Regular readers of this blog will know that I went through a process of de-Googling my life a while ago. For the most part I think the process was pretty successful, however there were some things that I couldn’t replace.
Fast forward a year, and after a lot of trial and error I’m ready to now take the next step in removing Google from my life – I’m ditching Android.
First I tried to ditch my smartphone completely, but that was a massive fail. Then I tried replacing Android with Lineage OS on a old phone I had. Whilst that meant I didn’t have any Google Apps on my device, it was still Android underneath. Also many apps kept complaining that I didn’t have Google services on the device. That got very old, very quick.
So last night I decided that I’m ditching Android completely and I’ve ordered an Apple iPhone SE. You probably think I’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, but let me explain the rationale behind the decision…
The Google Ad Vortex
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, I’m sure you’re probably aware that Google’s business model is based around advertising. That’s how they make their money, and that’s why a lot of their services are free – because you are the product.
On the other hand, Apple’s business model is based around hardware. Yes their hardware is grossly overpriced, but the flagship Android phones are pretty much inline with Apple these days. So it’s a moot point really.
Because Google make their money from advertising, it’s in their best interest to get as much information about you as possible. You only need to look at the recent Digital Content Next paper, where they proved Android sends 10x more data about you back to Google than Apple does.
Here’s a good summary about the paper on Bleeping Computer if you can’t be bothered reading all 55 pages.
Android vendors are almost as bad as Windows when it comes to bundling additional applications with their devices. It’s almost a meme at this point. But at least on Windows you can uninstall all the bloatware. Most of the bloatware on Android devices I’ve used over the years cannot be removed as they’re marked as system apps.
And if you want to remove Google’s proprietary apps like Google Drive, Google Search, or Google Photos, forget it. They’re all “system apps” that cannot be uninstalled.
The same is also true of iOS to a certain degree. However, on Android it’s much more prevalent. I don’t use HiCare, or Huawei Weather, or Huawei Music – let me bloody remove them!
In the last update I received for my Android (around 6 months ago now), the new battery saving measures were implemented. Whilst the battery life on my Huawei is really good, it has done something funky to my notifications.
I hardly ever get notifications for emails, calendar events, social media etc. I assume this is because the battery saving measures kill the background processes. So the apps can’t carry out background tasks, like checking for new email.
I’ve tried to work around this by using the battery optimisation settings in Android, but I just can’t get it to work. On a number of occasions now I’ve missed very important emails, all because my phone decides it doesn’t want to notify me.
Why the iPhone SE?
If I’m gonna flip to Apple, why not get the latest device, right? Well, one of my pet hates about phones these days is the sheer size of them – they’re basically a tablet in your pocket. I want a phone.
The iPhone SE is actually a phone sized device. It’s cheap, and it’s still supported by Apple. It’s seemed like a no-brainer to give it a try.
I doubt I will have any issues flipping to the iPhone SE, as I already have an iPad. Whilst not the perfect solution, ditching Android in favour of iOS is another step towards getting rid of Google.
I’m never going to completely get rid of Google, that’s impossible at this point, but I think this is the right decision for me. My SE gets delivered this week, so I will post an update after a few months of use to let you guys know how I’m getting on.
Have you ditched Android? Or have you ditched iOS? Let me know your thoughts below.