Author Topic: Who else is tired of google?  (Read 9006 times)

DeltaBond

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Who else is tired of google?
« on: November 28, 2015, 06:20:30 AM »
I've made huge efforts the past couple years to simplify my life - minimizing has been so rewarding.  The recent minimization and downgrade was cancelling my verizon service (yeah, a couple months before the contract was over) and changing to tracfone.  I have no complaints, really, but my further minimization was to start removing google services from my life.  Google's services are mostly good, very helpful, but that company has made me feel as though I am very reliant on technology.  Simplifying, downgrading and minimizing isn't just a benefit to save money, it declutters the mind and reduces stress as well. 

I only really use my smartphone for checking google maps to see the traffic situation because I live in a pseudo-urban area that doesn't have the infrastructure to handle all the people living here.  I like the google music app and getting my email, but all that is kinda secondary.  I'm trying to compromise and just set up a google account for my phone, and damn if they don't REQUIRE your phone number just to sign up for email online.  A few weeks ago I was going to download an app for my child's school, can't remember which app it was, and it REQUIRED that I also sign up for google+.  NOPE.  The app had nothing to do with Google+ and that just annoyed me.  I accidentally did that last year, and Google+ uploaded ALL of the photos from my phone onto my brand new Google+ account and notified all of my contacts who were also on Google+ that I was now on there and yay, look at all my photos, too!

I'm not sure I'm tired of it enough to change to one of the other smartphones, but I am very curious of anyone else who has kinda boycotted google?  If you love google, good for you, but its starting to get old.

Ricky

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2015, 07:16:40 AM »
I'm not sure I understand the argument - it's a little scattered.

First, it's not necessary to input a phone number to sign up for Gmail. Try it.

With Google, it doesn't matter if you're using Docs, Mail, Maps, Chrome, anything, you're still using the same account. So in the sense of "minimalism", it's still minimalistic. No one is forcing you to use any of the apps or services that your one account has access to. Minimalism is all about reducing the fat. There's no certain number of "things" you should own. The idea is that you should own the minimum amount possible to be happy and function. I don't see how removing Google from your life is a step towards minimalism if it keeps you from functioning in a modern society.

One example of an app that requires logging into G+ to sign up is not a good example of why one should ditch Google from their life. It's necessary (practically) for your child's education/schooling so I don't even see why this should be a concern. Most well-built apps do have login options for social networks (not limited to G+), but they also have options for logging in with regular ole email. Don't sweat the small stuff.

What's the alternative to Google? Microsoft (very low market share, thus an inferior app market) or Apple. None are really any different than Google, except Apple doesn't have their own search engine. All three companies have a mix of apps and services that are associated by one account.

Google is simply a means to an end. If they offer the services I need, I'll use them. If not, I won't. But I won't blindly disregard their apps and services because of some uncorrelated mantra that has no bearing on their usefulness.

By the way, going from Verizon -> Tracfone is not really minimizing. You still have a cell phone. You're still presumably paying for data. You're just saving money. Minimalism does not necessarily involve saving money. In my experience, it can be more costly to minimize in the long run. I guess the real question is - do you need a smartphone to begin with? I'm all for minimizing - but not to the point where it is significantly more stressful, more expensive, and less convenient to do so.

BlueMR2

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2015, 07:18:27 AM »
I'm pretty much Googled out too.  I've reached the same conclusion about them that I have with Apple.  All the stuff they do is shiny, attractive, and broken in subtle yet very annoying ways.

I'm keeping my Google+ account just because I use it for authentication on some websites.  I'm using duckduckgo for search now as they seem to be the best, with Bing as my second.

Maps is where it gets tricky.  Nobody does good mapping anymore.  Mapquest was my choice up until they just recently redesigned.  Now they're just as bad as Google and Bing maps.  Still looking for something here...

For phones, I'm just using a dumb phone I bought back in 2006 with Tracfone.  Funny thing is that I was doing phone app dev (both iPhone and Android) for awhile.  :-)  If I was forced to buy a smartphone today though, I'd go Windows.  Google's Android is a trainwreck of poor user experience.  Apple's iOS started out nice and clean, but they've got it so junked up with "magic"/non-intuitive features now that it's hard to use unless you live with it.  Cleanest, best UI currently is Windows.

DeltaBond

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2015, 08:04:45 AM »
BlueMR2, what do you dislike about google's maps?  I haven't looked at Mapquest in a long time, does it show traffic issues?

I'm tempted to try a Windows phone, if I ever have the opportunity.  Did you find a Windows phone that works with tracfone?

DeltaBond

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2015, 08:07:11 AM »
First, it's not necessary to input a phone number to sign up for Gmail. Try it.

By the way, going from Verizon -> Tracfone is not really minimizing.

Gmail requires validation through a phone number.  I've tried every other way under the sun to skip that step, but nope, they require it now.  In the past, they didn't, but now, they do.  Tracfone averages out to $16 monthly for me, when Verizon was $90 monthly.  Definitely a downsize in cost.

aschmidt2930

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2015, 08:55:04 AM »
I would argue Google makes modern life much simpler, and is a huge piece towards "decluttering" ones life.

scottish

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2015, 10:15:55 AM »
I dislike the way their automation trolls through my e-mail, web searches and so on.   However I don't dislike it quite enough to do anything about it.  but one day...

fa

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2015, 10:35:11 AM »
Google and associated services make life much easier but at the expense of privacy.  Your life is an open book.  This helps them provide you with targeted ads.  Unless you are solidly mustachian, you may end up paying for Google with your purchases.  Actually, judging by the Google profit, most people apparently do.

Ricky

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2015, 10:51:04 AM »
First, it's not necessary to input a phone number to sign up for Gmail. Try it.

By the way, going from Verizon -> Tracfone is not really minimizing.

Gmail requires validation through a phone number.  I've tried every other way under the sun to skip that step, but nope, they require it now.  In the past, they didn't, but now, they do.  Tracfone averages out to $16 monthly for me, when Verizon was $90 monthly.  Definitely a downsize in cost.

Hm. You're right. The field has always been there - but you used to not have to enter anything. They probably did it to cut down on people creating thousands of fake emails. I don't think there's any reason to be concerned about privacy.

Quote from: fa
Google and associated services make life much easier but at the expense of privacy.  Your life is an open book.  This helps them provide you with targeted ads.  Unless you are solidly mustachian, you may end up paying for Google with your purchases.  Actually, judging by the Google profit, most people apparently do.

You can opt out of targeted ads.

Salim

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2015, 11:00:33 AM »
I'm tired of it, too. Gmail seems clunky to me. How could they share your photographs without permission?

TheBuddha

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2015, 11:27:03 AM »
I've been off Google for years.

Bing maps works just fine for most of my needs, although I'll use Google streetview when necessary.

Recently I tried to set up an android emulator on my laptop (I was going to use one specific app for one specific purpose and then uninstall). But I did not proceed with it for the exact reason you gave - they required my phone number.

Years ago my University email was provided by Google so it was like Gmail, and I absolutely hated it. How so many people love Gmail, I'll never understand. It's terrible.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 11:28:53 AM by TheBuddha »

DeltaBond

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2015, 12:52:02 PM »
I'm tired of it, too. Gmail seems clunky to me. How could they share your photographs without permission?

I have no clue, I was absolutely floored!  But I think its common knowledge that privacy isn't something they care about, even with the "verification" stuff they present, and urging you to choose a strong password, etc.

TheBuddha - do you have a cell phone?  Smartphone?  If so, which do you use?

DeltaBond

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2015, 01:53:13 PM »

All photos uploaded to Google+ were set as private by default - there is no way anyone else could see them unless one shared the photos. At this point this is moot because Google decoupled the Photos app from Google+, partly I think to assuage fears that photos were being shared on the social side of G+. At this point photos go to the Photos app which is a great set-it-and-forget-it back-up tool.

They were not set to private, as friends immediately started commenting on them, that's how I noticed what it had done.

TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2015, 02:08:12 PM »
I don't think it's a problem with Google so much as it is a problem with the whole world switching from opt in to opt out.  The assumption anymore is that you want to share everything with everyone and want everything connected to everything else.  As  I barely want to interact with anything at all I'm finding the post social network online scene to be horrendously annoying.

DeltaBond

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2015, 02:08:30 PM »
I trust Google to be protective of my data just because secure data is its bread and butter.
 

I didn't know anyone anywhere actually believed this, no offense.  I'm no conspiracy theorist, by any means, I don't think they have a plan, I just think with every little change they make, they quickly look for the next one.  I also don't think its all about targeted ads alone, I think they have investors and are trying to prove through their data how many people use their services so they can get more money from them.  Can't blame them, but they are quickly going from the helpful service to the creepster that is almost crossing the line but currently just dancing on it... until a lot of people just shut them out.


Creating a new gmail/google account does not require a phone number, it just looks like it does. One can leave the field empty and solve a captcha instead. Source - I just made a new gmail three days ago :)

Lucky you, bravo ;) !!! I will say, they have made a lot of very recent changes, so don't rule out something done within that 3 day window, it is possible.  I tried all the tricks that used to work in this step this morning, and nope, couldn't get the captcha thing to come up.

So, back to the point of this thread, if anyone is google free, please share what you are using, if you care to, and if you used to have google and no longer do, I'd be interested and encouraged by hearing what you have to share about using other services.


acroy

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2015, 02:28:53 PM »
Oddly, Microsoft has some of the most private and least intrusive products (well, for a big company). A lot less intrusive than Google. My tin-hat wearing relations are fans. One Drive, etc
Nokia Windows phone for $50 unlocked via Amazon. Nokia has kickass maps as well.
Personally I use a lazy old mix of Microsoft and Google products.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2015, 02:32:16 PM »
OP, from what I can tell, I think you clicked too quickly at some point, and gave Google permission to do that.

That is annoying, but Google is somewhat easy to avoid. It is the cost of using their products. (Have you been paying them monthly?  No?  You are the product.)

Don't like it, don't use them. Which seems to be the solution you reached.

I agree with  the choice if privacy is important to you.

Not as a minimalism thing (Google tracking my stuff, syncing my stuff, etc. is more minimalist, for me), but as a privacy thing.

I assume then you use encryption for everything, only connect through a VPN, don't have a smartphone, etc. then, right?  Otherwise it's kind of pointless.
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TheBuddha

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2015, 05:07:40 PM »
TheBuddha - do you have a cell phone?  Smartphone?  If so, which do you use?

I have a flip phone. I'll never buy a smartphone. (It's funny though, how people will tell me they're on sale, or find a way to imply I can't afford one,  as if that's the only reason to be without one.)

Jack

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2015, 08:14:12 PM »
Oddly, Microsoft has some of the most private and least intrusive products (well, for a big company). A lot less intrusive than Google. My tin-hat wearing relations are fans. One Drive, etc
Nokia Windows phone for $50 unlocked via Amazon. Nokia has kickass maps as well.
Personally I use a lazy old mix of Microsoft and Google products.

Microsoft can afford to make their online services seem private; they have their hooks in the OS itself.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2015, 02:39:32 AM »
Yup, Windows 10 is full of stuff that reports to Microsoft, and they backported that to Windows 7 (and 8) via system updates.

Of course that's irrelevant if you use a non-MS OS, but don't think they aren't tracking online, too.

Don't even get me started on Skype.
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DeltaBond

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2015, 05:36:10 AM »
TheBuddha - do you have a cell phone?  Smartphone?  If so, which do you use?

I have a flip phone. I'll never buy a smartphone. (It's funny though, how people will tell me they're on sale, or find a way to imply I can't afford one,  as if that's the only reason to be without one.)

Ha, yeah, I guess they want to share in the experience or something.  And if you share your reasons for not wanting one, they'll probably look at you like you're out of it.  I'm changing today to a dumb-phone, but not a flip phone.  For the 2 little things I use on a smartphone, its really not worth the cost and stress.  I'd love to check out a Nokia, but it might never happen, as my hobbies don't really center anymore on technology anyway, thankfully.

Sean_in_london

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2015, 05:54:18 AM »
I've just gone the opposite way and embraced Google services. Replaced my iPhone with an android phone andy Mac with a Chromebook. These options are all I really need and are cheaper. I do recognise there is a trade off for this with targeted advertising and less privacy. I do check the security settings in detail to minimise what I do share.

I participate in Google Rewards, short survey to earn app store credit, which I find a little creepy. The surveys are provided on my recent search history or even my physical location. "Have you been to boots recently?" "How was your experience"

DeltaBond

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2015, 04:17:52 AM »
Some people just prefer privacy, and that's ok to prefer that.  Anyone else aware of this lawsuit?...

http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/10/technology/google-forgotten/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/right-to-be-forgotten/

The Right To Be Forgotten is the phrase used in other countries, and big shocker, the folks at Google have not stuck to their word.  I simply don't like having my options taken away, and it sounds like I'm not the only one on these forums who can live without their 'services'.  If you love the Google, more power to you, I was more wanting to hear from the mustachians who have either made the effort to drift away from it or never bothered with it in the first place ;)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 04:23:37 AM by DeltaBond »

ash7962

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2015, 06:39:30 AM »
I'm curious about why you don't like filling in your phone number at all?  Google uses it for account security (not saying they don't use it for other things too).  One of the best and easiest ways to secure someone's account is to ask them for something they know (the password), and something they have (a code from a text on their phone which is physically in their hands).  What do you think they're doing with your phone number?  Also if you change to another phone then you're just changing which company tracks your usage.  What's the difference?  I guarantee other companies do it too, and good luck finding one that doesn't.  Best you can hope for is that they aren't as good as Google at tracking you, but then they probably also aren't as good at protecting the tracked data either.  Since I'm not going to stop using the internet I know I'll be tracked no matter what, so I might as well take advantage of Google's great suite of cloud tools.

OP, from what I can tell, I think you clicked too quickly at some point, and gave Google permission to do that.

/snip

I assume then you use encryption for everything, only connect through a VPN, don't have a smartphone, etc. then, right?  Otherwise it's kind of pointless.
Also second this.  Google doesn't force you to share your pictures, and I doubt they turn it on by default.  That would be an incredibly terrible business decision that could cause an uprising against them (just think of all the people who probably have nudes on their phones).  And, as long as you use the internet or send data over a wire then you can bet it'll be tracked somewhere.  Best thing you can do is make sure whoever is tracking it can't read it (encryption).

Anomalous

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2015, 05:44:53 PM »
I use a lot of the different Google services, and I generally like them. However, they did something with some of my pictures a few months ago that I really did not appreciate.

I had a few pictures shared through Google+, marked as public, and with location data included. I understand that anyone in the world can see these pictures and see where they were taken; I have no issue with that. However, at some point they decided that any picture on Google+, which is public, and which has location data embedded, should be displayed on Google Maps. So anyone using Google Maps in the vicinity of my house would see little markers pop up showing that there are pictures of this location, and click on the markers to see my pictures of the inside of my house.

I see a difference between sharing a picture on my Google+ page that anyone can look at, and putting markers on Google Maps to show everyone pictures of the inside of my house. Apparently to Google there's no difference between these two situations because it's all public anyway. I agree that they're technically correct, but putting the pictures on Google Maps makes them so much more easily discoverable by complete strangers.

I'm still going to keep using Google services because they're convenient, but now I'm a lot more wary of making any pictures or other data public since I know they will happily share those items across any of their various services.

patrickza

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2015, 02:33:57 AM »
I love google. Free email, free cloudspace, unlimited storage of photos also free, plus I get a deposit from them every month into my bank account that covers at least half of my monthly expenses!

Plus pretty much everything I've learnt since college is thanks to google. What's not to love?

dcozad999

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2015, 07:29:27 AM »
Tell us more about this monthly deposit

patrickza

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2015, 07:52:42 AM »
Tell us more about this monthly deposit
Adsense, I run a few websites. Not huge amounts, sub $1000, but my costs are low enough that it means a lot to me.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2015, 08:09:50 AM »
Tell us more about this monthly deposit

Lots of potential answers, the most obvious/likely one, IMO, is income from Google Ads.
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ketchup

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2015, 08:48:17 AM »
I use Android, Google Maps, Google Drive/Docs, Google Voice/Hangouts, and Gmail pretty extensively, and there really aren't good alternatively to all those things (that I'm aware of) that don't have their own hosts of issues.

I know Microsoft has been incorporating all kinds of nefarious telemetry into Windows 10, which I assume translates over to Windows Phone.  I don't know how iOS ranks in relation to security/privacy, but it's limiting enough as it stands that I wouldn't consider it an option.  No smartphone at all is the only real alternative from a privacy standpoint.

Google Maps (on desktop or Android/iOS) trounces the competition in every way I care about and is incredibly useful.  It's also the most unsettling in that it far too often knows where I am.

Google Docs could potentially be replaced with simply using MS Office with DropBox or similar, but then I'd have to buy MS Office for each machine I want to view documents on.

I don't know of a good alternative to Google Voice/Hangouts for forwarding, voicemail transcription, and SMS.

Gmail is probably the easiest to replace, as it's just email.  But in-browser it also hooks into Hangouts which is nifty but by no means required.

I use uBlock to block in-browser ads so I don't see any of that BS, but the privacy angle does concern me more and more as time goes on.  Google's services are good enough that I suppose for now I'm taking the bait.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 09:13:02 AM by ketchup »

jackiechiles2

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2015, 03:26:40 PM »
I use bing for the reward points, but it does not work as good as google.  When I search for something on bing, it takes me several minutes to find something.  With Google, it's always on the first page.  maybe it's because Google tracks everything I do, but it works so much better it's kind of worth it.

johnny847

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2015, 03:32:37 PM »
I use bing for the reward points, but it does not work as good as google.  When I search for something on bing, it takes me several minutes to find something.  With Google, it's always on the first page.  maybe it's because Google tracks everything I do, but it works so much better it's kind of worth it.

You know why?

Bing = But It's Not Google

raymond

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2015, 04:28:43 PM »
Hello,

If you value your privacy google is not the way to go, see here :
http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/18/google-location-history/

and if you have a google account see directly here :
https://maps.google.com/locationhistory

Most people I know were totally unaware of the tracking google does, this feature lets them see it. It's usually a good idea to scatter things a bit.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Who else is tired of google?
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2015, 06:34:30 PM »
Can google track you if you're not logged in?