In the beginning of 2020 I set myself a target to largely reduce the reliance I have on Google and their services. It’s now over half way through the year and I thought I’d document my progress, what apps I’ve replaced and my experiences with their alternatives. So in no particular order, let’s get to it.
Google Authenticator -> Authy
I’ve used the Google Authenticator app for as long as I’ve been using 2 Factor Authentication as a security method. It was a weird adjustment to make but migrating away was a great decision. The alternative I chose was Twilio Authy 2 Factor Authentication.
The app overall has a smooth experience and works just as intended.
As a night owl, dark mode was one of the features that was a must have. Authy pulls through with their very own themeset and it’s great. However, if you display your accounts with a logo you will see a white box around the logo if there’s no transparency set. It’s a bummer but only a small hitch in an otherwise perfect design.
One of the most beneficial bonuses to Authy is the ability to transfer your codes to another phone. This is a feature that little to no other competing apps offer, even Google. It’s definitely a must have feature.
Gmail -> ProtonMail
Over the years I’ve had dozens of Gmail accounts, I have no idea why. I have spent the last six months consolidating them and I now only operate the one which has the SmallWeb Ltd YouTube brand account connected to it. Oh.. and Pokemon GO.
Instead of migrating hundreds of accounts to a new email service I decided to purge as many accounts as possible that I didn’t need any more. It took a long time, but eventually hundreds of emails per week turned in to 1 or 2. Then I moved the handful of remaining accounts over to ProtonMail. They advertise Encryption as part of their service, but that very much differs between circumstances. I chose them from video recommendations, but because I also do like their app. It works very well and I’ve had no issues with it. Also, it’s opensource.
I use MXroute for business and they’ve recently released the new MXlogin app for Android and iPhone devices.
Google Tasks -> Tasks.org
The Google Tasks app was very simple, had dark mode and worked as intended. There was no reason to move until I discovered the open source app Tasks.org. This app features a little more complex range of settings but one of the main things I like about it apart from it’s simple resemblance to Google Tasks is the tagging feature. The tagging feature is a great way to help you organise your tasks.
Google Drive -> Hard Drive
This one’s quite simple. I bought a 1TB external hard drive and viola! My data no longer needs to be in the cloud. Of course, it’s not as simple as that and you should definitely have a system in place that isn’t just one backup source if you’re storing important data, not just anime GIFs.
Google Chrome -> Firefox
I was a heavy user of Google Chrome during the years of it’s initial release and constantly bounced between it and FireFox depending on which one was optimised besst for the low-level hardware I was running. I no longer use Chromium based web browsers except for development reasons.
Maybe the title should say “Some” instead of “All” because I’m sure I’m forgetting some but oh well! Some of the apps I still haven’t replaced or disabled are:
YouTube – Not that I use it on my phone anyway, but it’s there.Edit: Disabled! Can just use the browser.
- Google Play Store – Might look in to F-Droid.
Messages – Installed default with my phone. Not sure what to look for.Edit: Now I’m using Signal!
Anyway – thanks for reading!