Goodbye Google

Google Reader was where I spent most of my browsing time, but now, it’s shutting down.

Time for alternatives, but not just for Reader: for all Google products. I’m not sure when one of these might go down, become paid, or become unusable.

I just uninstalled Google Drive and Google Talk. but I don’t use it much (I use Skype), so no loss. I’ll leave Chrome for the while, but I’m hearing reports that Firefox is improving faster than Chrome is. Or there’s Chromium.

I’m not worried much about search services (including image, video, scholar and books). When needed, I can switch. Scholar might be a bit sad to lose, but I don’t use it much. Google Translate, too, isn’t essential.

Likewise for content. YouTube’s not a problem. There’re enough other video services. Trends are useful, but not critical. Maps might be, so I’ll try and switch to OpenStreetMap. I don’t use News or Picasa much.

I don’t care much for social media anyway, so Blogger, Orkut and Plus can die any time.

Google’s apps are the worrying ones. Mail and Calendar, in particular. I’ll probably migrate away from them last, but the attempt is on. I’ll be documenting the alternatives I find at https://gist.github.com/sanand0/5176161 (safely cloned locally).

Looks like there’s no safe long-term alternative to being able to host your own apps. Pity.

  1. Dan Murray says:

    It is annoying…isn’t it.

  2. Ravikumar Venkateswar says:

    Reader’s the one that bugs me the most, since they basically out-competed all of the alternatives, even the paid ones. I prefer paid apps, personally, because I know where the money’s coming from, and there’s less chance that they’d make them unusable. I switched from Picasa to Smugmug a while ago, and I’m probably going to move Mail and Calendar to free Google Apps or maybe my employer’s service.

    Why would you host your own apps instead of paying directly?

  3. Hari K T says:

    You are right. Probably many of them will follow your path :-) .

  4. Tarun says:

    What about the appengine, did you explore any alternatives for it? I was quite impressed with script.google.com also, its in-line with your style of coding .

  5. Dev E says:

    How about Nokia’s here.com for maps?

  6. Mathew says:

    Feedly if you plan to keep Chrome.

  7. [...] means. I can’t just take that code and move it to another server. Besides, I’m a bit wary of Google pulling the plug. Heroku? Same problem. I just want to take the code elsewhere and run [...]

  8. Om Shankar says:

    Dude. I seriously hope you were saying that all out of anger and they are not your actual insights of other Google products. (Some were ridiculous – like Maps, Gmail, +plus, Chrome, etc.)

    Coz, if it were, you definitely need to come back to internet in today’s age and have a check again on your updates.

    Looking forward to your conf. at Bangalore JS. :-)