Posts Tagged ‘degooglifying’

Android apps I use, March 2019

When I got my Moto G5 in January 2018, I didn’t sign it into my Google account. That’s generally worked well, but there’s been catches when it comes to getting apps. Here’s a few notes.

I’ve been trying to limit my use of my smartphone, including to avoid vendor lock-in to Google/Android. I also have a bit of a problem compulsively checking for updates and news, so as much as possible I try to not have many apps. But so far I’ve felt I need a few.

I previously made lists of apps I was using in November 2016 and in January 2015, and this post is sort of an update to those.

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Degooglifying, step 1: Cleaning up

I’ve been looking to reduce my dependence on Google for a while (see my posts archive on degooglifying), but so far that amounted to figuring out how dependent I was on Android. I’ve now finally started working on actually reducing my Google footprint a bit. Here’s some notes on my process.

My goal isn’t to never again visit a Google website or service, but I will be happy if they end up collecting less information about me, whether through Analytics (which I already block), Gmail, or Maps.

Steps so far were: take stock (I am unorganized, so by far most important), delete stuff I no longer use, and start archiving things in my actual archives rather than haphazardly in various Google services, particularly Gmail.

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Android apps I use, November 2016

Last year I wrote a self-indulgent post about Android apps I use, with some details and explanations. It’s time for an update!

As much as it is an indulgent list, it has served a secondary purpose: the act of looking at the device and compiling a list encourages me to consider the apps I’m listing, and whether I really use them or need them. As mentioned in the original post, I’ve been wary of platform lock-in and dependency. I’ve also increasingly attempted to remove non-essential notifications and temptations for idle browsing.

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Android apps I use

Or, degooglifying myself, part 0

I’ve always been mindful of vendor lock-in. I like options; vendor lock-in takes options away. I’ve been particularly paranoid about smartphone platforms: a couple of dollars on apps here and there and before you know it you’re invested in your current platform to the tune of a hundred bucks or more.

Fleeing then-horrible Blackberry, I went with Android in 2011. Since then, Google has been progressively killing off sync options (Contacts, Calendar) to less popular platforms, raising additional fears about data lock-in. I haven’t found a “perfect” platform-and-device combination, so there’s always been a lingering dissatisfaction. (I started writing this post in April 2013.) Over the years I realized I would like to reduce my dependence on Google’s goodwill/advertising/world domination plans and start hosting my data myself.

The first step to quitting is knowing what exactly you’d miss. In 2012, I half-jokingly asked on Twitter about an app to track my app usage. I didn’t hear anything and some basic searches were not promising, so I ended up compiling a list by hand. Here’s apps I use, and have used, on Android.
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