Why I’m Ditching Android

I'm Kev and I'm a Cyber Security professional from the UK. I started this blog so that I could share my thoughts on the things that interest me. That's usually technology, Linux, open source, and motorbikes.
  1. Why dont u just root the android phone to uninstall all of the bloatware?

  2. Android is an open source os, the fact you can’t delete system apps means you can’t build your own custom rooms or re compile kernels how you want them.
    Android is cool because you CAN do all this very easily yourself. The fact you haven’t rooted and haven’t de-googled propely and have problems removing system apps makes me wonder how part-time tour security guy status is… Clearly very part-time.

    1. I think you’re confusing my technical ability with my inclination to do something. Yes I could do all of that, and I do state in the article that I put LineageOS on an old phone to try fully de-Googling Android (or as much as is reasonably possible). Custom ROMs and re-compiling the kernel is possible and I’m glad it works for you, but I have absolutely no inclination to do that. I’m way too busy and my free time is way to precious to spend being a phone sys admin.

  3. If you’re degoogling your life this shouldn’t appear on my Google news feed

  4. Just don’t get suckered in by those “free updates” that slow the iPhone down to the point that is unusable after 2 years. It’s like buying a car, and 2 years later the salesman comes round to your house and drills a hole in one of the engine cylinders. We wouldn’t accept this in any other area of life, I have no idea why people accept it from their over-priced, child labour made iPhones.

    Oh, and then there’s that lovely concept called “compatibility” that Apple snubs at every opportunity.

    I loved my 4GS until I “upgraded” it, which turned it into a lovely paperweight… Since then I won’t buy from that hideously unscrupulous company.

  5. There is also sailfish os, i haven’t tried it but it seems interesting!)
    Also Apple moved their servers to Google, I wonder if Google will get to that data eventually!)

  6. Ditching o E evil for another is proving nothing? I think Apple is a ball of shite.

  7. In all fairness. Every one are buying selling data whether u like it or not. Take our government for example they are the main culprits. If they had tougher laws against data protection then Google wouldn’t have had a chance I think u jumped over board by trying to ditch Google. Also I think u just complaining for nothing

  8. Stumbled across this article via Google Discover on my Pixel 2. Gotta love it.

  9. The only reason i’ll stop using android is if google start to more and more become like an apple, closed locked down software source code. I used to ise apple back in jailbreak day, my iPhone 4 already have most of iPhone X feature even back in 2010-2011. (gesture, multitask, you named it). For me, smartphone can only truly be ours if we can do everything we want with it. So, unlocked phone is a must, not only carrier unlock, but also bootloader unlock, and freedom to root and access system file. Sure, people will talk about security, but now they just dodge their responsibility of providing a good security simply by locking down people freedom and creativity. I dont care about google services, i can disable most of it using root, i can block any ads i dont like to see, and i can get new features i like on older phone as well, long as i have root, have freedom. Thats where the catch is coming for all OEM, they want you to buy newer phone. And allowing you to tweak your phone so much will only halting you from getting the new one. Do you think why apple bogged down their older phone with software update ?

  10. I’ve had two iPhones in recent years and have broken them very quickly,they’re just not robust enough for my lifestyle. I go for low end Huaweis which are very tough,I’ve dropped them,sat on them and soaked them,when they’ve functioned fine after drying out. I loved the SE I recently had,especially with IOS 12 but smashed it beyond repair in 3 days. eBay and my local Gumtree are full of iPhones for sale with various faults suggesting they’re not massively reliable either. My cheap and cheerful Y6 2017 can get a good signal where my SE couldn’t and neither can my brother’s iPhone 8 ,same network,similar experience overseas with my partner’s iPhone in remote areas. I love Apple stuff,have 2 iPads,but they’re too fragile for me and for the money too many appear to develope issues and while Androids do become dated you don’t get a still functioning device deliberately bricked by the manufacturer to boost sales

  11. Personally I think that was a bad choice concidering now Apple don’t even support the iPhone se or the X for that matter, if you are doing this just because of Google using your data then there are other ways to protect yourself, jumping to Apple is jumping into the fire, maybe you like it hot lol.

    1. I have an se with IOS 12 no root no jailbreak no hack still supported so far! as to the whole Android vs Apple I think it comes down to preference, they all do stuff we don’t like.

  12. Very informative ive been thinking of changing as im getting sick of my samsung i dont seem to have any control of my phone ads keep coming up on peel remote whist im making phone calls cant disable it.

  13. I ditched iOS because it was too limited like typing/no swipe. Android on the hand is totally customisable and I have nothing to hide

  14. My guess is you ditched Google to switch to Apple for the same reason somebody stops going to one bar (because he suspects one time they cheated him on a bill) and starts going to another. It is a personal choice. I support and share your concern for privacy protection, but on the other hand i even more despise Apple for being best at exploiting our human weakneses (every comercial is trying to do that, but Apple is best in it).
    I saw that many people said you were paid by Apple. Paid or not, you are actually saying that Apple is lesser evil in collecting information about people so now you join their club. My friend, you really should contact Apple and get them to pay you because you are giving it for free and you shouldnt. This article for some unknown reason popped up on my phone (this didnt happen half a year ago so it must be fruit of some update of some app or phone OS,). So milions are reading this and you gave it for free. 🙂
    So to sum it in one sentence. Thumbs up for degoogling but a long Boooooo! for mentioning Apple as alternative. What good is gaining the whole world if you loose your soul 😉

  15. Ok, enjoy. It’s easy to switch in both directions. Not sure why people feel the need to make a big deal when they switch from one to the other.

  16. I agree with your findings. I have had umpteen problems just trying to retrieve email addresses in which have been used. It keeps saying that I don’t have access to my account information and it also has came up that someone has intact used my Google Play Services and Google Pay as well.

  17. It’s a great idea. But the SE is only an option because there are no other options. I have the Sony Z5 Compact for the size but avoided the SE because of the finger print reader problems. You only have to scan eBay to see the amount of phones for sale where touch id sn’t working.

  18. What do your have to hide dude?

    To a point I enjoy Google’s tailored adverts. I recently got into drones and since searching them all the adds I see are about drones. Which is actually pretty nice it’s not just random bs like adds usually are.

    Personally I don’t see any issue with Google knowing what I’m interested in. Are you scared they’ll hold it over you?

    Besides apple literally require your address and card details just to set up an apple I.D. not to mention the gross amount they charge developers in order to use their iTunes store.

    Apple are a monopoly market that force you into spending money with them.

    Google is a company that do most things for literally free. Like you said their only revenue is adds. So stop shitting on them trying to save you your own money by making other businesses pay for it.

    You’re seriously short sighted and ignorant in this article. I’m all for data privacy but damn dude. What have you got to hide?

    1. Everyone has something to hide. Google’s tracking goes way further than simply tailored adverts. They know where you go, when you go there, all your contact details, the details of everyone in your phone book, your future movements (calendar), they have facial recognition on every photo you snap and upload. This isn’t just “oh, he’s interested in drones, let’s show him drones” it’s so much more than that.

      I have lots to hide – I don’t want a company knowing all this information about me. You ask me what I’ve got to hide, I assume you have nothing to hide then? If so, care to share your Gmail and Facebook passwords so we can all take look?

  19. Anyone willing to try Jolla SailfishOS phones?

    I’m using a Sony Xperia X with Sailfish (native Linux + Qt/Wayland, has an Android layer, you can ssh into it and become root). I replaced /etc/hosts with github.com/StevenBlack/hosts, so that the (very few) Android apps are basically ad-less.

  20. I run a search for “android one” on this article and comments and found none. I have Nokia 8 scirocco and it has cleanest newest est est possible Android in it. Have you tried it before swapping Android with IOS? You still have G maps mail drive photos coming with Android One but hey I need those anyway. I had Huawei p10 before this one and agree all pre-installed apps (Huawei’s version of everything) suck

    1. Yeah, my current phone is the P10. It’s a great device, just so much Google and Huawei bloat. I haven’t tried Android One, but never say never, I might be back in future.

  21. Ok I’m really confused. So you’ve ditched Google, but got a blog thingy on google?

    1. Yeah, you really are confused. This blog is a self-hosted WordPress site, it has nothing to do with Google. If you found it on Google, that’s because they have crawlers that go around the internet looking for new content to add to their services.

  22. Kev, stumbled on your post through Google news funny enough, good luck with the iPhone. I have used them in the past and they are pretty much the same usage wise, you just can’t customise as much. But in my opinion the os does run better. I “love” the Apple hate I’m seeing, and I love that you’re ignoring it, again good luck with the phone! Oh and just for reference my current phone is an S8 so I have used both sides

    1. Thanks Luke, appreciate the comment. Yeah, haters gonna hate, right? 🙂

      I may end up back on Android, who knows, but I wanna give it a try. Not harm in that, or so I thought haha.

  23. Agreed. Really noticed a marked increase in people ‘de-googling’ recently, myself included, and it’s not just tech-conscious people.
    Dumping Gmail and creating a sterilised YT account was the most gruelling part, was quite surprised how deep the tendrils went. Btw, I had the same rationale for switching to Apple. Just purely down to their business model, makes sense doesn’t it?

    1. I think it does. De-googling is pretty difficult at first, but it gets easier as you move more stuff away from them.

  24. Lol. I’ve moved from Symbian to iOS to Android to Windows Phone several times back and forth (never backed to Symbian obviously).

    Always came crawling back to Android. In theory, it is the worst of the lot (after Symbian), but iOS is too restrictive, and Windows Phone is abandonware.

    I’ve gone for Xiaomi phones. The Mi6 is slightly bigger than an iPhone SE but it perform just as well as the larger handsets. It has some bloatware but I simply disable them and stop their updates.

    1. I may well end up doing the same thing, only time will tell. But I think I would be remiss if I didn’t give the alternative a try.

  25. Hi there. Just a question. Some time ago I tried a different distro as you did (cyanogen) and things worked fine. Have you tried some other distros just to be sure? I also do have huawei (y6 2008) but never ever I missed a notification, really.

    1. Yep, as mentioned in the post, I tried Lineage. Which is a fork of Cyanogen from when they ceased development.

  26. You’ve been using the wrong Android device for starters. Get yourself a Pixel 3 and then you’ll see what Android is when it’s done properly.

    1. I used to have a OnePlus 3T, that was a great device, as is my current phone. It’s just the scope of tracking and the plethora of apps that cannot be removed (both from Google and the vendor) that are the main catalyst for the change. I love Android, probably always will, and may well go back one day, but for now I want to give Apple a try.

  27. I ditched android a long time ago for Sailfish OS. Version 3.0 just came out with faster performance and UI improvements.

  28. So you used a shitty old huawei phone that is filled with bloat. You could’ve used a google pixel phone or ANY ANDROID ONE phone. They come with zero bloat and extra ordinary battery life. An example is the Nokia 7 Plus.

    1. It’s a Huawei P10, which is last years flagship device IIRC. So the term “shitty old phone” isn’t really applicable. Maybe I wasn’t clear in the article, the bloat isn’t just the extra vendor apps, it’s the tonne of Google apps too – photos, video, books, games, gmail, chrome, calendar, hangouts etc. etc. etc. To me, that’s all bloat as I don’t use any of it. Yes, Apple does a similar thing, but it’s nowhere near as much as Google and the vast majority of it can be uninstalled.

  29. Not for long. I moved to SE 1.5 yrs ago for similar reasons of breach of privacy and the fact that I wanted a pone size that’s sane because my palm size remains the same after all, doesn’t increase with major “flagship” release.

    But I am not very hopeful. Apple basically killed small size line – even the 4.7 inch Apple 8 was not upgraded.

    My SE is already showing sings of slowness. When I look around I don’t see another option that I will upgrade to other than moving to an Android phone and no I am really tired of doing custom ROMs and microG and what not. I think I will just give up.

    So unless I want to use features phones (tried it, didn’t happen), or keep using an old phone (like finding old SE and iPhone 7 and 8 — won’t do that) I don’t see any other option. I wish Apple didn’t kill SE size line. I would have upgraded even with a price raise.

  30. I disagree with a lot of this. Apple is a closed ecosystem and you’re forced to buy into their hardware.
    The hardware is sub par compared to many Android devices as well. I tried to use a Mac and iPad, but both were so unreliable and non-sensical. I see a lot of my friends with their Apple devices suffering at the loss of their personal data.

    If bloatware is such an issue, buy a nexus/pixel andd disable the system apps (Chrome, Gmail, drive etc) and install whichever service you prefer. You can disable bloatware on Samsung/Huawei devices too.

    As for notifications, you’ve probably not configured the apps correctly. Ensure notifications access is enabled for your apps.

  31. Thanks Kev. I think you’ve just solved the riddle of why I seemed to have suddenly stopped receiving notifications from gmail on my Galaxy S7.
    I’ve checked they are all turned on, they are, so I just checked the power saving settings and gmail just isn’t an option to not sleep or monitor.
    Seems odd as a main Google app and service.
    They just stopped. Now I think about it, there was an update not long back that ties in.
    That said, I’m happy with android and Google as I have a tediously dull life that will be of little interest to advertisers and can choose when and how to spend my money.
    I also have a works iPhone 7 (I think. Could be a 6. They all look the same). It’s a nice bit of kit but I prefer the choice of android handsets. I like choice.
    I hope this response doesn’t fall into ‘dipsh1t’ catagory. I’ve tried to be salient and balanced…

    1. Thanks for the comment, and I’m glad you’re happy with your choice to stick with Android. Your opinion seems reasonable and informed, your comment does not fall under the dipshit category at all. 🙂

  32. I don’t understand your logic. Android devices aren’t full of ads. Some apps are not the OS itself is not…

  33. I’m not quite sure the reason you decided to stop with Google because I just stumbled across this page through recommended articles but this sound completely absurd. You seem to have a large problem with Google but there is no problem I can see with sharing data or advertisements. This is just extra. Secondly using a Huawei just isn’t a clean android experience, try an Xperia of which previous flagships can be found for very very reasonable prices and perform excellently. But honestly there is no real meaning to this article. You’ve managed to give 3 reasons why you’ve decided to switch and only the notification one made sense but is only an individual problem for you or that phone. Bloatware and Google apps can easily be hidden on most android skins and does it really matter what ads are directed towards you? Because if so there are just a few simple steps and you can stop all targeted advertising and information relay to Google. Can’t really see the point in caring about that information anyway its just what articles I’ll be interested in and what videos I might like. I use both my Xperia xz premium and my iPhone x and I love my xz far more than any phone I’ve ever had. Coming from a poor background I’ve learned to appreciate what I’ve got and ignore unnecessary nitpicks, being grateful for what I’ve got. This article could be summed up like this. “I don’t like my Huawei so I’m going to try an apple device because I don’t like Google”

  34. I used to write apps for iOS and had all of their devices. However, I switched to Android and never looked back. They can only take what you want to give. Do you have twitbook accounts? These are far more invasive. Just don’t share what you don’t want to share. Use fake names, temporary email addresses. Block location etc.
    But stick with Android. By far better.

  35. Ok… I am from sudan and I cant change to ios since it is one of the countries that have lot of issues with USA so, I have to stick with the Android phones.
    But, any how , I do agree with all what you have talked about and I did something nearly close of what u have done … I have ditched my laptop and I am trying to get as much as I can from my phone from reading books, making pdf papers, power point presentations…etc
    I am trying to use my phone as a laptop.
    But any how I am facing the same issue you talked about such as missing my
    e-mails, my appointments, birthdays events….etc

  36. Good article and a change from the predictably enthusiastic attitudes towards ever more envasive technology used in our phones that while sold to us as security for our own benefit, is nothing more than a tiptoe towards totalitarian policing of speech, thought and eventually behaviour.
    Facial mapping and underscreen finger prints readers will lead to complete removal of online anonymity and a verified ID match to your every digital move.
    As for that ol’ chestnut, “I’ve got nothing to hide” it’s nieve and subjective to the point of stupidity. What’s legal to think, say and do may not necessarily be so in the very near future. And without a time machine, retroactive arrest warrants is something nobody can rule out.
    Companies like Google (mulinational conglomerates with tentacles in every area of research in subjects ranging from the mundane to outright nightmare fuel)knowing more about you than your spouse and often more about the inner workings of your mind than you yourself, it’s a real bad Omen these tech Giants are not only fiercely attacking/censoring anything related to the G.O.P / Trump and conservativism while also having the ability to use all kinds of cutting edge underhand psychological techniques on their user to change their thought process to whatever their sinister agenda requires. Lets not forget Googles origins lies CIA/NSA research grants for mass surveillance and their subsidiaries are working in partnership not only with DARPA but also the Chinese equivalent of, creating autonomous ai driven battlefield technology that only a few years ago would be thought of as terminator science fiction… The fact that Facebook harvested and sold political info of 50 million users to Cambridge analytica for purposes of subverting users political opinions/votes, and that Google/YouTube/Amazon/Twitter/Apple and almost every western tech company is guilty of trying to subvert conservative thought, speach and flow of information makes the accusations of Russia’s meddling in U.S elections laughable, when they themselves use techniques that fall squarely into the category of what is called mind control and ideological subversion..

  37. Stick with Android. You must have too much time on your hands to be picking a tiny things that are roughly the same on ios, like you said the iphones are overpriced and its ” cool” to buy something really expensive where the alternative is just as good. Here in the uk people follow like sheep. If it was cool to pay £50 for a black binliner and wear it on their heads they would go for it. This thing that the more expensive it is the better it is, is twisted but they’re suckers here for that

  38. I agree with most of your points about privacy. What has still kept me with Android is the full hd screen and the dual SIM features , all under affordable price.

    Had the iPhone SE got 1080p on it, I might have got 2 of them. But till then happy Android!

  39. I don’t see the issue people have with Google advertising. I would much rather have targeted ads and the ease of having my world connected than switch to Apple and the restraints and hardware specific add ons that are required to purchase separately and at high cost

  40. Bring back the ole days of BlackBerry and BBM life was much simpler than.

  41. Interesting points, but I struggle to understand why people are so worried about sharing data. Surely if you know what you’re doing you can control what data you share? Even if not, I’d rather have my data stolen than be ripped off by apple and stuck with a childlocked phone. You’re right about Google’s prices though, it’s disgusting how much more expensive the Pixels and Samsungs have become. However I find the solution is just jumping ship every few years to another low-cost high quality (talking about high quality hardware, not shallow things like aesthetic design) company, originally that was Samsung, then they priced up so I went to Google, then Google priced up and now I’m onto One Plus. I frequently get together with my friends who have iPhone and Galaxy S9s etc. And my £200-£400 phones have always come out as good as the £1000+ phones in every way that matters to me.

  42. You can remove android bloatware by simply rooting the phone. Iphone also comes with much bloatware and the process of Jailbreaking is far more lengthy and complicated. I have never had issues with notifications on battery saving mode so potentially you have modified a setting you shouldn’t have and not assume that it’s the phone. It’s unfair to give android a bad publicity based on this. I can very much understand the google ad complex and this is something to keep in mind when purchasing an android phone. It’s very much a marmite thing it’s either you love or hate it. You either love contributing to the community with your data or enjoying your privacy. However, there are also plenty of reasons not to have apple. For exam

  43. You’ll be better off getting a Microsoft phone if you want get rid of Google

    1. Microsoft doesn’t have new phones and probably won’t have in the near future, OS support for Windows 10 Mobile end sin a year… why do you want to get a 2 year phone right now and in 2 years, change to another OS again, because you wouldn’t be able to buy another old Microsoft phone?

  44. You should know about googleless Android with Foss lol I’ve used fdroid etc and microG on phh GSI with zero Google apps except a modded version of YouTube

    1. Yep, mentions custom ROMs in the article. The apps constantly moaning about not being able to work properly without Google Services was just too annoying.

  45. I understand where your coming from,but I said to myself a few years ago “who gives a fuck”,why worry about it,dont let it bother you,it really is unimportant anyway.

  46. Amusingly I moved to an iPhone SE also, at the time I had damaged my Huawei and wanted a replacement that wasn’t huge. Small Android phones are not powerful, so that basically left the iPhone SE. Still available from the network store here.
    The common apps I utilise are available on iOS also, so I moved over. And it works fine, has done several iOS updates without slowing down nor having to factory reset (like I had to with Android phones after a version update and it started chewing battery or acting up).
    There are a lot of small factors that make it an intelligent choice for those wanting a “small” phone that’s still a functional smartphone.
    I even abandoned a bunch of paid apps I used and bought new ones on iOS, as the few dollars is neither here nor there really.
    I actually expected a bunch of flak for changing, but since changing I’ve heard many saying the same things as posted here, so am more than happy with my choice. At least until UBports or Purism get something production ready out the door maybe.

  47. You bloody plonker. Apple is overpriced, you can’t expand its memory and break so easily. I have never owned Apple, I hate what it stands for. Android is ok if you don’t want to use Google drive, maps, cloud, etc then just disable them and use something else. I don’t like Google either so I use other browsers and apps away from Google. But to get an Apple that is like saying I’m gonna die tomorrow. Good luck with that piece of rubbish, ohhh and Apple iPhones are so easy to hack.

    1. So, you have never used an Apple device but know from experience they break easy? Pff give me a break, also they’re not easy to hack, Android is much easier, if you follow the jailbreak scene at all you will see it has taken good years between exploits for the major release versions. What phone do I own I hear you cry, Samsung S8, I used an iPhone 7 before the S8 and will most likely move back to Apple for my next phone, I am not defending Apple in any way, but stop being blinded by hatred for a company you can’t rationalise your opinion, also saying you’ll die tomorrow if you buy an iPhone…. Please……

    2. That’s right, you tell him all about a product that you’ve never owned, that’ll convince him! 😁

  48. I think your only doing this coz apple are paying u to promote. Apple are the worst for gathering data on there users ..Your a 100% plum my friend …and thats putting it politely.🔔end.

    1. Hahahaha what a lovely, well thought out comment. Thank you so much. Can you see any adverts on this site? Can you see any links to Apple products within this post? Do you really think that if Apple paid me for a post it would be about a device that’s over 2 years old? Get a grip.

    2. Speaking of calling people plums, next time you might like to try THEIR instead of ” there” and YOU’RE instead of ” your”. Always helps to know the difference between a possessive pronoun and a contraction before hanging sh#t on other people.

  49. I have to say i agree with most of what you have said, I have recently done the opposite. This is because apple made my 6s unusable. With the updates rolling out and the recent admission that they are deliberately slowing down the older phones . mine literally did not work . I wouldn’t get notifications . WhatsApp took near 40 mins to give me a message that my wife sent, whilst sitting next to me.

    I’m not a fan of Google but windows phones are pretty much obsolete so there wasn’t much option, I just hold on the fact that im running on lineage os

    1. Yeah, we’re all pretty stuck at this point – it’s a 2 horse, which is probably why public opinion is divided so adamantly. It’s like the war of the roses. 🙂

    2. I miss Windows Mobile so much. It really was a great compromise. Regular updates, unlike Android, but without the Apple pricetag.

  50. I don’t understand. You said “bloatware” as your reason. Apple actually did the same, and you can’t ever uninstall Apple’s system apps ever and ever… Meanwhile in Android you can so that by using Lineage OS or others (you can even delete it manually by going to /system/apps or using 3rd party application)

    And Notifications? It’s your fault for using Huawei flavored Android… MIUI, EMUI, and other chinese android, tend to have aggressive battery saving measures… Try ro research more mate…

    Apple also paid by Google to include Google on Apple devices, so yeah. Both are still companies, and there’s no lesser evil. At least only Google that blatantly tells you that they’re “evil”.

    1. Bloatware isn’t me “reason”. It’s one of my many reasons.

      So it’s my fault Huawei implemented notifications poorly? Riiiiiight, I see now – I should have been able to see the future and know that they were going to implement a poorly thought out system 3 months after buying the device. Thanks for that really insightful comment, I’ll be sure to take my crystal ball next time I buy a phone.

  51. Hi, Kev just a quick one. I love android and my wife and daughter love apple. The only draw back I have with all phones is when the operating systems they are using gets replaced with newer o s, the apps stop working, most annoying.
    If this includes important apps ie banking, you will have to buy a new devise. This could be within 2 to 3 years after your first purchase.
    Both companies are not stupid.
    Thanks for reading, Gerry.

    1. I agree. Forced obsolescence is a big problem. Neither company is perfect, far from it.

  52. I actually did the same myself. Just ordered an iPhone se as I’m tired of the massive phones we have now. They’re good for watching videos and all but I don’t want a phablet everywhere I go. And I want to be able to reach the top of the screen without using two hands. Stock android has been good but I just can’t find smaller phones with good specs anymore. iPhone se seems to be the last of them

  53. Otherwise known as a twit why would you want to ditch probably the best os for a phone and take up with a second rate over priced overstated pile of detritus that they try to call an operating system ios ain’t within its weight in used toilet paper .

  54. I have the iPhone SE (two in fact) and sure it is fine but the smallness of it does become a problem at times. I’m one of many who pleaded with Apple to keep it and improve it but they didn’t, because they’re obsessed with putting FaceID on everything, presumably to send our face data to governments to help those cads identify us and we walk past security cameras.

    You have alternatives to Apple and Google. One, the Lightphone 2. Another is the Purism phone. A possible third is a handmade phone based on a Raspberry pi, PiTFT and FONA card.

    1. Hahahahahaha love these tinfoil hat comments. Can you see any adverts on this site, or any links to Apple products within the post? Didn’t think so. It’s just an opinion piece, but because my opinion differs from yours, it must be an advert. Riiiiight. 🙂

    1. Is this truly possible? I have a Galaxy S6 (Verizon) with a possibly locked bootloader so I might not be able to root it. Would it possible in this situation?

  55. Have you looked into the idea of bying a sony xperia and sailfish os? It can still run android apps in a VM (but i don’t know which version)

  56. I was considering going down this root a couple of years ago. I ended up just forgetting about it and just accepting modern life is going down this root and fighting it is quite awkward and stressful.
    I completely understand your reasoning though, it amazes me the amount of justification we have to give people as to why our private life should be private, regardless of legality. I wonder how these people would react to having no curtains in their house or having a guy with a notepad following them round all day recording everything they did and said.

  57. I’m in the process of ditching Android for the same reasons. Strangely enough I’ve also moved onto an IPhone Se – absolutely love the size and pleasantly surprised how good the camera is too in good light. Battery life good for a bit over 24 hours with moderate use and it doubles as my Ipod being same size as Ipod Touch.

  58. I ditched Android for the first time after 8 years of use for the same reason as yourself. Feature for feature, Android phones a far superior to iPhone. But I’m sick and tired of seeing Google whore out my information to the world. Google and Facebook are the digital prostitutes of our era.

  59. You are aware that OnePlus doesn’t put bloatware on its devices. Don’t say android is too bloated as not every android device has bloatware just state some skins have bloatware.

  60. What about non-android os? Allowing that android is Unix-based, won’t other Linux-based os give you Google freedom? I ask from a position of ignorance, rather than being a smart arse.

  61. I think it’s rather pathetic to be against Google using your data in order to give you a more personalized selection of adverts. Google are using information to give you a better experience and you’re complaining.

    1. Ok cool. Post your Gmail password; I’ll take a look and provide some email rules that will improve your experience for you.

  62. Honestly I’d rather be tracked by a military drone than use an iPhone, are you sure you’re not Donald Trump. You’re going from wearing loose fitting clothing to a straight jacket with iPhone, personally I wouldn’t even have the latest model given to me. Think you may be taking this tracking thing a bit to serious that’s unless your smuggling drugs or trafficking people. Wobble that head and keep your Andriod or you’ll be trading off freedom mate.

    1. Yeah, tracking and monitoring are fine as long as you have nothing to hide, right? If so, feel free to reply with your Facebook and GMail passwords. 🙂

    1. Another great OS that bit the dust. My Playbook was fast and reliable. Thankfully MS are still in the tablet game.

  63. Thanks for this post. About one year ago I did pretty the same thing: replaced Android with iOS (and iPhone SE), mostly for the same reasons. I was using CyanogenMod/LineageOS in the Google free setup for years, at some point it was to much maintenance efforts:
    – not really easy update ways of apps and own F-Droid in order to distribute them to the smartphones of my family
    – Time to time broken updates of CyanogenMod/LineageOS
    – You have to carefully select your devices from the supported list of CyanogenMod/LineageOS
    – Sometimes device maintainer is gone due to some reasons – you are not getting any builds anymore and have to build it by yourself

    In the end, it took too much time. Time, I wanted to spend with my family and not with ‘maintaining of some communication device’

    Usage of stock ROM/devices wasn’t really an option, too much Google, too much bloatware, limited maintenance (security patches) from vendors etc.

    Device size was important for me too. Similar to you, I wanted to have a phone and not a tablet in my pocket. I took the same decision and purchased an iPhone SE. One year later I can say: it was the right decision.

    During this year I also did another step, I replaced Linux on my desktop (after 15 years!) with MacOS. Same reasons: maintenance efforts. No, I’m still a heavy Linux user due to my job, tech requirements and some open source things, but its not my primary desktop system anymore. I’m not happy with several things in MacOS. But in the end I can now better focus on things I want to do, instead of spending time on technical fights I actually do not really want (e.g. how to sync your Android with your Linux and why it does not work now, even if it worked one week ago).

    Its a bit sad: as a strong open source and Linux person I heavily use Apple proprietary solutions to do my job. On the other side, I do not see a real alternative from the maintenance perspective.

    1. Sounds like we’re in a very similar position in terms of our needs. I’m too a strong Linux/open source advocate, however I am a pragmatist – I’m not going to use something that isn’t as functional or has large administrative overheads just because it’s open.

  64. I see what you say about your privacy and I agree but as stated you can’t get away from it, especially if your a blogger like yourself.

    I feel if you really want to get away with your privacy not being broken you will spend every dieing moment second guessing every choice you make. For me that would not be a life I would like to live, does it really bother me that people and companies know little bits about me….m “not really”

    Either way I respect what you are doing, it would be nice to live in a world again away from that this but it’s not really 100% possibly I don’t think now a days.

    Keep up the good fight anyway

    1. I don’t look over my shoulder really. I just take some fairly basic steps (VPN, tor browser etc.) and for the most part, it works really well with very littler overhead.

  65. I don’t think this is a good idea. If you look into this, you will see most of the disgusting stuff android does is in Google Services Framework, which is closed source (such coincidence). Yes, apps complain if you don’t have it, BUT there is MicroG. That is if you want to use those apps, but some of them you probably do. Without GSF, you’re basically fine

    The thing is, most people who care about their privacy also care about their general freedom. Like freedom to do what the fuck you want with a device you bought. Would I want to have the option to change stuff like f*cking trustzone firmware as well? You bet. By law? You bet. But, at least with android you can change out the OS. with IPhone, you can’t even install apps from outside the store.

    please check out these:
    Purism Liblem 5 – basically only problem for me is the price
    PostmarketOS – this would never be possible with iPhones. I doubt you care about trustzone, so in that case you have gotten rid of anything you can connect to google (if you’re on mainline that is)

    1. Thing is though, many people (myself included) simply don’t have the inclination to install custom operating systems on their devices. I just want to have something that I can pick up and use. Both Android and iOS do that perfectly well, I just feel the latter is the lesser of 2 evils.

  66. LineageOS-MicroG (integrated Fdroid) + Magisk(Adblock modules) + YalpStore (for whats not available in Fdroid) do it for me pretty well. Maybe they could help you at some later time. Thanks for sharing your position!

  67. £200 Android phone (Moto G6), satisfies my every need, phenomenal battery life, crisp performance, decent dual-focus camera, fingerprint unlock. Apple do nothing that comes anywhere near that price unless I get a refurb from a decade ago. It’s a no brainer. £200 or £1000? And no need for costly insurance. And Moto is a fairly pure android experience. There’s a couple of bloatware apps (including Microsoft Exchange) but I just disable it and ignore. It’s really no Biggie.

    1. I seriously considered a Moto G, I’ve heard nothing but good things about them, and I do really love Android. But this just seemed the better option for me in the end. BTW, the iPhone cost me £179, so it hardly broke the bank.

  68. Wow Wat a blatant advert sponsorship I don’t even know why I’m comment g cause Thai will be fuel fire

    1. Hahaha really? Can you see a single advert on this website? It’s a personal blog. Also, there are no links to any Google or Apple services. Pretty poor sponsorship if that’s the case.

  69. You can’t criticise android bloatware when you are using a Huawei (voted the worst android skin earlier this year). Most android phones allow you to disable system apps. Also, thinking Apple do not collect information on you for financial gain is incredibly naive. Your Huawei notification problem is certainly not an android wide issue. Feels like there are many weak points in this article.

    1. I can criticise anything in anyway I feel. I’m entitled to my own opinion. I’m fully aware that Apple are probably collecting data on me, but I feel they’re the lesser of the 2 evils currently. They may well be weak points for you, but they’re big enough issues for me to warrant a move to another platform.

  70. Somewhat ironic that you’re going through all of this to hide from Google and the only reason I found this post is because it appeared in my Google news feed.

    1. Hahaha! Same here! I’d never heard of Kev until this blog post randomly appeared in my Google feed this morning!

  71. I’m more than happy for Google to know me inside out. I get tailored ads and my searches are often pre-empted which makes my life easier. I don’t receive any junk mail or cold calls – and when I die, Google AI should be able to recreate me based on my prolific online activity. So I’ll get to hang out with the great Grand kids whilst Armageddon pans out in Trump’s legacy.

  72. I’ve upped my google…Pixel 3 XL on the way, Chrome Book for travel, Chromecast for streaming, Google Home’s in several rooms, Nest cameras, Nest thermostat…don’t give a shit about my data.

    1. I’m glad you’re comfortable giving such data away. Tell me, fancy giving me your facebook password or gmail password if you don’t mind giving all your data away?

      I’m being flippant, please don’t give me your passwords! 🙂

  73. Man I don’t understand all the hate in these comments. I left Android last year and never looked back. Apple’s platform is way less creepy and the whole phone experience is 100x times better than the best Android device. More power to you, I say.

  74. Good on you. I did the same thing earlier this year and I definitely don’t regret it.

    I used to be the biggest Android enthusiast, rooted and unlocked every phone I had from the Nexus 5 to HTC 10, but there came a point where I got increasingly dissatisfied with Google and their software.

    Bought an SE off eBay for 90 GBP and immediately I could see the advantages:
    – No touch latency
    – Design has real attention to detail (hardware and software)
    – Still receiving major updates
    – Great size as new phones just get bigger each year

    This was a 2 year old beat-up phone that still rivalled 1yo or even current phones (at least if you consider the above points – touch latency is still an embarassing problem Android brands have not addressed). I’m happily jailbroken on iOS 11, and the new iOS 12 update dramatically improves performance on the SE and all other devices (try looking for a major Android software update that does the same), so when a jailbreak is released for that I’ll be delighted.

    Amazing how sensetive Android fans can be in response to your experience.

    1. If I had known it would have caused this much of a shit storm, I think I would have disabled comments (which I’m probably going to do once I’ve caught up on these). Thanks for the comment.

  75. Whilst I can’t see me ever ditching Android! I can see the lure of the easy to use Apple! However personally I can’t stand them. I love my back button and also my own special customised WhatsApp and Instagram buttons. I hate all the advertising too and Google gets slow sometimes. If I had Apple my phone would be bin fodder by now being still a Samsung s4 mini but being that I have only used open-source operating systems for the last 4 years I’m still running Android8.1 it runs well despite occasionally running out of ram. Battery issues easily conquered by using exposed framework apps. I personally recommend aquamail pro. No adds and as many email accounts as you want. However should I ever upgrade I notice getting an android with one 2 gig of ram cannot be done cheaply but trying to do everything I do on an Apple with just one button sounds terribly painful. No split screen… Limited multitasking… Really… And extremely hard to jail break and customise. Never!!

  76. Ditched Windows phone and android (tried windows as alternative to google). Don’t regret going to iOS a single day

  77. Wanna hear something creepy, yet ironic? I’ve been talking about de-googling a lot lately. So much so, that THIS POST WAS RECOMMEND TO ME IN THE GOOGLE NEWS FEED!
    My bastard pixel 2 is always listening and Gboard always recording. It’s getting silly now…
    I’m going to start the process soon. It’ll be hard. Been on Google’s services for 15 years now…

    1. Good luck! It’s only hard at first, then it gets easier and easier.

  78. I was frankly expecting something more original!
    Some of the Google apps are unfortunately still above the rest, haven’t found anything like waze or YouTube…
    Going Apple won’t help in this context.

  79. Cyber security professional and doing this? I don’t mind you getting rid of your android phone or Google totally, what surprises me is that you are saying Apple is better than Google?

    Forget Google or Apple; your phone can be hacked in ways more than you can imagine. The best way to secure your privacy is to be away from these devices, internet and anything that puts your data on Internet & that includes everything.

    What you did is a very baseless. Getting rid of Google maybe yes but you been safe n secure – absolutely no. You can give any reason but you also know what I am talking.

    But I suppose your ignorance or haste has provoked many wise people here to respond

    1. I’m not saying Apple is better than Google. At what point did I say that? I said I think Apple is currently the better option for me at the moment. Privacy and security are two completely different things and it’s a different conversation entirely.

  80. Big data isn’t going away anytime soon, and our privacy is slowly being eroded over time anyway with government ledgeslation imposing monitoring of everything we do online (for our protection against terrorism blah blah). Yes there are ways around that but the best way to be truly private would be to stay offline and put on that tinfoil hat. Let’s be honest, people only get creeped out by monitoring and harbouring of our usage data because they’re worried that someone or some organisation will know what sort of fetish porn they’re into, and what sort of questionable content they look up on google.

    1. Fetish porn, what fetish porn? Who told you that?! Ain’t no fetish porn here! WHO HAVE YOU BEEN SPEAKING TO???

  81. Thats why i look for fairly priced android phone, in size and hardware features that are important to me and with good custom rom support. There are so much more options in android world. Yes, google tracks you, everybody knows that. On custom roms you can minimize that. With apple you pay ridiculously high price for phone that is stripped down(you have to obey to apple rules, if they decide you dont need calculator app they can enforce it and you cant do anything about it) and technologically inferior (no industry standard connectors). And what bogles my mind is how much people blindly trust apple. It is a closed system, how we can be sure apple is not tracking? Just because they dont sell adds (yet)? I am sure we will eventually see some leak or proof that apple do/did tracked its users. Both systems are broken in some ways, and you should add closed radio/baseband firmwares and possibly silicone that we just cant trust. So until some fully open system comes we have to choose lesser evil.

  82. I’ve never really understood “protecting your privacy” the data they’re collecting is things like how long you’ve spent on which page. Personally I don’t give two cares if you know I’ve spent 3minutes and 2 seconds on this page or that I like blue flowers to pink. And it actually gives me more relevant ads to which I prefer.

    The reality is that we CANNOT run from ads 3 of the top 5 most common companies profit off ads. They’re how every business lives, this writer in fact. Irony. Assuming that this isn’t a charity website.

    You don’t actually protect anything by choosing for websites not to learn how you use their website (which they use to improve their services and userbility) and I’m sure you’ve all at least once complained about a badly designed service. Now there are people complaining about how they improve their services. Please someone, help me understand why I should care and don’t say to keep info from government because I’m pretty sure they’re very capable of finding you within hours even if your GPS is off

    1. This is was worries me. Many people are so naive to the sheer volume of data these companies keep on you. It’s not just how long you’ve been on a site. It’s every site you’ve ever been on, it every movement you make, even when GPS is turned off, it algorithmically hunting through your emails for things you might be interested in, it’s facial recognition on every single photo you upload, which are also geolocated, it’s know where you’re gonna be and when (calendar), it’s know the details of all your friends, how you interact with them and when. All of this data tied together forms a monstrous profile of us all. Just look at the Cambridge Analytica deal. It’s EXTREMELY concerning.

  83. Hi Kev,
    thanks for the article.
    I also try to go away from google but I want to learn the technology below. I alredy host my own Mailserver, got rid of all the other nice apps by hosting confluence, using Lets encrypt… It is such a long way which already took 2 years 🙂

    Good look on your way to get rid of google

  84. Interesting article. With all the companies out there profiting from our data I do think the way forward is full disclosure and that we should be paid whenever our data is sold or used.

    1. Wouldn’t that be awesome. We’d all be rich! Still wouldn’t wanna give up my privacy though. 🙂

  85. Great article. I’ve been through basically the same process. I still have a google account, but I very rarely log into it.

    I switched from Android to iOS a couple of years ago after having Android devices basically since Android launched. I haven’t regretted it for a second.

  86. The irony of this article is that it appeared in my Google Now news feed and I think it’s tosh. I never had a problem with notifications on my Huawei phone (you can stop them being closed in Huawei’s own settings) nor did I have a problem with the ‘bloatware’ (just don’t open them?) the fact that you’re concerned about Google tracking is funny, I take it you sign out of all websites when you leave them, have all cookies disabled, use a proxy for web browsing and use some sort of secure browser then (not Chrome or any mainstream ones)? Thought not.

    Enjoy the SE, it’s a good device by all accounts 👍

    1. Please don’t assume what I do and don’t do. You were actually right the first time. I do all of those things. I use a VPN with TOR browser, which stores no cookies or history. I’ve tried whitelisting apps in the battery optimisation app, no dice unfortunately.

      I don’t open the bloatware. The problem is, they waste resources as they’re still running in the background. The bloatware is a small thing, the privacy is the main one. Yep, Apple isn’t perfect (far from it) but I feel they’re the lesser of two evils at this point.

  87. What is all this in aid of though? I’m still confused after reading your article. Yes, no one really likes the thought of being “tracked” but what exactly are Google going to do with all your interesting information, other than advertise to you in spaces that you are apparently already blocking? Additionally, if you think it’s only Google building up extensive profiles on you based on your consumption habits I think you’re grossly unaware of how the marketing industry in general opetates. One would wonder why you’d like to collect out email addresses for leaving a comment? It seems like there are some simple solutions to your issues that you’re taking difficult steps towards. Like somebody else mentioned, buy a pixel and have no bloatware. Unless the real reason is, you just don’t really like android any more – in which case, stop excusing yourself!

    1. I ask for your email so you can get a notification when I reply. That way, we get to have a conversation. You’re free to use a fake email.

      Yep, we’re getting tracked from all directions, so I’m doing what I can to reduce that footprint.

  88. I’m a bit of a Google sucker I must admit and I sort of admire guys like yourself who go through the de-googling process. Ultimately, I have made the decision I’m not so bothered about how much info they have on me, in return for the convenience (plus I have experience with ios and am not a big fan) but good luck to you 🙂

    1. Thanks Pete. It’s nice to hear someone who can appreciate that although something works for you, it might not work for me. Horses for courses as they say. 🙂

  89. I’m curious, what are your privacy concerns around Google exactly? I see a lot of techies making similar moves but nobody has really put across why exchange privacy for services is any worse than money for services? I posted a few comments over on the Verge recently when Apple got a dig in at Google and Facebook for collecting user data but nobody has really sold me on why I should be concerned about big data collection that wasn’t already a reality of modern society?

    1. This may help explain: https://youtu.be/WRzm7wrk_FA

      Ultimately, I don’t want a 3rd party to be able to monitor and record every single action I take on my device. I have nothing to hide, correct, and you probably don’t too. If that’s the case, care to share your Facebook password with me?

      I bet the answer is no. Because although you don’t have anything to hide as such, you don’t want anyone having access to your private stuff, right?

    2. Im guessing your site doesn’t allow nested replies (don’t blame you!) – but just wanted to say thanks- that’s a great video snippet! I’m not on Facebook and am probably one of the people Snowden rightly notes is lucky enough to not have to worry about my privacy – but I still get your point much better now – sometimes we just need someone to show us another person’s perspective in a new light.

      1. Thanks for the follow up, Chris. It should support nested replies, did you have a problem replying to me?

        If you’re interested in that kinda thing, you should check out some of Snowden’s lectures/talks. They’re extremely good.

  90. You can turn all the Google settings off so they don’t track you but why? If I’m stood at the train station waiting for a train, I receive s notification telling me if the trains been delayed, times etc. In exchange for my data they give me the info I need but like I said you can turn it off in Google settings.

    You can also disable all Google apps if you wish and if the bloatware bothers you, root it, uninstall and unroot.

    With the battery, you need to put certain apps on a white list so they not optimised.

    I understand that Apple offers a much simpler OS and android can be quite advanced.

  91. I’m speechless after reading this article. Dude there are a lot of ways to uninstall and disable apps. I don’t use Gmail but I’m still able to completely disbale it on my Pixel phone.

    Ok next point giving out your info. Are you celebrity, a PM or president? A CIA spy or something i mean what special do you do in your life that you want to protect. Fine Google selling data or whatever sir this is now world works unfortunately. Your FB, insta, snapchat, outlook they all do to some level. If you’re on internet in any bloody way you’re exposed to the world. Fine you ditched Google got an iPhone but your info is still isn’t safe. You’re trying to live a life of 1991 in 2018.

    Good luck!


    1. I disagree entirely. Dispite not being a celebrity, I still have a right to my privacy, don’t I? So I’m trying to act upon those rights.

      Im not on any of the platforms you mention above, again for privacy reasons. I also disagree with the “if you’re on the Internet…” remark. I have a right to my privacy anywhere. I’m glad you’re happy to give yours away, but I’m not willing to.

      Good luck to you too. 👍

    2. Privacy is precious for all. The recent targeted disinformation campaigns on Facebook prove why. People give up their rights far too easily. I’m considering the switch to Apple for the same reason.

    3. Well said. Being security conscious is fine but it’s definitely time to accept the intrusion of the digital world, it’s a way of life these days, and de-googling won’t get rid of the sale of information from the million s of other agencies, for EXAMPLE, number plate recognition cameras, facial recognition cameras, digital. Banking services, dvla, hmrc, etc.
      You’re being tracked and monitoring in almost everything you do, it’s almost impossible to avoid and trying to change that will no doubt draw more attention to you than you would have had ordinarily

  92. What about e foundation? Any thoughts on it? Have been considering it.

  93. As a tech guy this is rather silly, because you could customize your android phone to suit your needs such as rooting the phone and customize anything.

    If you don’t want to root the phone there are still more powerful options than on an iphone. For myself I disabled most of the google services, including the Samsung ones. I use Blokada DNS which removes all ads from games or other apps. I can install Firefox with ublock origin and it blocks all ads from websites. I also use Firefox Focus for even more privacy. I also use signal for SMS.

    The ability to customize on android is far superior to that of IOS. Mac keeps you heavily locked into it’s interface and has it’s own bloatware.

    1. How is this silly? Because the result doesn’t meet your requirements?

      I’m also a technical guy and could do all of the above (and have done in the past), but I have little inclination to sysadmin my own phone. I just want to pick it up, use it and put it down without being GTracked (did I just coin a new phrase?)

      I’m just not interested in hacking my phone to get it to work how I want. Apple is closer to what I want/need at this point, so I’ve decided to go with them.

      I wouldn’t say it’s “silly” just a different requirement.

  94. I’m surprised there is no truly open source Android replacement that’s popular.

    By truly open source, I mean made by the people, for the people.

      1. They did. It’s now called UbiPorts. No good for my use case though, as I have some specific apps I need access to.

    1. Ubuntu phone is close.
      The last time I checked it was still a little slow and required a Spanish brand phone, but you can always have a crack at helping them code for another phone, you will hit the same issues as Cyanogen, odd things will be really hard to get working correctly.

  95. I’m glad it’s not just me that thinks the SE is the perfect size for a phone. I shall be gutted when it’s no longer supported by Apple. [I’m about to try and change the battery in my old iPhone 5… – partly as a dry-run for when my SE goes (although its battery is currently at 100% capacity and peak performance (thank goodness)).]

    Good luck with your new phone! Enjoy!

    1. It’s a great little phone. I’m very much looking forward to getting to grips with it, and not having what is basically a tablet in my pocket!

    2. Same. Current iPhones are ridiculously oversized. An all-display SE 2 would be perfect.
      Sent from my iPhone SE.

  96. What do you use for email? I’ve had a gmail account for years, but I’m also looking to get away from Google as much as possible.

    1. I use FastMail and can highly recommend it. It’s not free, but it’s not expensive either.

  97. I don’t get it. What is the point of all this?

    Why can’t you just install adblockers where possible and then just don’t buy things based on adverts you do see? I see ads every single day and not once have I ever bought anything purely off the back of one.

    If I buy something it’s because I researched whatever it was afterwards and decided to buy it because it was the best fit at the best price. If that happens to be the thing that’s advertised, what’s the problem?

    1. It’s not the fact that I see the ads (which I don’t for the most part as I have a PiHole), it’s the fact that Google tracks you extensively and builds up a profile on you in order to serve better ads. It’s not the ads that is the issue, it’s the profile/data they have on me.

    2. But who cares? If all they can use it for is advertising to you aren’t you cutting off your nose to spite your face and throwing out the baby with the bath water?

    3. It’s not just harmless advertising though, is it? It’s the content that is fed to you whenever you’re online. The videos, the news articles, the search results. The opinions that you believe you are forming unbiasedly as an individual. How you know what else your data is currently/will be used for? After the Cambridge Analytica scandal and everything that Snowden revealed, how can you be so naive as to think the effects can be stopped by an ad-blocker?

  98. Very stupid actions.
    Who care what Goofle find out about you and then monetise ut.
    Good luck ro them.
    As long as Google provides loads of free stuff then it matters not if Google know everything about you.
    I simply don’t care!
    Neither should you.

    1. So just bacause you don’t care about your privacy, I shouldn’t care about mine either? Get a grip.

    2. the thing is: it don’t matter if you have something to hide, its about mass profiles. so they know what to do, so the mass goes left. or right, or staight into death.
      so if you want a live in wich you desid, you have to care.
      if you want a live that is desided by some idiots thinking they are god, you don’t care… ´´

  99. Nothing to do with getting paid or some sort of financial gain by the opposition?!

    1. I’m not sure I follow? Are you implying I somehow got paid to switch? If so, that’s not the case, and if it was, I’d like to think I’d be offered a newer phone than an SE. 😂

  100. Hi, I’d instead recommend getting a phone that will run Lineage OS and installing that without the GApps package. That way you can install F-Droid and get YalpStore if you need proprietary apps. It’s what I used to do a few years ago, great setup.

    1. That’s exactly what I did on the “old phone” I mention in the article. All the complains from the apps “requiring Google services” was just painful.

    1. Yeah, I considered the other alternatives, but decided against them for various reasons.

    2. They will probably be gone in 5 years. (c.f Ubuntu Touch, Firefox OS, …)

      1. We can only hope. I with this 2 horse race would end – we need more options as consumers.

  101. Well that all might be true. But you neglected that android is in fact open source. You seem to be aware what is going on with google but you do not seem like you know your options. You mentioned lineageos, yes it is based on android which is developed by google and yes it isn’t half the experience without the google stuff. But if you use it with caution if is fine in my opinion. Just a few usage rules:

    get root
    install adaway
    enable privacy guard
    switch of location when not needed
    switch of data when not needed

    You aren’t tracked if you got no location services switched on and no data is going nowhere if you switch it off when it is in your pocket. In my opinion you are better off with these simple rules as with an iphone.

    1. Thanks for your comment, but I disagree. It has been widely reported that Android still tracks your location even when your turn the option off. Also, I don’t want to be turning my data off every 5 mins, I should be able to use my phone with ease without being tracked. If data is turned off, the OS just caches the location data then uploads when the data is turned back on.

    2. Also, Android being open source has no relevance in this article. That’s why I didn’t mention it.

  102. Notifications, as you rightly mentioned, are a huge problem with Android. Some manufacturers implement battery saving measures which force kill applications so they can no longer process notifications.

    I used to work at a team messaging startup Flock and we used to get a lot of complaints from users about missing notifications. We were able to detect impacted users and reduce complaints substantially using duplicate acks from xmpp fcm and app. The details are outlined here in case anyone wants to check out: https://hackernoon.com/notifications-in-android-are-horribly

  103. Good article! I was just wondering why your blog uses https://fonts.googleapis.com instead of hosting the fonts yourself? I think Google fonts (and their other CDN content) is a pretty obvious ploy to get tracking on the few websites that don’t already use Google Analytics.

    1. It’s a fairly new theme that I’m using and I haven’t got around to replacing things like the Google Fonts code. I will eventually though.

  104. There is a middle way.

    Buy a ‘vanilla’ Android phone, like Pixel, Nokia etc. without extra software and regular updates.

    You can stop using google apps and use Firefox and other less data collecting software and be almost completely Google free.

    1. That wouldn’t change anything as it’s still Google under the hood. Take a look at the report I linked to, as long as you have Android apps on your device (specifically Chrome, but others too), it will beacon home.

  105. I also want to escape Google. Here is what I have done til now:

    Use DuckDuckGo whenever possible
    “Deinstall” all the google apps via adb (including the store and play services)

    Get F-Droid and YalpStore

    Deinstalled YouTube and replace it with NewPipe
    Get a ProtonMail address (I had GMail before and didn’t completly switch yet)
    Replace GMaps with OsmAnd

    Anyhow switching to apple doesn’t seem worth to me.

    I am looking forward to getting a Librem Phone when it hopefully comes out in April 2019.

    greetings Marcel

    1. That’s all very similar to what I’ve done too. Never heard of NewPipe though, I’ll definitely be checking that out.

    1. Couple reasons. 1) it’s way off getting released. 2) there are some very specific apps that I require that are only available for the big two. Never say never, but for now it’s Apple.

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