Some may call you crazy for wanting to live your digital life without Google, but you have every right to do so. You may think that Google has way too much control in your life and that you don’t want Google finding out about all of your plans.
There are two ways users can go Google-free: they can either root their Android devices and completely eliminate any Google apps, or they can just use an alternative for each and every one of Google’s apps.
Root Your Android Device to Remove All Google Apps
The rooting method you use is obviously going to depend on what model your phone is and other factors as well. Once you’ve found and completed the rooting method, it’s time to look for a custom ROM that doesn’t include any Google apps such as LineageOS. A great place to look for the perfect custom ROM is XDA Developers since it’s one of the trustworthy sources.
How to Go Google-Free on a Non-Rooted Android Device
The Amazon App Store is a great place to get your apps if you’re sure that you want to go Google-free. Since you’re installing a file that’s not from Google, you’ll need to enable unknown sources. You can do this by going to “Settings -> Lock screen and Security -> Toggle on unknown sources.”
Once the download is completed, open your Android’s Download folder and tap on the “Amazon_app.apk” file. Tap on Install and wait for the process to finish before trying to launch it. There are over 300,000 apps to choose from, including apps from your favorite social networks.
Install Apps from Your Browser
You can also get your apps directly from the sites themselves. Just be careful of the sites you download apps from because if you install an app from a shady site, you’re practically asking for malware.
APKMirror is a reputable site where you can download Android apps without worrying if they’re infected or not.
Choosing a Chrome Alternative
When it comes to selecting a Chrome alternative, you have quite a few choices. But, it’s always best to pick one that respects your privacy such as DuckDuckGo. This browser won’t track you and allows you to add a widget to your homepage.
You can also try Privacy Browser that adds night mode rendering, has an updated dark theme, support for HTTP authentication, an integrated ad blocker, Tor Orbot proxy support, and full-screen browsing mode.
Brave is another non-Google browser that is very popular. Its two main features are speed and security. Unlike Google Chrome, Brave Browser will block ads and trackers as well. It will also prevent intrusive ads, so your privacy isn’t significantly compromised.
For a notepad app that has a similar look and feel as Google Keep, you can try Notebook by Zoho.
Installing a Gmail Alternative
If you want to limit the number of apps you have on your phone, you can always check your email through your web browser. If you’re going to install an app, you can try an app such as K-9 Mail. This is an open-source email client that has all the necessary features you would expect.
The Downside to Going Google-Free
You may feel more secure and that you have more privacy by getting rid of Google, but you’ll be giving up a lot as well. You won’t be able to enjoy all the apps Google has to offer such as Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. Consider that a lot of business are also Google-dependent.
You’ll also have to deal with slower updates that can expose you to security risks. Do you know of a non-Google app that can synchronize your appointments and schedules as well as Google Calendar?
You may also be forced to use an older version of an app. On Google Play the app you download will always be running on the latest version, and that’s not always the case of other app stores.
If you’re willing to root, you can completely remove an app that is Google related. If you’re not ready to root, you can just sign out of everything Google-related and use the various alternatives you have out there. How do you live without Google?