It’s been a long journey that I started late in 2018 and as of last month I’ve removed all traces of Google from my life. It all started when I made my own web app to replace Google Keep. After that I kept looking for or making Google alternatives. At last I’ve cut all ties and it’s a good feeling.
Here is How I DeGoogled My Life!
The part that took the longest to purge Google from was my cell phone. There are not a lot of options out there. I could get an iPhone but Apple is not any better and I don’t like iPhones anyway. A Linux phone would be cool but they are not quite ready yet it seems.
But a few months ago I found out about Lineage OS and my phone was compatible so I installed it.
You can still use most Android apps but apps that are depended on Google stuff in the phone will no longer work. But I’ve already been finding Google alternatives for a while so it was not that big of a deal for me.
F-Droid is my app store and I use OsmAnd instead of Google Maps. Anything I can’t find on F-Droid I can find on Aurora Store or APK Pure. Just don’t go installing a bunch of apps that don’t respect you. If the first thing you do is install a Facebook app then your not going to be any better off without a Google OS.
Nextcloud is probably the back bone of my no Google life. I host my own server on a Raspberry PI 4. Nextcloud can do online files like google drive, chat, video chat, calendar, and tons of other things. I even have the Nextcloud app on my phone set to automatically backup any pictures I take to my Nextcloud server.
Lucky for me I never used gmail so this was not hard for me. I had an old Hotmail account but I’ve switched everything over to the e-mail service I get with my web host.
You could also host your own e-mail but that could be a pain when it comes to spam and getting your own e-mails blocked.
For me I think paying a few dollars to a service is better then using a free service like gmail were your privacy and data is the payment.
For web alerts I use Talkwalker instead of Google Alerts. I been using them for over a year now and I’ve had no issues. In fact I think I like the results better.
I’ve also written some custom programs to replace things like Google Keep and contact management. But Nextcloud can also fulfill these roles.
It was hard but worth it!
It took a few years to make the switch from Google and a lot of big tech services. But it was worth it.
I also had to change the way I do some things. I think we have all been slowly conditioned into being depended on big tech services. Then it’s hard for the average person to get off them.
Like for me the smartphone and things like Google Maps was the hardest part to break away from. But now that I’ve found a way to degoogle my phone and have another map app it’s not so bad.