Why I have degoogled my phone
Posted on 15/11/2022 01:35:00 PM GMT
A few days ago, one of my Univesity collegues asked me why I have removed all of the Google services (aka Degoogling) off my phone even if it is causing me to face inconveniences with some of the widely used apps. Well here it is why:
It should be pretty obvious by now but the main reason is that Google tracks you, sometimes even without your consent. They collect your data which ranges from basic information such as your name, address to even your current location. The reason? In order to generate revenue through their "free" services, they sell your data to various other companies for things like advertisement, etc. And due to having monopoly over mobile phones softwares and services, they can use more sinister ways to track you as a majority of Android apps nowadays relies on Google Play Services in order to function properly. And as a free market believer as well as a privacy enjoyer, this is unacceptable under my watch. In fact, I even stopped using android apps or services which only work with Google Play Service due to the features of it being fully relying on it (unlike some apps which only nags about its absence) as it is a guarantee that the app would just be a privacy nightmare anyway.
Another reason to degoogle was due to unnecessary bloatware installed by default on stock Android phones. In my case, the only useful Google apps are YouTube, Gmail and Maps (which have been replaced by FOSS alternatives anyway) and every other pre-installed Google apps were completely useless for me. And worse, you can't just uninstall them without resorting to rooting your phone or using ADB.
For 3 years, I have been living my degoogled life and it has been a successful experiment, mainly because of these awesome FOSS apps which neither relies on Google Play Services nor it tracks you:
- MicroG: A free and open-source implementation of proprietary Google libraries that serves as a replacement for Google Play Services on the Android operating system. I use it for my banking app as it relies on Google Play services. and it works flawlessly.
- Newpipe: A libre lightweight streaming front-end of services like YouTube for Android.
- K-9 Mail: A great open source Email client for Android.
- F-Droid: An excellent open source app store which made me to know about these useful apps and much more.
At the end, embracing community maintained FOSS projects has lead me to admire privacy more than ever. And I hope that it may also lead you to do so as well. Because as they say:
CONTROL YOUR DEVICE, DON'T LET IT CONTROL YOU.