De-Googlifying!

I have been a huge fan of Google since it’s early days. Or well, since my early days of finding about Google, but I haven’t been too happy about it lately. First, there were some privacy concerns, then they closed Google Reader which really annoyed me, and now they are constantly moving away from open standards and protocols.

I stared my slow exodus from Google services a while back, there are some services that I still use, but I am mostly de-googlified now, atleast compared to before. Here are alternatives I am using, they aren’t the only alternatives, but they are the ones I have chosen to go with:

Search: I have been a long time DuckDuckGo.com user, gave it a try when it was just launched and have been using it since then. It’s zero-click info is very cool, and 80% of the time I don’t even have to look at the actual results. Not to mention it’s privacy aware and doesn’t save or share your personal info.

Email: My primary email address is @aqeeliz.com, previously it was set up on Gmail, but I have moved to FastMail now, a paid email service, it has pretty good prices, a nice webmail client and all the features expected of a good email service.

Calendar / Contacts: I am not sure about this one yet, currently I’m trying Fruux. The free account allows access from only two devices, which is good enough for my current needs, though I can always upgrade later if I need more. I am also keeping an eye open for other alternatives.

Tasks: Only good thing about Google Tasks was that it was available right in my Gmail window, so there wasn’t any need to use it once I stopped keeping my Gmail tab open. As for an alternative, there are lots of goods ones, I have moved to Wunderlist, it is a highly recommended, feature rich task management app, with multi-platform clients. It’s also a Lifehacker favourite, if that means anything to you.

Storage: I’ve been using Dropbox for a long time, tried to switch to Google Drive when it launched, but the lack of Linux client stopped me from it, I guess that was a good thing, one less service to migrate from.

Photos: I have always been a Flickr fan, and using Google Photos mainly as a backup storage, I may still use it as a backup service but not sure yet… probably not.

Things Where I am still stuck with Google:

Google Talk: That is one of the thing where I am still stuck, pretty much all my contacts are on Google Talk, and unless I can make them switch to another service, I am stuck here too. Currently the only alternative I like for this is Jabber/XMPP, time to convert the people!

Google Play: It is the best and safest App store for Android, I don’t think I am going to step away for this any time soon. If nothing else, this is going to stop me from deleting my Google account.

I guess that is pretty much all the Google services I was using, will update the post if I thought of anything I missed.

5 thoughts on “De-Googlifying!

  1. Saadat

    Thanks for mentioning FastMail; I’ll surely give it a try.

    Which service are you using in place of Google Reader?

    Reply
    1. aqeeliz Post author

      I moved to Feedly, it imported all my Google Reader feeds and is a really good service.

      Reply
  2. The Barefoot Bookworm

    Hey, that’s pretty cool! Google’s invasiveness tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth too but so far my actions have been restricted to ineffective complaining, rationalizing, and glaring at the screen. This is a very inspiring move you’ve made.

    Have you tried Zoho for the calendar?

    Reply
    1. aqeeliz Post author

      No, I haven’t. I was looking for alternatives, but FastMail is launching two-way contact syncing and calendar soon, so I am going to wait for that now.

      Reply
  3. ren

    Yo, I have been using duckduckgo since your recommendation ages ago and I love it but occasionally use something else if I don’t get enough results. Startpage.com might be worth a look too. Totally agree re the no click results especially as using SSL With duckduckgo nobody need know what you have looked at.
    I have used disposable Google accounts via a separate browser and tor for anonymity although tails would probably be better.
    Agreed too re xmpp.
    Zoho that Barefoot Bookworm I took a look at a while back but did not get around to do anything so maybe I should revisit it.
    I use f-droid.org for my droid phone (currently CyanogenMod) and find it very good as they warn of potential privacy issues but mostly remove or cripple or substitute libraries where there is a privacy issue. Of course the choice is less though. There is a lot on there and there are similar repos but I have not had time to do any further checks on them yet.
    I’ll shut up now in case page times out or something.
    Thanks for your info people.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to The Barefoot Bookworm Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *