Breaking bonds with Google (Part 2)

This is a continuation of our earlier post on breaking ties with Google. If you haven’t seen that yet check it out here.  In this post we will continue to examine alternatives to other google services outside of the search & email space.

Maps & Navigation

Navigation & map services will likely be the most difficult bond to break with Google’s suite of services. Although it may be one of the more difficult components to replace, Google certainly does their part to push us away. How often have you gotten a push notification at a stop light from Google maps asking you to take a picture of a business you happen to be next to- a not-so-subtle reminder from Google that if you’re using their software, they know exactly where you are at all times. Additionally, unless specifically disabled, google will save your “location history”. This is a complete history of everywhere you’ve traveled with your device.

So after you’ve uninstalled Google Maps what do you use? There are two good alternatives. MapQuest & Bing Maps. Which one you choose will depend largely on your own level of concern & which mega-corporations you choose to trust. Bing is owned by Microsoft and MapQuest by Verizon. Both allow us to accomplish our end goal of separating ourselves from Google, though some in the tech industry may be wary of trusting Microsoft with the type of information they’re keeping from Google. Bing has generally been reported to provide better UX/UI, though it does seem to use more mobile data.

Just be sure to stay clear of Waze, as they were acquired by Google in 2013.

Video Hosting Services

Here we continue to run into some difficulty. If you’re looking for a service to host your own videos you wish to share with friends, there are plenty of options; however if you’re looking for an alternative to YouTube where you can view content from your favorite creators, you may be out of luck unless/until they decide to migrate off of the platform as well.

If you’re using an android phone, you may want to look into an app called NewPipe. It allows you to search YouTube and subscribe to channels without having a Google account, which can help to shield you from YouTube’s data collection.

If you simply want to upload your own videos to share with friends, there are a plethora of platforms available, such as: Vimeo, Bitchute, and Streamable.

Two Factor Authentication

This doesn’t really matter with respect to privacy, as there’s no evidence to indicate that Google’s Authenticator app is harvesting any data from us, however there is an alternative which we’d suggest simply because it’s a superior product. Authy provides the same functionality as Google Authenticator, but also allows the app to be locked with a pin, encrypted backups, and may be installed/synced across multiple devices.