We are part of this world and we have to use technology. Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook are big players in this technology and probably in our life too. They already know a lot about us. So, it’s fair for one of us to think of leaving one of them. But, it’s difficult to totally leave! I’m using to say that one should not put all of their eggs in one basket!
What if they stopped some of their important services? Or what if they asked for high amount of fees for these services?! Or, simply, what if I hate Google and I just don’t want to use it? Same could be said about the other companies!
Below are some services that I believe they are often used by us along with some alternatives – Please let’s hear your opinion if you have more:
I can’t say much here because I believe we are using one or more of these at the end: Microsoft Windows, Google Chrome (Android), Apple Mac (iOS), or Linux. Personally, I prefer Windows Desktop with Android Phone. To be honest, I haven’t got deep into Linux and Apple’s but still wish to experience Ubuntu more.
Mail / Contacts
Communication is the main part. I’m grateful that I have moved my emails and contacts to Outlook long time ago. So, this is a good alternative to me. Not to say that it’s still easy to sync Google Contacts with it or to move the whole contacts to Outlook. Things afterward are easy to be managed (sync) on Android and Windows Phones. Relatively, you can use their chat (Skype) instead of Google Hangouts. Facebook & Yahoo Messengers, WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram are all available on multiple platforms.
Social Activities and Posts/Articles
If you’re into these, you are not obligated to post through Google+ or Google Blogger. You can do it through Facebook, WordPress, or Yahoo Tumblr…
Calendar / Tasks
As an old user of Remember The Milk, this part wasn’t a problem for me. It’s more than enough to manage my tasks and things to do. I just hope they will consider Windows Phone soon. Again, there are a lot of good alternatives that are available on many platforms such as Wunderlist and Todoist. Currently, I’m using calendar from Outlook too. I believe there are other options though.
Google Keep isn’t the only one here. There are Evernote, OneNote from Microsoft, SimpleNote from WordPress (the company products are not available on Windows Phone), … All are doing great job.
As you can see, the name came from Microsoft Office! They are still the best and are available on Chrome OS too. Google Docs are great too but web based only with no support for Windows phone. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are doing good job on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
I replaced Google Drive with OneDrive just because it’s already installed on my laptop. But Dropbox is very good too. There are one from Amazon too. The good thing is that a lot of apps now synchronize with most of these cloud storage services. These services are available on most operating systems too.
It seems that most of the developers are interested in our photos & files! A lot of services/apps offer synchronizing those to the cloud with easy access on desktop and mobile. In addition to Google Photos, there are Flickr, Amazon Photos, OneDrive Albums, Dropbox Photos, and Photobucket. All are wonderful and affordable…
A lot of services can be used for storing videos and sharing them. For me, YouTube is the best for watching and storing/sharing. Some might say Dailymotion and Vimeo are too.
I’m storing my music on Groove instead of Google Play Music. Buying music is available on both but easier on Groove in Arabic countries. I used audiobox.fm once for storing music only.
Unfortunately, Amazon Kindle isn’t available outside USA. So, Google Play Books is my preferred for reading and buying eBooks and keep my reading synchronized over all of my devices. There are some alternatives that I didn’t find very rich in comparing to Kindle or Google Books such as Nook and Kobo. Scribd, on other hand, is mainly for publishing purposes I think…
Browsing the net
For searching, I find that only Google and Bing are the best here. Cortana is doing good job and might be good alternative to Google Now. As for browsers, you won’t go wrong with Firefox (not available yet on Windows Phone) or Opera (they are limiting their support on Windows phone). I’m not into Microsoft Edge/Explorer and Safari.
Bing Translator is very competitive replacement to Google Translate. I saw some are using Dictionary.com on web and mobile but I didn’t like it actually.
I tried Fitbit, Google Fit, and Microsoft Health in addition to some specialized services such as Endomondo.
Places / Maps
Well, for navigation, Google Maps might be the bigger here and the richer when it comes to searching places but Google hates Windows phone. Bing maps is limited to Desktop and Windows Phone only. HERE maps is doing a great job on Desktop and mobile. Unfortunately, they abandoned Windows phone recently. Sygic & Route 66 were very good when I used them while I was in Italy. However, they have no desktop version. Have I mentioned Waze (Google)? However, for places and sharing/reviewing places, Foursquare and TripAdvisor are the best.
Web Developing Issues
If you have your own website/blog, then you’ll need statistics, Ads revenue, and probably site search. If you are not going to develop your own site search (or not to have it pre-installed), then I know no other option than Google Custom Search. As for ads, if you’re not interested in generating money from ads on your website, displaying them would give some beauty to the site. Google AdSense is the best for sure in term of verity and earnings. However, there are some other alternatives that might be a little bit good but still not as good as AdSense. For example: Infolinks, Adcash, Chitika, Revenuehits, Ayboll, Taboola, and Media.net (nice customer service here but doesn’t allow Arabic). Hope that we’ll see Bing AdSense sometime in the near future. Personally, I found Amazon affiliate program is the best with good quality. If you have Disqus on your site, its Reveal program is good too. Regarding statistics, most web hosting services provide their own statistics… Honestly, I haven’t tested many here so I can’t tell much. Finally, to advertise your website, there are many methods; but to maintain the subject of this post about Google, Bing Ads is very similar to Google AdWords.
For the phone itself, if you’re using Android, then it’s easy to replace Google Keyboard or Google Camera with third party applications. Google is great to allow this, isn’t it?!
Anyhow, with these alternatives, I think it’s not difficult to leave Google. Just remember, don’t leave Google to be with Microsoft only 🙂