The great deGoogling - part 7

(the bit where I ask ‘am I there yet?’ and on reflection discover ‘No’ )

I’m deGoogling in preparation for an /e/ phone, and journaling the process. (Other bits 1 2 3 4 5 6 )
So far, my phone’s got many fewer apps now, and more memory to spare, and I’m enjoying the greater sense of control over how I access the internet, and how I manage my files. I’ve turned off countless data-leaking options. I’ve conquered some of the anxiety attached with deleting much-used apps off my phone. I have deleted Chrome, Maps, Voice Search, Drive, Calendar, Play Books apps from my phone.

Current areas of activity:

  • my phone rebels if I remove Google Play services. Will have to wait for my /e/ phone before saying goodbye to that. I know there are some technical workarounds but they come across a bit complex for me.
  • I’m working through staging, and think it will be quite some time before I am able to delete my Google accounts without making things more difficult for me, as they are my sign -in name or backup email address for quite a number of other accounts. I also use one of my Google accounts as a shared email for the family, so its not just about me. I’m thinking that my first aim is just to get those accounts as decentralised and inactive as possible, deletion may still be some way down the track. I think I’ve eliminated all permanently ‘signed in’ situations except the gmail app on my phone. I’ve used Google Takeout to create a backup copy of the emails that exist only on my Google account.
  • in moving towards deletion, I still need to see how much of my Google Books collection I can rescue - export options/ alternative readers?
  • Re email I think it will be easier to just get going with a new email address/ provider, and figure out how to manage older message archives down the track. Contacts and calendar will move at the same time as email.
  • Since I no longer have Google Docs on my phone, and am shifting to file-syncing rather than the cloud as storage and editing, I’m trying out different Android ODF editers. (I use libreoffice on my computer).
  • I use SimpleNote a lot - I don’t know how does this app ranks for data privacy, or whether that will need changing out too.

I’m getting there but there is still some way to go. The bigness of tasks is reflecting in the longer times between bits.


Russell, thank you for your series documenting your journey.

Yes Play Services contains a lot of the APIs for maps, notifications, etc so it is fairly integrated into the standard Android. Congratulations on whittling down the Google bits down to a bare minimum though. You should be able to setup automatic forwarding of all Google email to a new account, and just keep the Google account around until you are sure everything has been migrated to other accounts.

I’ve never used Google Books so I don’t know about exporting or saving anything. I use Amazon Kindle for my ebooks but not on my phone, I have a LineageOS tablet I use that on. You can import pdf and some other formats into Kindle, you aren’t locked into only buying from the Kindle store.

I like Editor (by Bill Farmer, on FDroid) for simple editing of text files. With that app you can open files from any folder, so using something like Syncthing to house and backup your files is not a problem. I have not tried SimpleNote, I will check it out.

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Russell, where are you at now?
you should write 'the great deGoogling - part 8 :grin:

Yeah, you are right, I should.

Progress is continuing - I haven’t regressed - and I’ll get on with an update.


try the app called “standard notes”

@Russell Yes!!!:+1::joy:
Good to hear!!

Thanks for the interesting series!
I am in the same process, except I am a Mac and iPhone user. I have recently opened a ProtonMail account, notified the change to all my contacts (both personal and professional) and managed to track down all the websites for which I was using my Gmail address as a login… (Or at least I hope so!) I plan to leave it open for a little while in case I’ve forgotten something or someone, but it has been rather quiet these days.
I have deleted Google Maps and Gmail apps from my phone. And I was already a Firefox user, so no difficulties in this area.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to fully “de-Google”, as one of the companies I work for uses Gmail and Google Doc as central tools in the production process. I need to keep at least this address. But if I can limit my interactions with Google to that, I will consider myself happy.
Please let us know where you are in your de-Googling journey!