remembered that I used to have the old app on an old phone some years ago and it worked fine, it also seemed to use a different verification method for the google account…

I had a search around and found this website ( which offers old versions of apps:

I decided to go all the way back to the 2.1.2 version which had the old blue garmin smartphone logo. This version appeared to be one that supported all androids from 4.0 upwards. I installed this file from the site above (which I have scanned with Avast antivirus) but cannot take any responsibility for the file or consequences of installing it on your phone :

I have just tested it with my Garmin Zumo 590 and it appears to work fine 🙂 . Thus it appears to be possible to regain the full functionality of this Garmin navigator with traffic and weather despite having an ungoogled version of android.


The author

2wheels, adventure, ecology, dad and husband, green, news, tech-fan, trauma- and orthopod, engineer and human.

View all posts by The author →