Good-Bye, Google

How I am planning on controlling the products and services I use more strictly.

Relatively I’ve gotten a new phone, a moto x4, and since I’m on Project Fi (by Google), this phone ended up being a Google phone, too. I only really got it for one reason: it has a dual rear camera, allowing me to take nicer pics. I can use that, for my Instagram. However! After 3 or so months of using it, I have to say I’m ready to give it up, and finally switch to an iPhone.

Now, why? The short answer is that I really really don’t like the Google assistant. It tells me when I get home, it tells me when my credit card is due, it knows everything about me. My photos are backed up (poorly) on Google cloud – so I can neither get them back easily, nor have any reasonable privacy. And I use google way too much. It has all my data and when I type in a search query in Chrome, it auto-completes it for me, so very often instead of searching for what I want I search for something else – the nearest-popular autocompleted sentence. I don’t feel comfortable with that at all.

Now, Google will still have my data, and true privacy is impossible to achieve. But I should make a conscious choice to at least attempt to mitigate the risk and the problem of privacy. Just look at how much trouble Google+ has been, or how much trouble Facebook has been! Oh, I quit Facebook quite a while ago, I have an account but I don’t rely on it for communication or any part of my social life. However, real tools like the email, calendar, and the physical sellphone are harder to own as private.

Another reason for me to dislike google is that they charged me $1800 according to some 5-year-old contract, because someone used some API keys that were under my name. I’m still recovering these monies, actually. Obviously nobody reads the contracts they sign, but also – let’s sign fewer contracts, and let’s actually avoid unnecessarily giving away control.

In general, I don’t feel comfortable how pervasive Google’s services are. I want to use it less, not more. So I’m in the slow, gradual process of abandoning google services. I feel that email may be the hardest to abandon.

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