Google, it's been a lot of fun and you're really great, but I'm breaking up with you. We'll still see each other around, and we can try to stay friends but I have some problems with you that I can't get over.
You are always spying on me, looking at my Email messages and probably even my chats with my friends and colleagues. Then you try and offer me stuff based on what I say, which is cool - I know it's your job, but it's a little creepy. I just don't think you respect my privacy.
I think you are superficial. You say you care about things like open source, but then you're all weird about it. If you really care about it you'll do the development out in the open, and not throw open source code over a wall. I appreciate what you are doing, but I don't think you are doing it with the right heart.
You're getting too big. I mean, honestly, you're trying to be so many things to so many people and it works in a lot of ways. But I can't help but think you are becoming bloated.
As I've thought about this, and what you want from me, I'm starting to think - I'm not ready to give my whole life to you, like you want. Therefore, I'm going to start seeing other people. Oh, you want to know who they are? Alright, if you insist.
Telegram [ http://telegram.org ] - For messaging I'm using Telegram, it features open source clients and is available on pretty much all platfroms (specifically the two I use daily: Android and Linux). With its open API, I'm thinking I may even write a Gtk3 App using the service. Best of all: an option for secure, private communication.
- See also Tox [ http://tox.im ] - Seems to be a very good alternative as well for secure messaging, unforunately haven't had time to play with this as much and the Android app is apparently getting a redesign.
ownCloud [ http://owncloud.org ] - I knew ownCloud back before it became popular (geek cred), and have always loved the project's aims. Have used it on and off for a while. With the most recent update (1.7), they have really done some great work over there, and as it is open source software, I will feel no guilt using it. It hooks into other services like Dropbox and Drive, which will make the transition easier. Also, I can expand storage by using S3 and Openstack. I know, controlling my own online data, crazy right? (You can one-click set up your own ownCloud instance on Digital Ocean, use this link to get $10 off https://www.digitalocean.com/?refcode=97c615567a27 )
Firefox [ https://firefox.com ] - I'm sure almost everyone reading this knows about Firefox. I have loved Chrome a long time, but have retained a soft spot for Firefox in my heart. After taking some time to look at all the open source initiatives Mozilla has been doing, and observing their love for open source, I have decided to give Firefox another shot. There is still room for another browser to unseat them. But at the moment they are the best alternative to Chrome, and they seem to be getting better every day.
DuckDuckGo [ https://duckduckgo.com/ ] - Anyone who has spoken to me about search in the last few months will know that I love DuckDuckGo. It keeps my privacy intact and works great. The fast search engine also offers some cool features like !bang search, which allows you to specify a certain site or service to search in, for example "!a SSD" searches amazon for SSDs. They also have an awesome feature that provides instant answers at the top of the search page, or media such as videos and music you've searched for without leaving the page. You won't understand it til you see it though, but it's all detailed here: https://duckduckgo.com/tour so take a look! My final bit of bragging about this service is their DuckDuckHack initiative with the tagline "Now you can hack your search engine." If you feel like that is something you'd like to do, check it out!
So in conclusion, I'm leaving you Google - but to be honest, I can't leave you completely. Yes, I am using Cyanogenmod but, let's face it, I haven't got the gall to go it without the Play Store. I use Play Music as well. (Side note: if Sailfish OS would drop on OnePlus One, I'd give it a shot) I'm still looking for a decent alternative to GMail which won't leave me without many of the features I love. But this is your warning Google, I loved you once. But now that is over.
I hope everyone reading enjoyed my letter to Google, I'm curious though as to if anyone has found other services (especially Email), please let me know! Tweet at me @ryanleesipes or email me at [email protected] :(
Thanks for reading!