My DeGoogle/FOSS replacements

Reason

I'm not going to justify myself entirely, but essentially I do not like Google for their privacy violations and lack of user choice. I like FOSS software because of the community and transparency behind everything. The less trust I need to have for a service, the better. A step further is federation, the new social networking protocol.

Goal

Wherever possible, I will switch to open source alternatives, and where not possible I will still try to avoid Google or any "big tech" company (Amazon, Facebook, etc). I love searching for alternatives and sometimes have to force myself to settle for a single solution, so I'm always on the lookout for alternatives. Here I list all of my alternatives to Google's services in no particular order.

Requirements

Services have to support Android and/or Linux (or have a web interface). Bonus points for supporting other things so that I can recommend to my friends. Most services have to be free (or at least have a free option) because I can't pay for every service I use. I'll pay for the more useful ones as I can later on in life.

Google Replacements

Android

LineageOS, which supports my phone. Lineage is a custom ROM based on Google's Android, but that only takes the open-source aspects and ports it to various phones, including my OnePlus 6T. It supports everything Android supports, and I use pico gapps to have functionality where minor Google services are required (did you know Snapchat requries Google services to even load?)

DuckDuckGo, a partially closed source, partially open source search engine that respects privacy. It's not the "best" option as far as openness goes, but it is the most user friendly so I can easily reccomend it to my friends.

YouTube

Honestly, I just RSS my YouTube subscriptions I want to keep up with. But this is only a temporary measure until all of the move to the alternatives I'd prefer, lbry.tv for a unique solution, or PeerTube for a feerated alternative.

Gmail

Protonmail is my favorite, but I did have a Tutanota account when I was looking for a permanant solution. I also use FlowCrypt for Gmail to PGP encrypt any messages I can.

Chrome

Firefox. This is the easy choice, and I simply appreciate the open nature of Mozilla. Unfortunately, Mozilla has been making questionable choices recently so I may look into alternatives like Brave or Vivaldi.

Maps

I use Magic Earth, though Open Street Maps is a more compatible and open version that I have as a backup and also contribute to. Magic Earth is more user friendly and simple, OSM is more robust and probably more accurate.

Translate

Deepl is the best I've found, though even they don't have a ton of languages. The have the more common (English, German, Chinese, Spanish, Russian) but might not have some of the smaller ones. Good enough for my normal use, but I still revert back to Google Translate out of necessity here and there.

Calendar/Drive/Contacts

I self host Nextcloud. It has a very nice calendar which I use mostly just to connect my calendar apps online, a cloud storage that I use mostly for backups (the interface is a little slow tbh), and contacts that I use to sync and backup my phone/computer contacts.

Play (App store)

Aurora Store and Aurora Droid are FOSS apps for the Play Store and F-Droid respectively. They are very nice to use and support root and non-root methods of installing apps. I'd use them even if I didn't have a degoogled phone. And Aurora Droid (or really F-Droid) has apps not available on the Play Store.

Tasks

TickTick is my choice here, but I am still on the lookout for a FOSS or self-hostable solution. TickTick is very clean and I can share task lists with my girlfriend to share activity ideas we want to do in the future. Even though it's not open source, I'd still rather use a non-Google service.

Messages

I am obsessed with secure communications. For texting, I use Signal. For instant messaging/group messaging I prefer Element because I can make multiple rooms with the same people in them for different categories of conversation. I used Keybase before they died following their acquisition by Zoom.

Duo

This one is difficult, not because there's a lack of alternatives but because there's different levels of alternatives. Jitsi is a good alternative for just video, but Element and Signal already have very good video messaging so I don't really use Jitsi. Not to mention Nextcloud has it's own implementation that can screenshare.

Smaller/less common services

Authenticator - Aegis
Classroom - Canvas
Fonts - FontSquirrel
Keep - Joplin (syncs with Nextcloud)

Still looking

Docs, Pay, WearOS. If you know of any FOSS alternatives to these services, I'd love to hear them! Email me at [email protected]

Other FOSS Alternatives

Twitter

Mastodon - a federated alternative, which is pretty much the standard for federated networks. I never used Twitter or anything like it before Mastodon, and I'm really liking it.

Instagram

PixelFed. App is coming soon, and when it realeases I'll use it a lot more, but if the web interface is anything go to by I'll be using it a good amount.

Snapchat - WIP

I'm building an alternative to this! It will be encrypted, federated, self-hostable, open source, etc etc. I'm excited about it... just need to start :P

Reddit

Lemmy is a work in progress that I an very anxious to switch to. Right now I am waiting for a V1.0 release and a larger user base. I tried Ruqqus back when that was the alternative of choice, but it taught me the unfortunate lesson that any unregulated free speech platform will eventually turn in to a right-wing haven/circlejerk for the worst humanity has to offer. This is why I like federation, you can choose the rules you post by.

Windows

I personally use Ubuntu Linux, but I used to use other variants such as Zorin and Peppermint. I understand not everyone is willing or capapble of using Linux, and I've tried MacOS and found that it was very, very nice. My Macbook Pro that I used was very old and slow, but the OS itself seemed pretty good minus a few flaws. And it's a unix-based system which is a massive plus (Termina, SSH, security). Apple as a company is doing great things (M1 chip...) so I'll be looking at them for a potential alternative for the future (if I eventually am more okay with corporate BS).

Conclusion

I have no idea why blogs put conclusions if they already have the introduction and body that has clear definitions for titles, but the article looks kind of... naked with out it? Like it doesn't have pants or something. So here you go, here's the pants.