Android and Google go together like peanut butter and jelly, but not everyone likes peanut butter. Avoiding Google’s prominent apps in Android is tough, but there are plenty of alternatives out there. We’ll show you the best of the bunch.
In order for an Android phone to include the Google Play Store, the manufacturer must include a handful of Google apps. That’s why nearly every Android device comes pre-loaded with Google Search, Gmail, Chrome, YouTube, and other Google apps.
We’ve taken the most popular of that bundle of apps and recommended some great alternatives. You may not be able to completely remove Google, but this is a start.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that values privacy above all else. If you don’t like how Google tracks you across other websites and uses your activity to personalize search results, DuckDuckGo is a great alternative.
The DuckDuckGo Android app is actually a full-blown browser, so you can eliminate Chrome at the same time if you want. The app also has widgets for easy searches from your home screen. You may find the results not quite as good as Google’s, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off for privacy.
Do you like Google Chrome? You’ll probably like Microsoft Edge, too. It’s based on Chromium, which is the same backend as Google Chrome. It has many of the same features you know from Chrome, just with Microsoft’s little touch.
You can still sync tabs and history between desktop and mobile, there’s a password manager, plus it has built-in ad and tracker blocking, as well as a handful of pretty nifty features you won’t find in Chrome. Give it a shot if you haven’t, it’s really quite good.
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Like Gmail, Outlook features a priority inbox that can help you surface the most important emails. If you use other Microsoft services, such as Office or Teams, it has integration with those. One nifty feature is the ability to have your emails read out loud. Moving to a new email provider can be daunting, but Outlook is a good place to land.
There are not many services that can rival Google Maps. The best alternative is probably Apple Maps, but you don’t have an iPhone. OsmAnd is a serviceable contender worth a look.
One of the best features of OsmAnd is offline maps. It’ll ask you at the start where you live and download a large area around that location. OsmAnd is open-source and based on OpenStreetMap. It’s a little clunkier than Google Maps, but it packs a lot of features.
Google Photos may be Google’s best service, but it’s not irreplaceable. There are several high-quality photo backup apps. OneDrive is a great option, but if you’re sick of the Microsoft recommendations, we’ll go with Amazon Photos.
Amazon Photos offers 5GB of free storage to all users, plus unlimited photo storage for Amazon Prime subscribers. Just like Google Photos, you can automatically back up photos from your phone’s camera. If you already pay for Prime, this is an easy alternative.
Before Google Drive came around, Dropbox was the king of cloud storage. The service is still kicking, and it’s still a good alternative. Dropbox is priced similarly to Google Drive, offering a whopping 2TB of storage for $9.99 per month.
It lacks some of the collaborating features you can find in Google Drive, but the interface is less messy, it can sync with your PC, and it’s easy to share files with other people. It’s a solid place to store all of your random files and stuff.
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