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My very old phone gave up on me today at least it looks like it. It starts up with a rattling sound and next it shuts down. Later I'll ask my child for the tiny screwdriver to open (operate) it. What is broken can only be fixed. It's worth the try. In the meanwhile, I looked for another phone. It can be a simple one just to make calls (a battery that lasts a week is rare these days and I'm getting tired of buying adapters and cables. The cables don't last long.).
While searching the internet I read about 15% of the phones function without Google. To some it's the end of the world to others like me it's not although, I live in the modern world. A world where they force me into using banking apps, government apps, digital signing in apps and apps for health insurance and so on. All those apps can only be downloaded via the play store. This means Google knows all about it which sucks.
While reading on I read Google at least reads each account about 35 times an hour (if not hundred times, once a day is already a lot). Google reads your phone, knows who you are calling, texting, what you search for and even who you write and your notes! Really? Since if that's true google shares my articles and publishes my books and will say I'm a plagiarist which doesn't feel so good. Now you might say Google is just a huge computer collecting, calculating, selling private information but behind each machine is a person and I'm not the one who believes there aren't individuals who have benefited from it.
So today it's the second day in a row I keep myself busy with my e-mail address, Google account and opt-out of what I didn't already. To be honest it sounds weird to me Google even checks my physical movements. What exactly is the idea behind that? If I move too much I'm not at home and spread a virus or am up to something bad? And what If I don't move at all? Will consider Google me being unhealthy or dead?
To be honest, after reading all this info - true or made up - I'm glad I always suffered from a slow internet connection plus I do not pay with a credit card. So no Google Chrome for me, no buying whatever the play store has for sale. I'm not interested.
Besides the banking apps, what will I miss most in a Google-free life? Will I be limited?
I can email and use proto mail, onmail are many of the other free emails. I can surf the internet by using duckduckgo and some say the Samsung browser is a safe and good option too (this browser can be downloaded by every android user). If Samsung with its own apps and app store is safer than Google I don't know but it's an option. They say Microsoft is too by the way.
I gave up on the app MedGemak. It's the government's idea of a medical file plus extras. It should be handy to make an appointment with your doctor or figuring out your test results plus you can leave your doctor a message. It's not a plus since the record I saw wasn't mine which means the doctor - she never met me - messed up or made it up.
If it comes to apps there are many ways to lay your hands on them if you cannot use a site via the browser. Next to Samsung's app store, there are other ways. You can visit the original site (Telegram's it for example) and download the apk file directly from it. There's F-droid, Aptoide, APKmirror, APKpure, Amazon (not sure if that's smart and they don't check you out) and so on. These are all sites where you find the apps you can't live without including some extra gadgets and games. If you like you can even download Google apps - indeed without Google knowing you did - which is an option to some whose phone came without the 101 Google apps and to those who don't want to lay hands on it without starting an Google account. I'm not going to advise this. It's your decision what you install on your device and how you use your phone.
Since Huawei no longer is allowed to use Google's apps it might be a great help and a good substitute. I say might because it depends on where you live. A phone made in China traces and checks you out too and all these data end up? I read that Xiaomi had to leave these "features" out to be allowed to sell in Europe but did they? Since Europe is not different from China these days I can imagine nothing has changed or the EU added their own spying chip in it to check out who's a productive slave and who's the terrorist.
Have you noticed batteries can no longer be removed? The reason for this is not only to force you to buy the latest model as soon as possible.
What I use my phone for on a daily basis:
- writing, so I need a notebook, my phone came with one.
- reading texts, pdf and text can be read by the notebook
- SMS/texting, the phone provides in it.
- using the internet, search options, I use duckduckgo
- making a phone call a few times a year, nothing special is needed.
- reading email, works fine without google's email, via browser is an option too
- Telegram, downloaded the apk via their official site
- Signal to stay in touch in case of need, possible to install the apk
I deleted Google translate and never used Google maps. Nearly each Google app I deleted and what cannot be deleted is changed back into the 'factory's installation', the state the phone is sold. I gave up on boring Facebook and Twitter longer ago and last year on WhatsApp and I don't miss these social media. Those I know and don't have or want to use Signal can send me an e-mail. Google's sneaky Covid-19 notification I switched off from day number one. I don't consider it a helpful tool. It will only divide people more and it says nothing about someone's health. I'm not interested in who has (had) what.
By the way: Without Google's apps running in the background my phone (not the latest or most expensive one) became way faster which is another plus.
Good phone, bad phone, old or new with or without Google apps Big brother watches each one of us no matter where we live. The only way to opt out of the system is to live the life of a hermit and 'leave' your country or be homeless which I know some people around me do to opt-out of the system.
Besides of Samsung with its own apps and Huawei there are phones for sale without hardly any apps like some Motorola and Nokia and even Android phones without Google apps and /e/ OS/ * but they are very expensive. Threehundred+ up to over eight hundred euros for a phone - some a refurbished - I consider as too much. So what I don't need I delete and I'll see how far I get. If it doesn't work for some reason and I can't find another way to get what I need I can always install google again but not today.