Alternatives to Google products

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/11/alternatives-to-google-product.html

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Useful and timely. Thanks much.

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Thanks for that list.
I don’t know if Boing Boing have a lot of French speakers in its readership but if you look for alternatives to google apps and services Framasoft is the place to go.

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You don’t need to speak French for their De-Google-ify Internet website which list alternatives to centralized-for-profit services.

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As a DuckDuckGo user I can’t recommend it enough! I still haven’t escaped the clutches of Gmail though. It’s harder than it seems.

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The Irony is this article was in Google News, on my Google Pixel 2, suggested for me by Google algorithms and I used a Google login to create an account yo comment.
Wether you like it or not this is the future.

Also, this isn’t reporting, speculation or anything. This is an ugly Facebook post. I’m disappointed with BB for this.

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Hey @beschizza we have a candidate for the list…

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Thanks for joining just to inflict your woeful penmanship upon us.

(PS This post used no Google products whatsoever, I rock!)

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But it’s the FUTURE! Just accept your new google overlord, peasant! /s

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Don’t be evil.
Make evil easier to be.

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I did it like this:

  1. (optional but recommended): Buy a domain name. As long as you can keep paying the renewal fees, this lets you have an email address which you can use forever (or as long as you and the DNS survive) without being at the whims of Google or whoever else hosts your mailbox.
  2. Get a new mailbox somewhere (the Gmail alternatives listed in the article are good; or if you bought a domain, your domain registrar might offer email hosting; or you could even run your own server.) If you have your own domain, find one which lets you use it for your email address (or set up forwarding).
  3. Set Gmail to forward to your new address.
  4. Start using your new address instead of your Gmail one.
  5. After a few months/years, log into Gmail (or filter your new inbox by recipient=[your old address]@gmail.com) and see if there’s anything important still going to your Gmail address; if so, move it over to your new one.

I’ve currently got my own email address at my own domain. My old Gmail address forwards to it. My domain registrar offers email hosting, but instead I opted to use their forwarding service and have my mailbox hosted by iCloud (Apple); but the beauty of this setup is that if I ever decide I don’t want to host my email with Apple, I can move my mailbox to wherever I like (including my own server) without changing my address.

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Woah… how have i not discovered hooktube before? Very useful but it doesn’t give you the option of adding it to the search bar, unless anyone knows of a way to do that in firefox?

ETA: found it - http://mycroftproject.com/search-engines.html?name=hooktube.com

ETA2: oh well, that didn’t last long. From hooktube’s changelog…

July 11: HookTube no longer uses YouTube api for anything, and most features (channel page, search, related videos, etc) are gone. No choice.

:roll_eyes:

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I’ve noticed that recently, Google has become even more insufferable. It used to be that if you copied a link off a Google search page (or Google News for that matter), that you got the actual link. Now you get a link that’s full of tracking BS. Ugh.

DuckDuckGo usually does a pretty good job, but not always. It’s still good enough that I can use it for most of my searches, though.

After never using it or allowing it to slurp up my photos, I recently disabled Google Photos on my phone since it has a perfectly good self-contained gallery app. I only use GMail for what little interaction I have with my Play account, and have one instance of Chrome on one of my machines that’s signed in for the same reason (but normal surfing is with Firefox). I still use Google Maps, but I just might go back to my already-paid-for Sygic for navigation (it uses offline maps, and I bought it back when T-Mobile coverage in the sticks completely sucked).

I just wish there was a viable smartphone alternative that wasn’t Apple, Google, or Microsoft. Fat chance that’ll happen now, though. Apple comes oh-so-close, but I just can’t stomach their app store policies.

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I figure I’d miss the traffic info if I didn’t have Google Maps, but looks like Sygic has it.

I had an iPhone, and now I kind of miss it, although I’ve become accustomed to being able to add an SD card and swap out the battery (on an Android phone).

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For those who prefer Google results and think DuckDuckGo doesnt measure up, use g! before your search terms in DuckDuckGo, and you will get Google results with the anonymity due to the request only tracking as far as DDG.

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While not nearly as bad as Chrome, the latest Firefox took a huge step backwards in privacy by not supporting the old behaviors of NoScript. I’ve switched to WaterFox as a healthy fork.

The only alternative I could find was lineage OS. You need a supported phone (there are quite a few if you consider the unofficially supported ones) and you replace the android with lineage os, which is basically android without google (and some useful additions). If you still want google, you further install a package called gapps, if you don’t, you leave lineage os as is.

Further apps can be found on the fdroid store (free software, no tracking) or you can install the yandex or amazon store (for paid software and tracking). If you just miss one or two commercial apps, you can try to install the apk outside of a store. It may work, if it does not call the google libraries (there is a project to emulate these).

It is a bit rough at the edges, but generally usable. I tried it on a Samsung A3, it appears ok with the exception of the fingerprint reader and camera flash. There is free software for mail, web browsing, jabber, irc, maps, calendar and contacts sync, pictures, music and video playing, etc… which is all I really need.

Google has been doing this for years… Maybe as long as a decade.

This Chrome Plugin supposedly removes the extra tracking info. It says it has been around since 2011.

I’m aware of that, and have an old handset with predecessor CyanogenMod (R.I.P.). The problem with putting Lineage on my daily driver is that, while there is an unofficial ROM for it, it doesn’t support VoLTE, and I’m in rural VoLTE-only areas often enough for that to make it a non-starter. Then there’s the other problem: what’s to stop Lineage from imploding like CyanogenMod (or, very recently, CopperheadOS)?