Getting rid of google: the easy stuff

In this post, I'll talk a bit about the first easy steps I took to slowly ungoogle my internet use. this is mostly what was easy at least for me.

Needless to say, Google is the biggest search engine in the world, that's what it's known for and what it started as anyways.

But you might not have fully realised that while some times ago we did use search engines to look for answers directly, we now use them to more quickly navigate inside a website

that should have the answers we're looking for (Reddit, Stack Overflow etc.) and as such, most search engine are pretty much on par with each other nowadays.

What people often don't fully understand is that the true power of a search engine (and most tools for that matter) lies in how efficient you are at using it as a user

and thankfully, most search engine have a very similar way so switching from one to the next isn't that big a deal.

With that in mind my first choice, 4 years ago now, was DuckDuckGo I simply chose it because its name was easy to remember (I mean, that's a reason like any other, no) and the

apparent focus on privacy was interesting.

Two years later I decided to switch to Qwant, as it displayed similar goals and inner workings on the surface, while being french (on on baguette). I wouldn't imagine that they

were as close as they are though, as both have had controversies relating to them actually sending data to Microsoft in the last two years.

As such, I am once again switching engine again in a two year span, I'm not leaving google to give all my info to Microsoft after all, as of right now I'm going back and forth

between Metager, a meta search engine much like DDG and Qwant (meaning that they actually mainly uses other search engine results and aggregates them) and mojeek, an actual search engine.

I haven't been using them for long as of right now, but mojeek usually provides satisfying results, with Metager being mainly here for the few times were having aggregated results

is actually needed.

Step 2: phone OS

It could sound like an pbvious choice for phones to go with Apple if I don't want to deal with Google, but I'm actually not quite sure that they don't collect as much data and just

restrict third parties from doing as much (I may be wrong, but that would sound like a "normal" thing for them to do) and on top of it, while conceptually interesting, I really

despise Apple's ecosystem for how clearly anti-consumer it is.

But Apple related rant aside, how did I go about this one then ? Well simply by going on a custom android ROM that got rid of google's tracking elements.

One very useful thing regarding this change was that I needed to change my phone anyways, this let me pick up one that would be really useful/easy for this endeavor,

and ironically enough it turns out that the best phones to get rid of google's shit are google very own Pixel line of phone.

My OS of choice has been Calyx, as far as I could find it was the best compromise in term of privacy and ease of use. Now you'd have to keep in mind that I'm

a very casual phone user, I'll spend quite some time on it but most of the apps I'll use will be work and communication related stuff, I barely even use GPS apps for instance so

I'm really not too demanding in terms of functionnality.

With all that in mind I can confidently say that I even sometimes forget that I'm not on just an updated version of android, and that's after having basically only android phones

for around a decade by now. My use have not been hindered a bit and the difference has been way less perceptible than what I thought it would be like.

Conclusion of these two steps

I haven't detailed much about these two steps as they're rather straightforward. I do find it interesting though that changing search engine has been in a way harder than

changing my phone OS, and as we'll see in the next post on the subject, the search engine is actually the harder thing to properly replace when trying to get google-free.

Thanks for reading this post, have a great whatever point of the day it is for you when reading this!