My First Attempt to Live Without Google

Recently, I considered living without Google. The idea came up to me after reading the reflection from Mastodon.at/@SwitchingSocial.

switching.social – Ethical alternatives to popular sites and apps https://switching.social/

I agreed with SwitchingSocial's perspective so that my first step was trying to conduct my mobile life without Google services. However, it was really hard in practice and required some time to build new habits.

For these reasons, my mobile phone, Samsung Galaxy Core Prime (Samsung G360G) which has 1G RAM / 8G ROM / 32G microSD and operates in Android 4.4.4 system, is doing its best to install these applications. I change the default launcher into T-UI Launcher and use Holo Launcher for daily work.

Then I switched Google Services to alternatives.

Services The alternatives I choose
Google Turn off.
Google+ Turn off, and this service has been closed.
Google Search Gibiru & DuckDuckGo.
Google Voice Koñele.
Google TTS Flite TTS Engine.
Google Play Store F-Droid. I have turned Play Store off until some in-app purchase apps need validation.
Google Play Service Still turn on, but turn off most of the syncs except Fit.
Gmail K-9 Mail & Protonmail.
Chrome Browser NBPro for the mobile, and Firefox for the computer.
Google Map OpenStreetMap + OsmAnd.
Google Fit I use Mi Band Notify, but I think the better choices are OpenScale and OpenTraining.
Google Keep Simplenote + MementoDatabase.
Google Docs Simplenote + Novelist.
Google Calendar Etar + Offline Calendar, and use Desktop Calendar for my computer.
Gboard Multiling O Keyboard.
Google Drive AnyDesk & Threema & Email. I tried Syncthing, but it didn't work on Windows XP.
Google Book eReader Prestigio.
Youtube Tube Video Player & Peertube
Google Blogger Write.as
Google Hangouts Discord

I also switched my social networks to alternatives.

Services What I use
Facebook Only use Facebook Page.
Instant Messenger Threema
Instagram Pixelfed
Twitter Tweetcastor Pro & Mastodon
Plurk Still use.
Tumblr Tablean & Write.as

Those privacy-friendly sites such as Mastodon, Pixelfed, and Peertube could be browsed by just using Fedilab.

By getting rid of most of Google applications, my old smartphone now has 1.2G ROM storage and 100~200mb RAM available and has 133 apps installed. Therefore, open source software is more suitable than Google service to Android 4.4.4. Thank the open source apps that create a new world for those outdated devices. My mobile is still functional and useful for me despite its low-end hardware.

Finally, those tiny steps to leave Google and commercial social media make me feel a kind of freedom without monitoring. On the other side, I lose some automatic, synchronized convenience between the mobile device and the computer. Well, it might not be a big deal if we pay a little more effort with backup. We should secure our valuable full version of freedom, not for the lite version one under the mass surveillance.

#thoughts #AndroidAPP #decentralized #DeleteGoogle #Fediverse

 


 

References

Guide to Switching – By switching.social https://switching.social/guide-to-switching/

How to Live Without Google https://spreadprivacy.com/how-to-remove-google/

How to live without Google? – By Alex Ewerlöf https://medium.com/@alexewerlof/how-to-live-without-google-c0f1630ead6

   

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