Last week I wrote a long and rambling article on how Huawei phones are still good phones even without Google services. I made it a point to avoid mentioning the fact that we need Google on our Android phones that much, is not necessarily a good thing. I wanted to tackle that point at a later date. Then yesterday Google made the point for me.
You see for people like me and you, Google is the internet. The majority of people would be lost on the internet without Google to hold their hand and take them where they want to go. You would really have to go out of your way to avoid interfacing with at least one of Google’s many services.
Google is truly the internet
If you somehow don’t believe me here are services that you will find hard to avoid:
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- Google search- this is the default in most browsers, and these browsers actually get paid to make Google the default search engine so whether you actually visit the Google search page or use the address bar, you still end up with Google.
- Google Chrome-every-time you use a different browser to do searches, Google will pester you until you make the switch to Chrome.
- There is Gmail
- There is Google Workspace
- Google Ads
- Google Analytics- now this is the catchall. You can avoid most of the above but everyone with a website uses Google Analytics. If you are reading this you have already used Google today.
- Then there are the famous Google Fonts-how many of you knew that Google makes these awesome web fonts like Roboto?
- Then there is Maps
- That nice keyboard that spies on everything you type in Android. How else do you think they know you are in the market for a new phone before you even do the search?
- Messages is their latest spyware, that will sit snuggly in your phone waiting to learn your secrets. Its use is on the rise.
- Google Assistant and it’s related products from Google Home
- Google Auth
- Assistant- even if you don’t have a phone and your friend does, that phone’s assistant is always listening to you. Say anything remotely resembling the word Google and like a genie, the assistant will pop up ready to do it’s master’s bidding. The question is are you its master?
The thing is while a lot of Americans like to boast about how Google is indispensable in the new tech world we live in, it’s not necessarily a good thing. Yesterday, Google’s Authentication service went down and almost took the internet down with it. Thankfully the search function remained up, but imagine if that had gone down too.
The truth is we need alternatives and thankfully these are available for most of the services that Google offers. Many of them are simply not as great or simple to use as Google’s own services but at least you won’t be dishing away all your information to one tech behemoth that so happens to be making killer robots in partnership with the US government.
Popular Google Services and their alternatives
|Search||Bing and DuckDuckGo||Bing is a little behind Google but it’s good enough for most people. DuckDuckGo’s interface sucks but it’s an less censored engine.|
|YouTube||Tik Tok,Likee, Twitch, Vimeo and Instagram||It really depends on what you do. Tik Tok is probably Chinese spyware but Google’s is probably US spyware too so who cares. Avoid Instagram if you can.|
|Gmail||Office 365 and ZOHO Mail||Both are great alternatives that are just as good|
|Google Workspaces||Office 365, WPS Office and ZOHO Office||Office 365 is already leading in the game, WPS Office is a Chinese thing with less functionality and ZOHO just plain sucks in the Office part unless you are an American|
|Google Drive||Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon Storage||Dropbox is much more expensive but the other alternatives are just as good. OneDrive is especially preferable if you are an Office user|
|Hangouts||Zoom, Telegram, Jitsi, Slack etc||It really depends on how you are using Hangouts.|
|Chrome||Firefox||There is just Chrome and Firefox the rest are just irrelevant, sad or forks of Chromium.|
|Keyboard||Swift-key or hundreds of others||Let another keyboard company spy on you then sell the data to Google.|
|Maps||Use Bing Maps||You will probably get lost once in a while but hey it’s worth it if you can avoid the man right?|
|Assistant||Plenty of useless alternatives||You can try something like Alexa or Cortana if you really need an assistant but there is no escaping Google’s Assistant. That’s the upside of knowing everyone’s business, you can make an inescapable assistant.|
|Adsense||Affiliate marketing and direct ad sales||Some bloggers and YouTube creators actually make more from other avenues but it’s much harder than just using Adsense|
|Analytics||JetPack and Kissmetrics||JetPack is handy if you have WordPress the rest are just garbage|
|Movies||Netflix, DSTV BoxOffice, Amazon, iTunes||Zimbabweans probably don’t care, piracy is our thing.|
|Chromecast||Get a DVD player||Be like your parents and get a DVD player|
|Webstore||Use Firefox||Firefox is one of those very few browsers that doesn’t need this|
|Calender||Use Outlook||If you go the 365 route you won’t really need this|
Again as we learned in our Huawei article Google is becoming the beginning and end of our connected lives. With it’s continued growth in the real world it will become the beginning and end of our real lives.
One makes you wonder, why is the US government only going after Facebook? Surely Google needs to be broken up too. People should have started on that when the company got big and dropped it’s “Don’t be evil slogan.” I mean what’s the opposite of don’t be evil?