Kicking Google to the Curb


I'm giving myself 30 days to completely remove Google from my life. Completely. No Gmail. No Docs. No Google Play. No Android. No ChromeOS. And, perhaps most terrifying, no Google Voice or Hangouts.

Then, once that transition is complete, I am challenging myself to stick to it for at least 30 additional days after that point.Bryan Lunduke

Follow along on Bryan's journey.

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I'm (mostly) free of the Google "Collective"

I'm (mostly) free of the Google "Collective"

Google launched Google+, their social network for nerds1, in 2011. It had almost no impact on real people, and growth was slow. Being the impatient type -- wanting Facebook type numbers without the effort -- Google decided to force everyone using any Google service to use Google+. They have been inflating their numbers via tricks on Gmail signups, requiring Google accounts for Google Play and YouTube comments and turning Google search into a social ranking system. They've managed to convince the cheapskates of the world -- the people addicted to FREE -- to hand over information that Google then mines and sells to advertisers. You are the product, not the customer. Your web behaviour is being tracked and analysed in EVERY Google service even when telling Google, not to and Android device. Google probably knows you better than you know you.

But unlike Google's legions of fandroids and glassholes, I know better. For the head-up-Googles' ass types who might be reading this, if you have no worries about privacy and nothing to hide, I suggest attaching a GoPro -- sorry, I forgot you have Google Glass -- to your body and live streaming your life to your personal YouTube Channel. Your sex life, your showers, your masturbation habits, your intimate conversations ... broadcast them all. You have nothing to hide, and you don't need privacy.

I am on a quest to reduce my reliance on Google services. I am willing to delete my Gmail account, one that I've had since the beta launched in 2004, and move to another service. I'm eager to move my Google Calendar, the one letting Google know who I'm with, when and where. I'll find a way to share photos without using Picasa web and without having Google do face recognition them so that they can better track us. I'll find a less creepy way to share documents and videos than Google Docs and YouTube. Google won't be able to track my phone calls and text and listen to my voice-mail anymore.


I will no longer use Google Chrome. I don't trust it. For day-to-day use, I have switched to using the WhiteHat Aviator or Safari with the Disconnect privacy extension.

WhiteHat Aviator comes ready-to-go with hardened security and privacy settings, giving hackers less to work with. And our browser downloads to you – without any hidden user-tracking functionality. Our default search engine is DuckDuckGo – not Google, which logs your activity. For good measure, Aviator integrates Disconnect – a crucial extension that blocks advertisements and much of the privacy-destroying tracking users across the Internet.


I plan to move my Gmail and Google Apps hosted email accounts to a paid IMAP service provider. The shortlist includes FastMail and Runbox. These services offer trial accounts, and I moved one domain during the trial period. These two services offer migration tools for importing all existing mail, including folders, to the new account.

Gmail has some great spam filters. I'm not sure either FastMail or Runbox can match it. I'm already looking for alternatives. I don't mind paying a nominal fee for spam filtering.


I've never been a heavy user of Google Drive or Google Docs. I prefer Dropbox or Box. Apple updated iCloud this summer, and it now offers similar functionality to Google Docs. In fact, on the Mac, it's better. I can start a presentation in Keynote on OS X, save to iCloud and continue working on my Pages on my iPad, or make edits in Pages in a browser in Dropbox or Box documents can be opened/saved via any iWork apps on iOS or OS X. The combination of Dropbox/Box and iCloud easily replaces Google Drive. Office365 is a great paid replacement for Google Drive if you prefer Microsoft products.


I found a few alternatives to Google Voice. I created an account with Line2, and I am researching [Phonebooth] and SendHub. Neither Line2 nor Phonebooth seems to match the features of Google Voice -- call forwarding and voicemail being the major ones. SendHub seems feature complete but won't be cheap. But that's a small price to pay compared to starving Google of the value of my personal phone call information.

[Phonebooth]: https://phone


Moving my calendar should be relatively easy. While Google Calendar integrates more easily with Google+ events, there are no benefits to Google Calendar over, Live Calendar, or Zoho Calendar.


I've started to upload my videos to Vimeo. The free account limits my bandwidth to only a few videos uploaded per month and limits the quality of the video. That's good enough for now. I may, at some point, decide that the quality gap is too high and upgrade to a paid account. In the meantime, I've deleted my YouTube account. I've had that account for almost a decade, but I didn't have any qualms about deleting all my videos and the user account.


I've had a Flickr account before PicasaWeb (now Google+ Photos) and integrated it into their data collection empire. I've started to rely on that service more in the short term. Yahoo and Google are in the same data collection business. I also have a paid account on 500px but prefer to reserve that account for only my best. I want a platform to share photos with my friends and family. Perhaps a paid user account with SmugMug might be best.

  1. Seriously, it's a photo/tech nerd sausage fest. Nothing you say will convince me otherwise. Frack off! 

Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion

I'm a big Google services user. I've had a Gmail account since the day the service launched and Gmail has been my default email address since. When Google launched the Calendar service I integrated that into my daily life. Google Talk hasn't taken over the instant messaging world but it quickly became my preferred client. With each iteration of the OS since Leopard, Apple has made it easier to integrate these Google Services, including Address Book into my Mac life. Apple's latest Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, has been out for some time and Apple has made significant changes to some of the native apps including Mail and iCal that make setup and use of Google services even easier. Let me show you.

## System Preferences ##

The simplest method to setting up Google services on OS X 10.7 is via the _System Preferences_. OS X Lion System Preferences has a new option called _Mail, Contacts & Calendars_ under the _Internet & Wireless_ section. Select it.

Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10 13 56 AM

## Mail, Contacts & Calendar ##

This section reminds me a bit of the Mail preferences pane in iOS. From here we can set up various email and calendaring services from Yahoo, AOL and others. To setup a particular service, click the _Add Account…_ button and select the icon for the service. In this case, we are setting up Google services so select Gmail. NOTE: This is the same way to set up Google Domain services.

Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10 14 25 AM

Once you select Gmail you will be prompted to add you Gmail (or Google Domain) username and password. The username should be you complete email address. After entering your credentials click _Setup_.

Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10 14 56 AM

You may have to wait a few seconds while your Mac connects to Google's service.

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Once complete you will be presented with a screen to confirm which services you want enabled. As you can see below, I've selected all of them including iChat. Click _Add Account_ when you are ready to go ahead.

Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10 16 05 AM

The process for adding Google Domain accounts is similar. You should now be able to use your Google Contacts via the Mac Address Book, your Gmail via, and your Google Calendar via iCal. Any changes to your Google Calendar or Contacts will be sync to your Mac and vice versa.

## Final Notes ##

My wife and I each have Google calendars and quite often we have a need to view each others calendars. Google Calendar enables us to make all or part of our calendars sharable for ease of scheduling. I'm involved in a number of social clubs and I have subscribed to their published calendars. The process above will only sync the default Google calendar to OS X. To enable syncing for any subscribed or share calendars you'll need to follow a few more steps.

Launch iCal and select Preferences from the file menu. Select the _Accounts_ tab, the select the Gmail account, and then the _Delegation_ tab. After a few seconds a list of shared and subscribed calendars should appear. Select the check boxes next to the ones you want to view in iCal then close the preferences window.

Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 2 19 16 PM