Part 1#: I am degoogling myself

black android smartphone on top of white book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have been using Google services for more than a decade now. Back then when their motto still was “Don’t be evil”. First it was only email, then YouTube, Drive, Calendar, Notes, Photos and Maps. Everything is seamless, slick, fast, easy to use and convenient.

But for quite some time I felt uneasy about the amount of data Google amasses especially in connection with a smartphone. So always wanted to wean myself off of Google but found it every time to difficult, burdensome and expensive. Google is mostly free after all except for the very low prices for storage.

Nevertheless I took the step and actually signed up for a privacy oriented mail and cloud storage service. Both cost money of course but am paying like half a Netflix account if I had one so it is affordable. What is the most obnoxious thing is migrating everything from Google.

They do not make it easy to download and delete your data. Of course all the options are there but you have to search and look and read so many webpages to get what you want. For example I had to delete 10.000 photos by hand. Took me over an hour.

Then some services are very difficult to replace. I use and share Google Drive documents which I could replicate offline but then I would not have access to them when I am out which is exactly why I made them with Google Drive in the first place. Most Google Maps replacements are simply not as good. Google Photos was very useful for sharing family pictures.

I will probably post more about each individual service I replace if you are interested.

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Paul, I’m going through the same process, I no longer use Gmail and google chrome, but I still haven’t found a viable alternative to Maps. Same goes for YouTube: there’s a lot of crap, but some great stuff as well. But the worst part for me is that having a smartphone means being either in the apple either in the google ecosystem, so even if you don’t use gmail you’re still logged in, etc.
    I looked around for free software alternatives but there’s none that actually works reliably.
    I considered getting rid of my smartphone completely, but unfortunately it’s very difficult (bordering impossible): without one I couldn’t even login to my bank account. And living far from home I need a way to communicate effectively with friends and family. So yeah, if you have solutions please share.
    Matteo

    • Hi Matteo, thanks for your comment. I have some solutions on my article actually. You could open a separate google account only for youtube and use firefox multi account containers. The same goes for having a single use account only to use the Play Store. You can disable almost all google apps on your phone without loosing too much functionality.

      Or if you are technically minded you could get a phone that is compatible with custom roms that allows signature spoofing and then use microG. But that is still pretty much beta. I think compartmentalization is the way to go.

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