Giving up on Google

To organize it, Google first has to collect it, and to organize all of it, it has to collect you. All of you. If that's a concern, and it's leading to your having second thoughts about your involvement with Google, then switching to iPhone can be of tremendous benefit to you. With the iPhone, you can use the best of Google services if you want to, but you can also easily live Google-free. And if you're not yet sure, the iPhone lets you keep all your options open.

Everything has a price. With Apple, you typically pay them money, and they sell you premium products and services in return. That type of cost and relationship is easy to understand.

With Google, you typically pay them attention and data, and they give you free or cheap products and services in return. That cost and relationship is harder to understand.

At least I only started really understanding it after the Google IO keynote:

The optimist in me sees this as Google trying to make the world a better place by giving back. Thanks to the revenue they accrue from showing ads, they can afford to create novel new infrastructures, enable low-cost technologies, and otherwise fund the future.It's the Star Trek machine. It's Memory Alpha. And all these great services are the bits upon which it's built.The pessimist in me sees this as Google creating ever-more channels for data acquisition. By getting emerging markets and children onto the company's services in a way that looks altruistic. Instead of people getting angry when Google advertises to parents in an attempt to get their children's data, they put their services in schools and parents thank them for taking their children's data.It's a beast of unprecedented, unimaginable size. And all this cool technology is the sedative we're given to feed it.

I'm not the only one thinking or re-thinking about Google and its reach these days. Marco Arment:

I didn't set out to aggressively quit Google-everything, but once I changed my browsers' default search engine to DuckDuckGo, that has mostly happened. The most surprising part was how easy it was for Google to mostly fall out of my life, how quickly it happened, and how little I missed it.

Marco didn't believe the benefits of Google services outweighed the flaws for him, so he moved to other services. In some cases, free services like DuckDuckGo, in others paid services like FastMail and MailRoute.

John Gruber shared similar thoughts on Daring Fireball:

I don't use Gmail, DuckDuckGo is my default web search, and the only time I've used Google Maps instead of Apple Maps in the last year is when I need transit directions in New York — and that might be changing soon.

iMore and all of Mobile Nations works on Google Accounts, so I can't avoid Google regardless of any personal concerns or feelings. I long ago moved my personal stuff from Google to iCloud, however, and I haven't had any problems or regrets since.

More importantly, I consider it a huge advantage that I, as an iPhone owner, can choose whether I want to use Google services or not. And I can choose on a service-by-service basis. (I can even choose the best of Microsoft if that's what I prefer.)

Moreover, no matter what I choose, I get a phenomenally good experience. I can use as few or as many of Apple, Google, or Microsoft's services as I want, and I can change the mix any time I want.

Regardless of what you think of the relative value of money compared to data, that level of choice is invaluable. And it's only one of the many great reasons to switch to iPhone.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

215 Comments
  • Another satisfied DuckDuckGo user!
  • Seeing the way things have been going, and the fact that I have already had concerns for some time about using Google services, if I ever moved away from BlackBerry a second time it will likely not be back to Android. Despite things that I feel are shortcomings with the iPhone, it's looking more tempting just to avoid Google. Posted from my Q10 via the power of "Q"
  • I’m no expert, but when you ask people to some up,
    Google, “they Track and keep everything “
    Apple, “way too expensive “
    Microsoft, “yeah I use windows at work”
  • What we are to these companies; Google - Product to be sold
    Apple - Resource to be mined/milked
    Microsoft - Both
  • You're missing the key difference between Apple and the other two: Apple goes out of their way to make products that delight their users, so those users will happily pay for said products. Google and Microsoft always put their true customers first (advertisers and enterprise) and then work on gimmicks designed to limit regular users from leaving.
  • Assuming I even agreed with you, they are one and the same thing. They go out of their way to delight advertisers and enterprise.
  • I have never heard of the search engine, DuckDuckGo. I'll have to try it out.
  • Been using it for a while.. It's a fine, simple search engine w/no strings. I too have dropped much of Google these days. Every now and again I find I need to fall back to google for search because DDG just doesn't fine what I'm looking for.. Thats becoming more rare though as DDG gets better.
  • Critical omission is that Marco's post was in part inspired by his podcast sponsor. I feel that taints the whole piece regardless of it's merits.
  • You didn't read his article in it's entirety did you? He was a user well before they were a sponsor, and he clearly stated he'd continue to use them even if they no longer had the sponsor relationship.
  • No I read the Marcos post. It's just disingenuous for a post to discuss how we need to keep our data off of google. That they aren't a pure experience. Then end up five steps in leading to a sponsor referal. Even if you REALLY love the sponsor it's inappropriate. Plus imore stripped the sponsor annotation in their repost.
  • If you read the article it stated that you should choose what you want to use, and informing you that Google just wants to organize all the worlds data, which means collecting all of it first. Rene was just saying he switched to using iCloud for all his personal information, but still has to use Google for work. He never once said anyone needs to avoid using Google products or services, just that as a personal choice he himself isn't using it. Sent from the iMore App
  • He doesn’t have to use Google for work. He wants to, or at best doesn’t mind. If he felt that strongly he wouldn’t.
  • If you want to discontinue being the hypocrite you've become, you need to ditch all your electronics for a start. That will get you about 50% there, then you'll need to quit depending on any outside services (food, utilities, etc.). You have no choices, you only think you do.
  • So you're saying Google is The Borg and resistance is futile?
  • "Watch your future's end!!"
  • Really?? So it's all or nothing and now you are making Google and what they do equivalent to food and utilities people had before the internet even existed?? WOW... join Google or die! Google the Overmind. LOL
  • Shocking, the more pro Apple bloggers are the ones spreading more FUD against Google and, at the same time, not using its services while bashing them Yap, the same Gruber that call others pundits when they bash something they don't use.
  • I don't have to eat glass to tell you I don't like it.
  • Tell that to Gruber, he is the one criticizing people bashing something they don't use.
  • Gruber and Ritchie aren't criticizing every aspect of Google services (which would require using the product first). They are criticizing specific aspects of those products, namely the ominous business model and glaring examples of poor design.
  • I'm not talking about Rene, I'm talking about Marco and Gruber.- And apart that I don't know what is ominous, Gruber critizises every minimal aspect of Google
  • I've yet to read a Gruber criticism of Google that I didn't agree with.
  • I'm surprised and shocked /s
  • If you disagree, perhaps you could cite an example.
  • The sad thing about all these guys is their hate for Google is blinding them from all the shit Facebook is doing to the open web.
  • I think all of this fear has yet to be validated in any way. There have been no major consequences involved for people who choose to use Google's services. I have used Google for years and there have been no really horrible data breaches. The worst thing I have witnessed is targeted advertising after having googled something, but then I would rather see that than some lame random ad. People also seem to forget that Apple has almost the same amount of info about its users as Google does. They just choose not to use it in the same manner. People also need to realize that Siri will never truly be as helpful of an assistant unless Apple starts letting her access your info. And before anyone starts yelling "android fanboy ", for the past two years I have been an iPhone user. I made the jump to Apple out of the curiosity to try a new OS and the fact that android plus the hardware at the time just wasn't stable enough for me. I still miss how Google now was so predictive and wish that Siri could do more than just predict the approximate time of travel between work and home. Every year the decision of whether or not to switch OSs comes down to who I think is doing the better job stability wise and hardware wise. Right now that is still Apple for me. However, if I am not wowed by what is announced at WWDC, then there will be some hard thinking going on as Google had some pretty interesting stuff coming out of it's I/O conference this year.
  • It'll be hard not to wow at WWDC 15 given how boring I/O was. The only good thing at I/O was Google on Tap, that's a very cool feature, but everything else in Android M is literally catch-up to iOS. Google Photos looks just like the Photos app for Mac except with free storage and a creepy crawler to find all your photos in your computer to upload automatically.
  • Like Android PAY? huh
  • Google wallet was out way before Apple pay. They all steal from each other. Neither OS would be what it is today if they didn't steal from one another.
  • Google wallet was and is a total flop and irrelevant. Google didn't invent contactless payment and neither did Apple, these are ideas people have had for a long time. What matters is how they are implemented and how they work. That's why soon you'll have "Android Pay" which will work like Apple Pay. If not for Apple Pay, Google Wallet would continue to be the irrelevant product almost no one uses. But yeah, all companies borrow ideas from each other, it's the nature of competition. Apple's WWDC's were adding features from Android for a few years in the past, but since the last Google IO and now this one, it's obvious they've switched roles. 5 out of the 6 headlining features of M have already been in iOS, some for years. They take turns leapfrogging, that's it.
  • Google sells your information to advertisers. You are then impacted by the targeted advertising that you get. That may not be your definition of major consequences and that's fine. However, others feel that this overall business model is rather creepy. I'm not judging what's right or wrong, rather, I'm trying to help you understand that there are legitimate positions on both sides of this debate.
  • What information does Google sell to advertisers? It feels like most people who have an opinion on this have no idea how it works. Google collects data, and knows I am searching for a chainsaw. A company that makes chainsaws pays for ad placement from Google. Google uses the information they gather from me to show me an ad for a chainsaw — something I am likely to buy. If Google sold the information to the company that makes chainsaws, why would that company ever need to pay Google for ads again? Keeping your data close and protected is how Google makes money from it.
  • It's funny, out of MS, Apple and Google, Google is the only one that doesn't give itself blanket permission to trade data with their strategic partners in their privacy policy. Google keeps all of its data in house, while MS and Apple both regularly trade data with services such as Yahoo, etc. It doesn't seem hard to see who protects your information better: the one that says they won't sell it, and then doesn't - or the two who say they will sell it, and then do exactly that.
  • Hi Jerry..... I am surprised that you make this point.....This is exactly how an average consumer thinks of google but lets be very clear......Its not the ad placement that everyone is worried about.......Its the cumulative data collection.......over a few years google starts statistically cumulating your data to know your habits, your schedule, your thoughts, etc.......then they use fitting algorithms to predict what you will do.....at I/O this is what the the neural networks will help with!........The optimistic view is that well these things will help you as you get more closely entangled with technology but just like you don't put all your money in one bank......you don't share all your data with one provider(google wants that and people are resisting that)......A short history of the internet tells us that this has never been a good choice and so people are more inclined towards thinking that google using all this model data about you is also not a good choice.....and they are right in having that opinion
  • I only responded to the statement that Google sells your data. I'll leave the discussion about evil companies that only want your money (hint — all of them) to everyone else.
  • I'm aware of Google's privacy claims. They claim to only sell aggregated data. Yes, they do sell advertising space of groups of people that meet specific criteria, etc. However, if you do a search (probably not on Google) of Google's privacy issues, you'll see that Google in fact shares specific information of specific people... As a quick example, if you buy an app on Google Play, the developer gets your personal information, etc. Issues like this have been documented. Finally, given Google's business model which is wholly dependent on your personal information, it's a bit naive to think Google doesn't benefit from your personal data. You've got to love the data mining that Google is doing with their new photos app as well.
  • They do NOT claim to sell aggregated data. They don't sell data at all. If you read Google's, Microsoft's and Apple's privacy policies, two of them give themselves blanket permission to share your data and one of them does not. Google is the one who does not.
  • When I bought FCPX on the Mac app store, the developer got my personal information and my credit card number. Same thing happened when I ordered a large with pepperoni from Papa John's late last Thursday from the hotel I was staying in. I feel that letting either company know my name, my email address, my telephone number, my exact location, and my financial data was worth the service provided. If you wish to continue this, please show an example of Google selling any of your personal and private data to an advertiser, as you claimed above. Baseless bickering back and forth without any valid proof serves no purpose, and wastes both of our valuable time.
  • In my experience Google Apps are far more "premium" than anything apple has to offer. Apples have a shiny exterior but underneath the surface have many flaws. Their hardware is tops compared to google but that isn't Googles focus. I tried iCloud on more than one occasion, it is so buggy and not user friendly. Sent from the iMore App
  • Google makes hardware, other than Glass?
  • I actually found myself moving back to Microsoft's applications once they proved their intent to fully support iOS and Android. I will use Apple hardware but I worry about being locked into one specific platform.
  • I use a few microsoft apps on iOS for work purposes only. They are OK, but they seem overly complex for their own good.
  • I won't use any service that is locked into a particular platform. I want to be able to use them no matter what device fits my needs at a particular time.
  • I take issue with the way some people throw around the term "lock in". An example of how lock in can be bad is investing in a platform only to later discover that you can't switch to a competing service because all your data is locked up in a proprietary format. Facebook is a great example of this, since they are walled off from the rest of the world, sucking in content but not allowing it to be searched or accessed from outside. However it's ridiculous when "lock in" is used to describe Apple, since their lock in consists of making great products and services that work so well and so seamlessly together, users don't want to leave. That's a positive, not a negative.
  • I pay for Google Apps. The upshot is, I get left behind when cool new products are launched (Inbox, for one). New features are never available for the paid accounts on launch.
  • And that's exactly why using Apple hardware is the best deal, because you can use all of Google's services AND have the best hardware with that. It's a win win.
  • I would agree mostly with this except for one exception- iMessage. iMessage is light years ahead of anything Google has in terms of messaging and is frankly one of the reasons I stay with IOS. Sent from the iMore App
  • But only works with iOS. I wouldn't count that as light years. It isn't/can't be used by the vast majority of users. BBM, Whatsapp, and others provide great services cross platform for more people than have just iPhones. And I can't count the number of times messages have gone missing due to iMessage connection problems. Nothing premium there. Ask my wife how "premium" she thinks her phone is right now. The iPhone is no different than any other. Full of problems for lots of people. Some will miraculously have none and that's fine. But my wife has had nothing but issues with her iPhones. Updates always seem to make them worse and never better. Making a phone our of nice materials and paying all that supposed "attention to detail" that no one else apparently does(because they don't all design phones like Apple, oh wait they'll just get sued and every Apple blogger will go on and on about their similarities were copied from Apple and their differences are lack of quality design. *cough*Rene*cough*), means nothing when the phone doesn't work worth a crap. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Try all of Apple's iWork apps and tell me that Googles apps are more polished. They don't come close. Sent from the iMore App
  • Great post Rene! I think an interesting follow up post to this would be a list of all the major Google services and all the viable alternatives to them. Sent from the iMore App
  • Damn straight. DuckDuckGo takes care of probably 80% of what I need to search for. I still blend in some Google services, but no way in hell are they owning me.
  • I only use a Gmail account, but Google's actions have pissed me off recently. Shutting down Google Reader? Really? And buying Sparrow, probably the best email client for the Mac and iOS and shutting it down? Seriously?
  • What happens when Apple creates the rumored Goog Now clone for iOS 9? Methinks that will be coming from iCloud data. Sent from the iMore App
  • It will be the best thing since sliced bread, and apple doing the same thing they like to bash google for will be perfectly fine.
  • Um no, that's a false equivalency because Apple would use that data only to run the service, not to sell targeted ads to advertisers. In other words, Apple using iCloud data to run "Apple Now" still doesn't turn you into a product, you are still the customer. It's no different than when you say "ok" to the "let us collect information from this app only to improve it". Don't confuse the two scenarios, they are not the same.
  • Apple does use its iCloud data for advertising. The difference is that instead of making it granular like Google, they will tell advertisers that they have X amount of users that like Y. Apple anonymises you by lumping all accessible advertiser data into large chunks of generalized data.
  • Just curious, where is your evidence that Apple provides any of your data to advertisers?
    Apple collects aggregated and "anonymized" data for the sole purpose of improving their services. Their privacy policies make it clear that they do not share your data with advertisers.
  • Reread that privacy policy. It makes it clear that they DO share your data with their strategic partners.
  • Yet you fail to think about iAds which is pretty much exactly what Google does, yet is ok when Apple does it..
  • Theres a difference between letting your dog or a wolf guard your henhouse.
  • And that still won't be anything at all like what Google does because using iCloud data to run "Apple Now" is simply using data in order to run internal services, not selling targeted ads to third parties which is how Google monetizes it's users as products (not saying that's evil, just stating facts). Using iCloud data to run Apple Now would be the same thing as when you allow data collection on an app to help the developers improve that app.
    Don't confuse the two scenarios, not at all the same.
  • I'm thinking that you have a very, very skewed vision of how Google actually uses all of the data that they collect.
    Contrary to the FUD being spread, Google does *not* sell you, your identity, or anything of the sort. They sell advertising slots to companies based on what they know about their user base as a whole, which is then served to you based on your interests/history. At no time, whatsoever, does Google sell its users or (and let's be 1000000% clear on this point) *any* of its data to any other company.
    Apple does the exact same thing with iAds. They collect search history data from Spotlight and Maps, sales data from the Store, and whatever information is provided from third-party app developers and "advertising partners", and then sells advertising blocks to companies, which provide ads that it serves to you based on interest. The biggest difference is that Google has more services that people actually use through which to collect their data, so they are much better at making intelligent guesses as to what your interests are, making their advertising more valuable. When you are shown an ad, the advertiser still doesn't know who you are, as Google obfuscates that data in its analytical metrics.
  • Yeah, but even if they both do the same thing, Apple is Apple and Google is Google, so OBVIOUSLY Apple is better. DUH!!1!!1!!! I mean, Apple--need we say more? Apple is Apple.
  • Two things....
    1. I wouldn't have a problem with it if it was an "opt in" option and not a requirement to use the overall service like Google Now does.
    2. Even if Apple did collect my data, their privacy policies are far different from Googles and I would know that my data is not being sold to the highest bidder.
  • 1. Google Now requires data collection because the only way to predict what data you will need and when you will need it is by knowing what data is important to you and understanding your current or future context. That is they only was a successful predictive information service will ever work. And while Google's data collection is mostly opt-out, Google is constantly making it as simple as possible to view, understand, control, and remove any data that they collect. Apple, not so much. You either agree to their collection policy, or you don't use their products. There is no middle ground.
    2. Apple does collect your data. Their privacy policy explicitly states that they collect your Maps, Store, Siri, and Spotlight search data, along with purchase data and data from third parties and "advertising partners" to provide targeted ads via their iAd service. Also, similar to Apple, Google does not now, nor will they ever, sell any user data to anyone at any time. The only reason they can charge what they do for targeted advertising is because they have such a large volume of data to backup their claims of how far their reach is. But the data itself, *especially* the personal data, is kept under extremely strict control, because the instant they sell their data, they completely gut any market advantages they have. Your personal data is used purely internally to complement and implement new products and services for your benefit.
  • 1. LOL! Try using Google Now without giving it explicit access to all of your information. It doesn't work. It's basically an all or nothing scenario.
    2. The fact is, you really don't know what Google is doing with your data. We've all seen public policies from both companies, but do a little search on Google and privacy issues and you may be surprised to see the types of things that Google does share. Like for example, when you by an app on Google play, do you know Google sends your specific personal information to the developer of that product? You can attempt to compare Google to Apple all you want, but in practice, Apple has demonstrated much better control of personal data than Google has. In fact, Apple had to build their own Maps application because they wouldn't share personal data with Google. I respect that and appreciate that. Finally, at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself how each company makes their money. With Apple, I am their customer. With Google, I am their product. They can claim whatever they want on their privacy policy pages, but their fundamental business model makes it clear how they operate. I have no issue with that by the way, I just think those putting too much trust in Google are a bit naive.
  • Key difference is that Apple will protect that data in accordance with their business model that places a high value on privacy. With Google, you never know what companies and organizations are going to get access to your data and aggregate it in potentially very intrusive and invasive ways.
  • Yeah because how many security breaches has Apple had in the past year alone?
  • Name a couple.
  • Lets see the iCloud hack, and here is a simple google search for you...
    https://www.google.com/#q=apple+security+breach
  • Oh good grief! We get it, you don't like Google's business model. I don't know if it's FUD as a means of clickbait or simply an unhealthy fascination. Maybe it's just being stuck in the Apple vs Google wars of the past that even Apple has largely moved on from, but article after article portraying Google as a company to be feared or escaped from is getting old. This site is to Google what Fox News is to Left. You try to be fair and balanced, but the disdain and loathing seeps from the pores, and it is permeating the staff now. Android Central would never run pieces on how Apple rakes in billions over billions that it seems it could never spend, yet continues to charge premium prices for products and services. That's cool, its a business, but how about taking some of those billions and developing low cost/no cost products and services for poor or developing regions. I mean it would really be easy to go in on Apple in many ways, but they just don't do it. I find that to be a much more tangible existing "evil" yet we get article after article of Google potential for nefarious deeds. Of all the paradigm breaking things Google does that almost always favor the common user over the corporation, regardless of motive, while Apple best resemble the giant trust corporations of early 20th century, doing whatever it takes to block out competition and lock in its users. Even if it means aligning itself with corporations to screw over the consumer(books, streaming music) in favor of its bottom line, yet it is Google we should fear? I found it funny how you and Gruber quickly glossed over rumours of Apply beginning to mine your data to provide you better services in the podcast. That would be an interesting twist now wouldn't it be? Would kind of turn this whole narrative on its ear.
  • Yeah it comes across as insecurity
  • It is funny because he mentioned ever single time "Mobile Nations uses Google Services so I don't really have a choice." Yeah because Mobile Nations knows what is best. If Apple had services that accommodated everyone so well they would probably use that, but they don't.
  • Apple fans have always been a bit smug about their products. It's how Apple gets away with charging $600 for a watch that will be obsolete in 6 mos.
  • This is why I'm a Pebble Steel user. Works on my BlackBerry, great on Android, and if I ever go Apple, it will work there too. Posted via the iMore App for Android on a BlackBerry.
  • The Watch is $350-$400. You are adding additional cost for the sapphire crystal (or fancy optional band) which the competition doesn't have so you are unfairly (on purpose) inflating the price to make your weak point. If the Moto360 2 has a sapphire crystal, it'll cost $500+.
  • You can get an apple watch for $350. Lg watch urban $350. As people make better watches the prices will be about the same. Don't get caught up in thinking the old cheap android watches are gonna be the same prices moving along. When companies put a afford into the watches they make the prices will reflect.
  • totally agree...I used to listen to the Imore show but gave on that...Rene's states something about Google and trails off before finishing any thought (just like the fem-bot Fox News Hosts!!!), and then they spend 20 minutes talking about watch bands. It was nice when Serenity came on as she had some new perspectives, except even she started to sound bored last I listened. Everyone is over the who came first thing except Imore who will still start a joke "google wallet is of course copying Apple..." and then trail off before just finishing. (did't Android Pay come before Apple Pay? and who knows what before..Softcard...etc...)...but they just got their ZING in with out finishing the thought... Rene,
    there's away to properly express yourself and come off as having fun and not just whining and hating. Life's to short.
  • Why do ppl continuously come to the comments to bitch about articles? If I didn't like the article someone wrote I would pass by it, not read articles from a specific person or not go to the site.
  • Probably because they're completely BLOWN away by the insanity of this one! Good grief is right, I can't even believe my eyes while reading this article. Everything Renee just wrote here is skewed, full of white lies and misleading information to somehow favor one company over the other... I've loved Mobile Nations since 2007/2008, beginning with Crackberry, but this is embarrassing as hell. Dieter Bohn (and now Crackbery Kevin) would be absolutely ASHAMED of this type of fear-mongering and deceitful content! Sheesh!
  • From Marco Arments article: - Apple is always arrogant, controlling, and inflexible, and sometimes stingy.
    - Google is always creepy, entitled, and overreaching, and sometimes oblivious. So Apple represents the old white male dominated baby-boomer generation while Google represents the young angsty otaku millennials?
  • Apple represents the self-loathing, delusional greedy liberal who will say anything for your dollar.
  • Can narcissists even be self-loathing?
  • I suppose that you can both love and loathe your self at the same time. No emotions are really mutually exclusive.
  • I have been trying to de-Google myself for awhile. I don't use the Google search engine, I don't use Chrome, I have never used an Android phone or Tablet, but and its a big one. It is hard to switch email. I have had a Gmail account since early in the Beta days that required an invitation. Everyone knows my Gmail address and communicating that to the masses is at best difficult. I am slowly getting my email moved to my iCloud email. One other service that I use and have yet to find an adequate replacement is Google Voice. I have been a user of that since it was Grand Central. I was a beta user for them and I cringed when they sold to Google.
  • My problem is Chrome works great on Windows and I rely heavily on a couple of plugins that don't work so great on Firefox. If Apple hadn't abandoned Safari on Windows I would probably stick with Safari since that is what I use on my Macbook. Google's cross platform support is what makes their services so appealing that it sometimes makes it difficult to drop them
  • CVJ, I know what you mean about Chrome on Windows. I have pretty much given up on Windows other than I need it to run one application so I use a Parallels VM to run Win 8.1 and Visio. Don't get me wrong I use other MS Apps. I have Office 2011. As for Chrome that was the first thing to go in my life. You cannot tell me that Google gave us a free browser that isn't sending them everything. (I say the same thing about Android) I went to Safari full time, and have no regrets. I am sure that I will always have some form of the Borg in my life as they crawl the internet and I use the internet. But as they acquire companies that I use I will do my best to stop using those services.
  • Your so funny! Your giving Apple everything!
  • Yeah with Apple reportedly working on TV deals I find it hard to believe Apple isn't using viewing/usage data to help convince companies to jump on board.
  • All companies use user data internally guys, this isn't news. Google is different than Apple in that it uses that data externally as a product to make 90% of it's revenues. Why is this so hard for you guys to understand??
  • Yap, iAds is run by black magic, not by user data
  • "Yeah with Apple reportedly working on TV deals I find it hard to believe Apple isn't using viewing/usage data to help convince companies to jump on board." TV viewing data already is, and has always been, collected by the content providers. Unless you're getting your programming over a TV antenna, your viewing habits are being collected. That this continues when those programs are accessed via Apple TV is neither surprising nor cause for concern. If this were Google, though, then you'd have to worry about them sharing way more info about you to the content providers as well as sharing your viewing habits with others.
  • I would rather give it to Apple than Google. Apple doesn't own the search engine I use, I don't use Apple to store my Photos (To many nude selfies you know JK), They bill me for things via PayPal (Sure they probably have some agreement with each other), I like Safari but could switch to FireFox in a heartbeat, I use SMS instead of iMessage (The NSA gets that but now from my carrier), my cloud file storage choice has been Box for a very long time. I do use iCloud for email, they don't serve me up ads while I am on the website, but I do most of my email these days with a third party mail app on my iPhone or iPad. I am considering a paid for solution from Fastmail though. I also use iCloud to keep my contacts in sync. I think that's a great solution. I use MS Office 2011 for Word, Excel and PowerPoint (Though I think Keynote is better)
  • Personally I like Google's services and am ok with them collecting my data. Nothing is really free, after all.
  • True dat.
  • I agree. Maybe if Apple collected more data, things like Siri would work better. I have "Siriously" never had Siri work for me at all. Even just asking "her" to do something so simple, like call a local pizza place from my contacts. "She" can't do it. She can't even find it on the web. I ask google to do it, and it's no problem at all. If collecting my data is what makes this stuff work, then collect away!
  • Have you tried it more than once? That doesn't sound right at all. Maybe take it in to an Apple Store and see if they can help you. I have a 95% success rate with Siri. Do you have a thick accent by chance?
  • I've tried it MANY times. I've tried to use it over a dozen time to tell me what song was playing, with its Shazam integration. It has never given me a song title. I tried to get it to call a local pizza place, which is in my contacts. I said, slowly and clearly, "Call Mineo's Pizza House." It kept saying, "I can't fine mini owes in your contacts." Or "I can't find mini owes restaurant." Totally useless. No, I don't have a thick accent. :) I said the exact same thing to Google Now, and it instantly brought up a listing of Mineo's Pizza, with I link to call them with one touch. Perfect. For as long as Siri has been around, I would think it could scan my contacts and find "Mineo's," and not just keep searching for "mini owes."
  • To test out Google Now v. Siri, I asked both, "What's the most popular flavor of ice cream?" Every word out of my mouth was the same each time. Google Now gave me the answer (vanilla); Siri gave me a list of ice cream shops in my area. I even re-phrased the question in case Siri misunderstood me, but no dice. Apple has much work to do to improve Siri.
  • Yeah, the tin-foil hat crowd's paranoia about Google's data mining - or whatever they call it - has never really spawned the end of days scenario it's predicted for years now. Like the whole Y2K thing. Nothing but boy crying wolf. I don't get it, but I guess everybody needs a bogeyman.
  • The Y2K thing wasn't a problem only because hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on correcting it for years beforehand. And there were some minor problems that just weren't reported. If no one did anything about Y2K, it would have been a huge problem. That being said, Google's collection of data doesn't have to be evil or prove out to be a problem for people to not feel comfortable allowing it. It's simply an unknown that some people aren't willing to live with and there's nothing paranoid about that. Folks who think it's just tin-foil hat paranoia live in a bubble without any history books. Remember ENRON? That was a huge reputable respectable energy company that was too big to fail and everyone trusted for the exact same reasons you think being skeptical of Google is paranoia. Things happen, never be too comfortable or too complacent.
  • My point is that even if Google's data collection is a problem, Google is far from the only company that collects data. And even if you were to not buy an Android or Chrome OS device and did a pretty good job of avoiding Google apps and services, what you would use INSTEAD will ALSO collect just as much data. Rene doesn't want you to focus on ALL the apps and services that collect data. (Including the MANY non-Google apps and services that use Google services on the back end!) He just wants you to focus on Google's collecting apps and services because he wants to convince people to buy iPhones instead of Moto Xs.
  • Collecting data is one thing. One you do with it is another. That's essentially the entire point of this article.
  • Until one day it comes back to bite you. Today you use Google to research depression, maybe tomorrow your health insurance premium increases because your insurance company purchased data from Google indicating you're a higher risk client.
  • Google released information on it's privacy hub where you can check everything Google does with it's services. I think this is a good thing, transparency is becoming more important than ever. Hope Apple develops a transparency plan for public use rather than relying just on public statements.
  • Agreed. Google continues to be more and more transparent with it's security and privacy polices. With the recent addition of the user being able to pick and choose which data is shared I have little concern with what they do with my ad data. In fact it gives ads tailored to my needs rather than filler. Posted via S6 Edge
  • "Google released information on it's privacy hub where you can check everything Google does with it's services." Google's disclosure statements are written in dense legalese in a way that obscures real world scenarios where you might object to their data collection and usage. Nowhere does it say that your photo might pop up on web ads promoting herpes medication, but there's nothing in that document that prevents them from doing just that.
  • As I asked in a previous post, as nearly every Internet product and service collects data, are you folks going to shut off all those too? Or just Google?
  • The problem is not necessarily the data collection itself, but what data is being collected, who is collecting the data, and how does their business model relate to that data. Given their business models and track record on user data, one can feel pretty secure sharing some private data with Apple, but not so much with Google or Facebook.
  • I use google services and don't plan on stopping. For search, I use Bing. I'm a big fan of Bing rewards. I use OneDrive for my cloud storage (100 gb free!).
  • I use OneDrive now because I can replicate folders cross platform unlike iCloud
  • Apple = Platform Lock in
  • That's interesting. I've been moving all of my stuff *out* of everything (OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox) and *into* iCloud Drive. It works fine on everything (except Linux, but I don't use that for personal stuff). I wouldn't expect anyone to actually *try* any of this stuff with modern Apple services before they bash Apple on the tired old "lockin" platitude, though. That would invalidate all the old "points" such as "platform lockin" or the good ol' "apple tax". (None of this stuff is really true anymore.)
  • Ok so how do I open some PDF files I copied into iCloud without using a third party app on my iPhone and iPad?
  • Google has lots of data on me. They'd have to wouldn't they to make services that can guess what information I'll need next? Yes they would just like apple y will need the same information when their version of Google Now is released. But you say I trust apple more since they goal in life is to make the best products in the world! It says so on their website. Does it say anything about how they want to be the most profitable company in the world as well? I guess since they never made that statement on the website that they don't at least if I go of Renes premise that their website is the truth of their motives.
    Next let's talk about money. You have a lot of it then Apple cares about you. You don't and they don't. Rene talks about John Gruber and says well he doesn't use gmail. Yrs and he says in the last podcast that he doesn't want ads next to his email. I an only take that laterally and this statement tells me that he doesn't know anything about gmail. Gmail puts their ads in a filtered tab so it's not mixed in. Again I couldn't figure out why he didn't know this? Both him and Rene talked about google photos yet didn't know the specifics. Jon said something like I think google gives you up to 16 mb peer photo. Rene want even sure. Rene can tell you everything about Apple but doesn't take the time to know the facts about google stuff and rags on it. I saw the google keynote and understood it when they said you can do all the 1080 p videos you want and google will show them for free privately without changing the quality and compressing it. And the same for photos. You know if your phone has an 8 mega pixel camera or more? Google said if you have a 16 mega pixel camera or less no compression. Yet Rene said it wasn't clear. Why do I think if this was about apple photos he'd know.
    Google makes products for everyone. Apple makes them for the rich. Who is selling the 17k watch and who takes a piece of cardboard and figure a way to make vitual reality headset for $20? Yes google designed cardboard. Google makes things for the poor and rich people. The only way to do that is use advertising. TV has been like this since it came out. It have anyone the skylight to watch for FREE over the air tv.
    See Rene and others have money so for them they'd rather pay money then believe this somehow makes the service more private. Let's look at the facts. Apple has the same data as google. Look at their terms of service. Difference is Google uses the data to make services around them as they did with search. Why waste the data? Use it to help the user. Google then pays for all these products by telling advertisers we can put your ads in front of people who actually may be interested in them. Google sells tons of ads for all different things then uses there knowledge on each user to decide which ad they show to whom. This is all they do. They don't sell the info they know about you to anyone. So from the standpoint of privacy it's a fantasy to make you feel better to think your data is safer with Apple than Google. Both companies best interest in to give trust to their users. Trust that their data is private and won't be sold. If google or apple sold your data it would be on the news and they'd lose most their customers. If paying Apple makes you sleep better at night then so be it but that is just not based in facts. You want the best you use Google because they are better than anyone in many services.
  • Hey, don't get dragged into their "Apple versus Google" stuff. Apple makes products for the rich? Hardly. Apple makes products for whoever is willing to buy them at the prices that Apple sets for them. They are no different from a company that makes luxury cars, designer jeans, tailored suits etc. What Mercedes does isn't bad, and what Kia does isn't necessarily good, especially since if you buy a Mercedes you KNOW that you will get a good car that will run for 20 years if you give it reasonable care and maintenance and as a result you can give it to your kid if you choose or it will have a high resale value if you don't. By contrast if you buy a more affordable automobile, well it is like a box of chocolates ... you never know what you will get. For one company to be "good" doesn't require the other company to be evil. Apple fans want you to believe that because they hate competition. They claim to want competition on one hand, but they hate actual competitors on the other. It was true back in the day with IBM and Microsoft, and it is true today with Google and Samsung. (It is funny: many of the same arguments that Android fans use against Apple now, Apple themselves made against IBM today, including Apple's famous Super Bowl commercial against IBM's corporate conformity culture.) But don't buy into the Apple camp's claim that failing to buy their products constitutes some sort of moral failing that has to be justified, such as being unable to afford Apple products, being cheap, or having an irrational hatred for Apple. The reality is that simply liking something else better is a perfectly reasonable valid option, and anyone who pretends otherwise is simply playing the game by the rules that the Apple fans in the media and elsewhere are trying to impose. You want to buy Apple? Fine. You want to buy Android? That is fine too. You want to have Apple, Android, Microsoft and Linux products (as I do)? That is fine also. To each his own, and anyone who claims otherwise is someone who has bought into the propaganda.
  • I'd have to disagree with your premise that a MB is more reliable than a KIA. I've looked at used MB over the on MSN car point which shows what the reliability of the product is and what breaks and let's this day MB was a bad choice to use. Again I don't say not to buy apple products but Rene and Gruber talk about Google produce with out using them. Yet Rene uses some google stuff but hasn't even tried google now. That's like looking at a Tesla and a normal Audi gas car and saying things about both only using the Audi. Let me reference Marco who said lots of negative things about a Tesla never driving one. What happened? He drove one and changed his mind completely and now wants to buy one. This is why reviews are done. You can't just say I think this because until you use it you could be completely wrong.
  • It's misleading to compare the reliability of a MB with a Kia. That would be akin to comparing the reliability of an iPhone with a brick phone from the 1980s. Premium cars jam-packed with performance and high-tech features are naturally going to be more prone to issues than basic transportation vehicles with simpler and older technology. This difference is evident even within a particular car manufacturer. For example, a BMW 328i will be far more reliable than a twin-turbo 335i or a top-of-the-line 750i.
  • I wish I could upvote your post a thousand times. So much truth to what you just said!
  • Idk with all of the breaches and leaks that come from apple and their cloud, I would put a little more faith in google over apple.
  • When has Apple suffered a breach? Cite examples.
  • They didn't suffer a breach but they made bad decisions which made it easier to get into peoples iCloud accounts meaning they had full backups of everything from documents to photos. Nude celeb photos. You don't remember this?
  • Huge difference between having an actual security breach and user susceptibility to social engineering due to poor password choices, don't you think?
  • You think Google or Microsoft users have stronger passwords? Posted via S6 Edge
  • He's probably referring to an obscure oversight on of one Apple's login pages where there was no limit or delay for repeated incorrect login attempts. There is no evidence that this was used in the nude celebrity photo scandal or any other actual breach, but Apple plugged the hole anyway and also expanded their use of 2-factor authentication. That aside, the big debate here is not about security but about privacy.
  • Apple allowed attempatafter attempt without blocking the ip or locking the account. Even password recovery never emailed the main account to notify that the backup was recovered. Bad apple management!
  • That was not system-wide, but on a specific login page. It was never exploited. Apple fixed the issue within days after it was discovered. More importantly, they've now emphasized two-factor authentication, which is vastly superior to asking security questions, which are too easily compromised via social engineering. Let's also remember that by introducing the first truly reliable and easy to use fingerprint reader, they encouraged many to setup passcodes on their iOS devices who previously neglected to do so because they considered them a hassle. And with Apple Pay they leveraged this same biometric authentication, while also shunning the transfer of credit card numbers in favor of an anonymous token, increasing both security and privacy. While there's no such thing as perfect security, it's pretty ridiculous to even suggest that Apple is weak in this area.
  • We have no pretty no proof either way. What we know is that that they got iCloud backups. The rest option asked questions many could Google.
  • Well if there's no proof, then that's all the more reason not to go around spouting gibberish like "all of the breaches and leaks that come from apple and their cloud".
  • And we can use Google services with iPhones, which cost about the same as Samsung phones, so we get the best of both worlds and don't have to be rich to use it.
  • Collecting the data isn't the issue, it's selling the data that disturbs many people and rightfully so. Regardless of which product you happen to prefer, the primary difference between Apple and Google is their business model. With Apple, you are their customer. With Google, you are their product. If you are comfortable with this arrangement, then there is no problem. However, that doesn't invalidate the concerns of others.
  • Let's try facts. Per Google's blog.
    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/06/privacy-security-tools-improvemen... Our new site, privacy.google.com, candidly answers these questions, and more. We also explain how we show relevant ads without selling your personal information, how encryption and spam filtering help keep your data safe, and how your information helps customize your experience on Google. Visit this site often to learn about new tools, features, and information that can help you make the choices that are right for you.
    Facts are wonderful.
  • Yes, facts are wonderful. There is a history of privacy issues with Google, despite their policies. What the do in practice is often quite different. Here's just a simple example.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/google-privacy-issues-in-forefront-again/
  • Yep. This has caused sick an issue and contributed to such an outbreak of issues that the news talks about this daily.
  • Is your data really safe with any organization? If it's not Google, it's another. No personal data of the average person is safe, period. I can't even take Rene's articles seriously anymore. It's like he's the Circle Jerk Prince for Apple. Less bias and opinion please.
  • Your argument is a false dichotomy. Users have more than two choices, complete security or none at all. Google's Android platform has 97% of all mobile malware. It is non-secure by design. In any case, the debate is not about security but about privacy. Google and Apple have diametrically opposed policies and business models with respect to the collection, usage, and sharing of their users' private information.
  • Well executed click-bait.
  • Your Apple evangelism has gone past fanaticism into just being detached from reality
  • Rene you do realize with Android you are NOT forced into Google's services as the OS lets you pick default services of your choosing and even disable things you don't want running. You failed to mention that entirely. That is why forks of Android (based on AOSP) are able to exist such as the Amazon versions of Android. If I wanted to now, I could shut off Google Play services on my Nexus 5, install and use the Amazon App Store and use their cloud services or Microsoft and other third parties instead of what Google offers. You fail completely to even bring that up and don't ever mention that the beauty of Android is the entire OS is modular and you can turn off or use whatever you like for default apps and services.
  • No kidding! He mentioned it three times in the article, claiming he chooses iPhone (and encourages others to do so) because on Android he can't choose anything but Google services...uh...what? Android has been able to do this since at least Froyo or Gingerbread when I started, if not the beginning with Cupcake. Renee, what on earth has gotten into you to cause you to blatantly lie to your users like this? This article is so embarrassing! Content like this makes Mobile Nations as a whole look shameful! :-| Pitiful work, Renee.
  • The thing about using Google services is that you have a choice. They make the services available on many platforms. You can effortlessly switch from iPhone to Android phone to Windows to OSX. You can use cheap hardware, or overpriced "premium" trinkets of any persuasion. Put your email and contacts and bookmarks with Apple though, and you are locked in. Big time. Why do they want to restrict you like that? You have been brainwashed if you think Apple is any less evil than Google, or is any less interested in collecting information about you. What is the purpose of iBeacons? What about the iAd platform? Ask youself this. Who makes the most money from you?
  • Where's the button that gives Google users the choice to opt out of all data collection?
  • As explained in an earlier comment, on any Android device you can shut down Google Play Services, start using another app store (e.g. Amazon App Store), use different search engines, and set different browsers and email clients as default apps. You CAN opt out if you don't want the benefits of tightly integrated and personalised services.
    Phones (including Apple's) aren't going to get smarter and more useful without gathering info about their user. Get a dumb phone if you don't want that, and use SMS. There is no such thing as privacy on the Internet.
  • Seems to me that Google services are the main attraction on the Android platform, given that the hardware and third party apps generally suck. So my question was where is the button to disable data collection in the Google apps. Again, it's not so much about data collection, per se, but about who is doing the collection and what is the data being used for. In Apple's case, they are only collecting data necessary to provide a great user experience for the user and they are not monetizing this data or sharing it with others. In Google's case, it's the exact opposite - they are using features as a way to persuade users to give up their data and allow their every thought and action to be tracked, so that this information can be monetized.
  • Google services are available on iOS and other platforms, so no, they are not the main attraction. The hardware historically hasn't been as slick as the super slippery iPhone (which is not good design for a hand held device IMHO), but that is changing. Likewise with third party apps. The Material Design guidelines are excellent.
    No, the attraction is the OS itself. The UI flows better, is highly configurable and allows choice in everything - browser, mail, launcher etc. A simple example: the back button is down by your thumb, not out of reach at the top of screen.
    On the point of who is doing the collection of data, that only matters if you believe one company has more sinister motives. Sure, Google monetize the data - although they don't "share it with others". They do the targeting of ads, and they don't make any money unless it interests you enough to click on. Apple does the same thing with iAd.
    Google also use the data they collect to offer a truly great user experience. Apple make their vast billions by selling hardware at very high margins, and using very sophisticated marketing to make people want it. I'm not convinced that tricking people out of their money like that is any less evil than what Google does.
  • I use just about every Google app, IMO they are the best. Google search, YouTube, Voice, Drive, Maps, Music, etc. They work & yes they are free. I have every Google app on my iphone, iPad and obviously all my Android devices which currently I'm using my Note 4 as my daily drjver, that damn S-Pen is such a fantastic tool. It's Monday, every Monday you can count on one of these ridiculous scare articles. I think Rene thinks of Google as the bully who picked on him in school. Get over it, Google IMO has the best apps. Posted via the iMore App
  • That's a great opinion. Is Rene not intidled to his?
  • I get it. Hate on the big company. Let me preface this by saying that I've been a web developer for 10 years with a mixture of SEO, SEM, retargeting, etc. On line 103 (view source) you're using Google analytics. So even if you decide to use DuckDuckGo once you land on this very website Google is still collecting your information. In fact all websites live or die by the information that they collect on their users. So if you didn't use Google analytics to collect information about your readers you wouldn't know what to write. How is that different than what Google is doing? Ok so Google has allot of information about you. What do they do with it? Give you better results? If you want an idea of where Google receives a bulk of their revenue setup an Adwords account. It's free. Take an hour out of your day to see what information that Google shares. Nada. If I went into Adwords and wanted to target Bryan Siegel I can't. Ok, so you don't want google collecting your information so you go with an iPhone. Do you think that Apple isn't collecting statistics and crash reports? Or how about your carrier? Do you think for one minute that your carrier doesn't know where you are at every moment of the day and who you talk to? Whenever I hear a "Google is evil for collecting information about me" my response is what makes you so special that this is a concern. Information about you is already in the governments hands. My concern is what's done with it that really effects me on a day to day basis? If Google were to sell my info to robo callers that bugged me daily then yeah I would have an issue.
  • "Let me preface this by saying that I've been a web developer for 10 years with a mixture of SEO, SEM, retargeting, etc. On line 103 (view source) you're using Google analytics. So even if you decide to use DuckDuckGo once you land on this very website Google is still collecting your information." If you've really been a web developer for 10 years you should know this statement is silly in regard to the types of data Rene is talking about. How does a cookie that collects your browser, OS, and location compare to a mobile app that tracks and reports your GPS information to Google? You can *literally* go to a page on Google's servers and see where your phone (and thusly you) have been across history.
  • "How does a cookie that collects your browser, OS, and location compare to a mobile app that tracks and reports your GPS information to Google? You can *literally* go to a page on Google's servers and see where your phone (and thusly you) have been across history." I have no clue what you're talking about. Do you mean the safari browser on the iPhone. My point was if you decide to switch search engines on safari your still giving your info to someone once you land on the website. My issue isn't the collection but what the company does with it.
  • You should read Android Central. They just posted an article on how Google is giving you more control over your security and privacy. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • http://www.androidcentral.com/googles-new-tools-give-you-more-control-ov...
  • I knew Rene wrote this article as soon as I read the headline.
  • I usually eschew this blog because of the FUD.
  • I really wish you WOULD just give up on Google Rene. iMore would be a better site without your constant infantile blathering. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering!
  • Almost as bad as Google shills trolling Apple forums like iMore.
  • http://www.androidcentral.com/googles-new-tools-give-you-more-control-ov...
  • I think all the googlites and Apple/Rene bashers commenting here are hilarious! You're so defensive when Rene posts one of his very reasonable, well-thought out articles on differences between companies and platforms. Why do you spend so much time here, anyway? Very telling. I used PCs with Windows and google services/apps for years until I finally went all-in with Apple and don't use anything associated with google anymore. It's NOT that I don't think Apple collects any data. It's that they don't use it the way google does. It all has to do with TRUST. Who do you trust? I don't trust google. You trust google? Fine. I trust Apple and I think they're hardware is second to none--not to mention their ecosystem. Now, please, don't go away mad, just go away.
  • 0) You want people to go away because they have opposing opinions that you cannot refute
    1) If you trust any large corporation you are deluding yourself.
    2) If you feel better about yourself because of brand loyalty you are deluding yourself
    3) Apple doesn't use data the way that Google does, but the third party apps and services that you use on your iPhone, iPad and Mac does. So avoiding the Android/Chrome OS operating systems, Google+ social networking, YouTube file/service sharing, etc. doesn't do you any good when the competitors' products collect the same way and use the same data. And for that matter so does your mobile carrier and likely your broadband provider. The only reason why Google's data collection is being singled out is because they make (or enable) products that compete with Apple. I will tell you ... the Apple users who use Facebook posts to rant about privacy and data mining by Google are the ones who are REALLY deluding themselves!
  • I'm sorry you have trouble with comprehension, but, no, that's not my intent. Just stop posting the same darn arguments and attacks here because they're tiresome and redundant--just like you find the articles here--get it now?! And, please, stop with the condescending education about how the internet and apps work. Duh. People disagree with you, find some corporations more or less trustworthy than you do, and maybe, just maybe, have more experience than you do. Bye.
  • "Apple doesn't use data the way that Google does, but the third party apps and services that you use on your iPhone, iPad and Mac does" Wrong. Apple has always placed key restrictions on what iOS app developers can do, and third party apps must explicitly ask for permission to access things like location data. Users can choose whether to allow location access, on a per app basis, only while the app is in use or not at all. In contrast, Android has historically given app developers wide latitude on what information they collect from users and have made it complex and difficult for users to limit these behaviors.
  • As someone who uses Google's services pretty heavily, I will occasionally spy on myself as if I were a complete stranger. As someone who's not ignorant in the online industry, I'm rather adept at digging deep. And each time I find that I can't find anything about myself online that I had not intentionally made public knowledge. And it's not like I put forth much effort to ensure I don't inadvertently break my own privacy. I just use a bit of common sense in my daily online usage. Which is why I roll my eyes whenever I see another article like this one.
  • "Everything has a price. With Apple, you typically pay them money, and they sell you premium products and services in return. That type of cost and relationship is easy to understand." You do pay premium prices for admittedly premium hardware but Apple fails as a services company. From iTools to .Mac to MobileMe to iCloud and now from iPhoto to Photos, just when I think I understand an Apple service, it gets "reinvented" in an "amazing new way." I would hardly call iCloud mail a premium service either. "With Google, you typically pay them attention and data, and they give you free or cheap products and services in return. That cost and relationship is harder to understand." Is it really that hard to understand? Apple collects data on you and does nothing with it (yet). Siri becomes kind of a novelty after a few weeks. It returns basic search results, and interacts with Apple's own apps, but it's useless beyond that. Try to add a calendar appointment or task to a to-do list app that isn't made by Apple. As you say, it comes down to choice. Google provides useful services for free like calendar, email, and search in return for collecting my data. In return I also get relevant advertising (if I don't use Ad-block), and Google Now with timely updates on flights, packages, and notifications about stories and TV shows I'm interested in. I can choose to share my data with Google in return for premium service on less than premium device or I can side with Apple and get sub-par service on a premium device.
  • Apple collects usage data so they can improve their marketing and help sign deals with partners. There is no way Apple is not actually using the data that is provided by it's customers. They may say they don't collect data but every hardware/software purchase/download is data of sorts and useful to Apple.
  • The issue is not that data is collected, but how much and what kind of data is collected and for what purpose.
  • Dropping of notifications
  • I use some Google services with my Apple hardware. Some of those services are the best, but Android hardware for the most part just doesn't cut it and that's why I keep going back to Apple. One of my biggest problems since day one is the Nexus line. If you really want pure Android (because you actually like Google and Android), short of complicated and risky flashing and rooting and all that which most people can't do, you have literally NO CHOICE in hardware. You buy a giant Nexus 6 or maybe a Moto X, although the Moto X just doesn't cut it, and the Nexus 6 is too big. If the new Nexus were to be made of the exact same phone as the Samsung Galaxy S6, I'd really consider it just for the size, build quality, and the stellar camera. But since my original Nexus One, I've found Nexus hardware to be just awful for all these years, mainly because the camera and battery life were not up to par. Rather than wasting time and money on stupid DOA projects like a lego phone made of pieces, Google should have created a line of great Nexus phones (at least two sizes) with top notch specs and cameras, on all carriers. Sure there were Play Editions, but those didn't work on Verizon, again, limiting choice.
  • The Nexus 6 is too big? So your problem with the Nexus 5 is what exactly?
    The Moto X doesn't cut it? In what way?
    And then there are tons of other Android manufacturers: LG, HTC, Asus, Huawei, Oppo, OnePlus etc. The Apple people who denounce Android are generally in three camps. A) Those who admit to not having ever used an Android phone
    B) Those who claim to have used an Android phone but really haven't
    C) Those whose experience with Android phones is limited to a single cheap or very old device People who have actually bought and have real experience with Android merely say that they liked Android but they think Apple is better. And they are able to come up with specific shortcomings or failings of the OS or hardware features that drove them to Apple, or specific ways that Apple is better. They don't talk about lack of updates (when most people upgrade to a new phone in less than 2 years anyway) or needing pure Android (when the skins that most companies - even Samsung - add to Android actually make the product BETTER and are actually often adopted into stock Android down the line). They don't talk about "If the new Nexus were to be made of the exact same phone as the Samsung Galaxy S6" because such an animal already exists and it is called the LG G4, and it includes features that neither the S6 or the Nexus 6 have such as a replaceable battery and SD card support, and tons of hardware features that no Nexus phone ever has (because the point of the Nexus phone is the SOFTWARE and not the hardware to begin with; the phone is primarily a BASELINE reference device for manufacturers and also is a TEST MODEL for Android app developers, so Google DOES NOT WANT to include a bunch of extra hardware features in the device that would only hinder manufacturers who will have their own competing hardware configuration and ESPECIALLY developers whose devices will contain a bunch of hardware that most phones their apps will run on won't have). You could also say that the Moto X does pretty much the same, although we have to take it from your authority and yours alone that "it doesn't measure up" (without telling us how or why ... I for one know that the Moto X was a good enough product that it motivated Sir Jony Ive to take unprovoked and totally hypocritical potshots at it). So how about this: go out and try out a GOOD Android phone and tell me why an Apple phone is BETTER. Since you never at any time identified the Android phone that you owned on which the hardware was so inferior, you are a strong candidate for group B).
  • I really want to like DuckDuckGo but the inferior search results always have me going back to Google or Bing. I like what Apple's doing, driving specific searches to Wikipedia and others where the results are even more relevant and better formatted than Google. But as my default search engine, DDG just isn't up to par yet.
  • Give up on Google AND Samsung as well would make iMore better.
    Give up on Google AND Samsung AND articles that scream "why don't you android guys come to iOS ? what's missing ? i don't get it !!!!!"... Maybe leave someone else in charge of those...
  • There is nothing wrong with having a "switch from Android" recurring feature. The problem is that the feature should be written by someone who actually uses (or has recently used), likes and respects Android but simply prefers Apple. It is no different from sports reporting. The worst reporting on a team always comes from someone who is a fan of that team's rival. The best usually comes from someone who roots for both teams (i.e. a person who did undergrad at USC and grad school at UCLA, or who grew up in Boston but lives in NYC) or neither. Android is a good product that a lot of people like and some love. If that weren't true, then Android would not have been able to crush a ton of competitors. That is what Apple fans who hate Android do not realize: the real battle is not between Apple and Android, but Android versus Windows, Ubuntu Phone, Firefox Phone and everybody else. If Android was as bad as the iSheep (I use this only to refer to the Apple fans who hate Android for no reason other than it is a success) claims, Windows Phone in particular would have been able to gain real traction merely because of the Microsoft name and the huge base of developers that are familiar with it already. Also, Firefox OS and the other companies that tried to actually undersell Android in developing countries, selling devices for as little as $40, would have worked. Microsoft has also tried to target developing countries and the budget phone market by undercutting Android on price and it hasn't worked for them either. Blackberry even tried to sell phones without physical keyboards and giving their devices access to Android apps and that still didn't work. Samsung tried to use Tizen to compete with Android and that has been mostly a bust also, save when they use the devices to replace their own feature phone models. Give us someone who is capable of acknowledging the former and therefore coming to grips with the fact that Android is a successful platform built by companies that make good products and this will actually be a good, useful series. But as long as they take the position that Android is forced upon people by unethical pirates who steal Apple's IP, invade privacy and exploit data, then all they are doing is make themselves look resentful and small.
  • I couldn't agree with your sentiments more. I'm an Android fan but I have owned and used iPhones from time to time. I don't mind reading an intelligent, objective opinion from the Apple camp, but this guy clearly has no substantial experience with the competition and just talks out of his ass.
  • Why are you here than reading his article and commenting on it? I would never continuously read articles by someone talking out of their ass. Stop embarrassing yourself
  • Seriously???! You couldnt try even a little bit to hide your Apple marketing ploy? But since you get paid per click - here is my one click to increase your revenue. And keep using Chrome, and Google Maps, and Google.
  • Is what Google offers a Faustian Bargain, or just a bargain? Too soon to tell for sure, but until that comes clear I have to refrain from enthusiastically signing on. Luckily I have the means to say no to Google-free-for-tradesies-stuff, and pay cash for alternatives. Not everybody does. Google I/O's revelation of their Photos service -- with nifty features and for No up-front cost just by downloading an app from the App Store and signing on -- made me go through the following rationale. I had a choice between on the one hand putting my collection in the care of someone who professes absolutely no desire or motive to know or use what is in it. Or, on the other hand, in the care of someone who needs to examine and analyse my collection and use that analysis for their own economic survival, forever. I say forever because Apple's photo system allows you to delete or move your photos and have them disappear without trace from Apple Photos in iCloud forever. Google's system will apparently retain the photos, and certainly their analysis, after you might want to delete or move them, just as it does with mail. Both valid choices to be paid for, in cash for the one, and in kind for the other. The latter has implications that are less than clear-cut, so I will wait -- maybe a long time -- before buying in.
  • Give me the intelligence of Google services and and contextual awareness of services like Google Now and I'll keep giving you my data. Simple as that. It's a trade off, I trust Google. I know that they benefit financially from my data but I also know that they continue to deliver innovative products and services that benefit ME as well. As long as it remains a 2 way street, I'm cool with it. Only a moron would "Give Up On Google" to use lousy services like Apple Maps, iCloud Drive, and iWork.
  • You are so ignorant.
  • Well said, I completely agree
  • For people who are interested in using DuckDuckGo but afraid that they'll miss out on results... don't be. One of the nice things about DDG is that you can force it to search other engines too. For example, if you want results from Google type !g and you search term ("!g mysearchterm"). A Google Images search? !gi. !y is Yahoo, !b is Bing.
  • And then Google or Bing will have that stored in it's search history.
  • Christ, I'm tired of negative people who think they're being clever. No shit, Captain Obvious, the search engine will store that. But you can always do a search and IF the DDG results aren't great, use these shortcuts to repeat the search against a major engine. It's a convenience, not a requirement. Comments like this are one of the reasons I rarely participate here. Try to help and you have some whiny know it all try to knock you down.
  • And another thing. Apple may sell you premium products in return for your money, but if you call their services "premium", I'm calling BS.
  • The Apple ecosystem, Apple experience as a whole is Premium.
  • Just like facebook, here is your like or in this case a click.
  • I still can't imagine myself living a Google free life because I love some of its services, like Google Maps and the Play Store. However, I hate putting things in one basket. For example, I use Bing as my default search engine, Google Maps for mapping, Outlook and Gmail for email, Opera browser and Dolphin an my default browser for desktop and mobile respectively, etc.
  • So much hate towads google mean so much jealousy! God I love it when I see articles like this! So basicly you are defending something that sees you as a zombie and sells you devices every 6 month with some light spec updates form 2011 and a flashy power point presentation! Yet you defend it like it was god or something! But in real life no one does that if they aren't paid to do so. So are you paid to talk positive about apple ? We as readers would like to know. And in the end there's something called free will, if you don't want to use Google's serves just shut up and don't use it!!!!!
  • "No one does that if they aren't paid to do so" except the 75 million people last quarter.
  • I'm confused. Android doesn't provide choice now? What?
  • Apple collects as much data about you as Google. This is Apple's privacy policy page. https://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/en-ww/#mn_p As you can see, Apple collects, tracks, uses and analyzes your data in their products and services.
  • To build upon this, how does anyone think Apple is able to give relevant info to the user?
  • Therein lies the problem. Apple is terrible at data analysis and cloud services in general. So they use their PR proxies, like Rene, to claim that companies, like Google, who are very good at data analysis and cloud services are violating your privacy and/or breaching your security. Months ago, there was a tool on github that anyone could use to hack iCloud accounts. It's rumored that this is the tool used in the glorious "Fapenning" event where photos and videos of celebrities using iCloud accounts were hacked. I was able to use the tool to hack into my cousin's and niece's account, of course with their permission. So I know it works. https://github.com/hackappcom/iloot Even the way they currently implement 2-factor authentication is broken. This is from the company that is supposed to care about your security and privacy. Mashable had a story where you could hack iCloud accounts for just $200. http://mashable.com/2014/09/04/i-hacked-my-own-icloud-account/ Fact is, if you really care about online security and privacy, you're way better off using Google than using Apple. Google at its core is a data company. They have a vested interest in protecting your data, because data analysis is their bread and butter. Their databank and data analysis algorithms gives them a strategic and competitive edge over their competition. So why wouldn't they protect the nest egg that makes them profitable and even unrivalled. Apple's frustration is that they have all these data, but they don't know how to use them. Apple is a hardware company at it's core. It just so happens that we live in an era where software and services is way more important than hardware. Their security and privacy PR postures is just an excuse to hide their incompetence at machine learning, neural networking, data analysis and cloud services. So they hire people like Rene to spread unsubstantiated FUD. Read Apple's privacy policy. And then read Google's privacy policy. There's hardly any difference. Except one company really knows how to secure, use and analyze your data, and the other doesn't.
  • Well said!! Sent from the iMore App
  • @Lateef, Google are better than Apple when it comes to actionable data derived from the data they collect because they collect more data than Apple. I know both companies collect user data and I do not think either company are violating any user rights, per their T.O.S.. However, there are differences in both companies' approach. If we don't opt-in to basic data collection, we get dumb devices. There's a difference between an OS that needs your location for navigation and an OS that tracks every journey and stop to learn your routines and P.O.I., cross-referenced with all their users, to better understand which goods and services matter to you. One OS uses location data to get you to Starbucks, the other knows you walk or drive by 3 different Starbucks every day, which one you spent 30min in, how often you visit and how many other customers dialled into Google Services are in the store with you. Furthermore, while you're in that Starbucks, Google can learn what's interesting to you based on your browser and app use while there. So can any app, like FB, Instagram or Foursquare. So can Starbucks if you're on their free WiFi. Their privacy policies are remarkably similar at face value, yes. But one company collects just what they need for basic operation, while the other collects anything and everything to paint the clearest picture of your routines to predict intents. Yes, that yields more dynamic user data than Apple ever could produce, not because Google have better data scientists, but because Google collect loads more data. That's Google's advantage and I'm not going to make it any easier for them.
  • Think of what you just said. "Apple collects, tracks, uses and analyzes your data. They don't sell your data
  • Neither does Google. ===
    Know that we do not sell your personal information.
    === http://privacy.google.com/
  • I'm running an iPhone with all google apps. My body is ready. Sent from the iMore App
  • Think about it... Google makes money from mining and selling your personal data to very high paying global enterprises. Now think of this... EVERY market google goes into, EVERY device is makes, EVERY free product it offers has been created for only one purpose - to farm your data and sell it (currently only to advertisers). Once a company has all your data it can do what it wants with it - even bad things. Google has a lot of power. Google got into the mobile market not to compete with Apple, but as another way for farm your personal data. You use an Android phone and google will know every call you've made - who to, when and where. You use google docs - they OWN your data in those documents (stated in the terms and conditions). You use their browser that catalogues all your searches. You use google+ that catalogues everything you do and who with online. And with the google car they will potentially know everywhere you go and probably record your conversations in the car too! I repeat EVERYTHING google does is a trojan horse for mining and selling YOUR personal data. Now you tell me what sort of company would do that and to what purpose? Because I will tell you this for nothing - google knows that whoever owns or has all the data can run the world. And THAT is a terrifying future.
  • If google wants all my personal data my price is $100m. If their gonna get it all eventually anyway I might as well make money on my data too!
  • There's a fundamental problem with the premise of this article. And that is the fact that one can use an android phone without having a Google account or using any of Google's services. Now, I know, Apple users will find that hard to understand since Apple would never allow similar flexibility, but please do try.
  • Rene, you really went off the deep end with the talk show podcast and this. When your only argument in both places is that google collects data then we all know you're grasping at straws here. But what do I know I'm sure you use VPN all day pay with throwaway debit cards, don't use toll booths, never use internet connections, never use apple pay, never order anything offline, don't pau for internet broadband,....etc etc If google ever had a privacy breach it would be game over for them. I really thought the mobile nations crew had a higher understanding of this but after the Gruber podcast and all you had to say was "they collect data, I'd rather pay " really? Stop being naive on thinking that paying for something means not collecting data it doesn't. On top of that the other line of I don't want them to use my photo w/ out my consent blah blah blah. Again really? The moment google does that is the moment their business model dies. So let's try to use some common sense on the situation instead of spreading fud in order to show apple in a better light. This whole week you have been spreading fud on topics that seems you have no real grasp about. Let's be honest if either the of these companies gave a privacy breach they both have a lot of info on people so one or the other isn't as great as you make it sound. Just because one company makes it known with what they collect and the other doesn't.
  • FUD. Posted via iMore App
  • FACT
    Rene is simply saying that Apple and Google have different business models, with apple you pay premium prices for premium products. With google they make money off of advertising and data collection, so they give you products that are free or very cheap and then use the infomation you put on those services for their advertising and data collection business. you could conclude from that google is just not in the market to serve privacy conscious people. If you don't like Apple and it's business model ,switch, if you don't like google and it's business model ,switch.
  • Give up on Google? No way. Google can know as much about me as I want to, I really don't care. If they want to know that I love dogs, my birthday is in January and I recently went to Spain then go for it, it's a small price to pay for their superior, integrated products.
  • I really don't get this too much. How is them collecting your data a bad thing? Doesn't it just make things much easier? I've had an Android device for 5 years and there hasn't been any faults that I've noticed. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • You could let the police, FBI, NSA and IRS rummage through your computers and phones every day for 5 years without a problem, too. You don't have to have something to hide, but you never know EXACTLY what they're looking for or why. Google gets a big pass because, what, they give you free digital services which do the data collecting while you use them?
  • Rene, if you have had a phenomenally good experience using Apple's cloud services, you and I have been using VERY different Apple's for the past several years. I mean VERY VERY different. I could hire two bums off of the street with a textbook and they could outdo Apple at cloud services. I have had nothing but horrific experiences with Apple's services. They couldn't pay me to ever use one again. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I've been using for about a year now as my default search engine no regrets
  • I have been leaving google behind and using it as little as possible for the last couple of years, i feel like i really got going when apple included duckduckgo as a default in IOS 8 everything in iCloud only google i still regularly use is youtube
  • I'm guessing everyone here has a Facebook profile. If so, don't be afraid of Google collecting data. Facebook has already collected it all from you.
  • I don't get how many people don't realize this. Google sells anonimized data, as in 20000 people searched for service X in area Y. Facebook sells suitcasejohnny and bobbob1016 searched for service X in area Y. Further, Facebook admitted to those psychological trials they did manipulating people's news feeds a few months back.
  • I prefer StartPage, as I can tweak some settings, and save that as a custom search plugin that remembers those settings because it has specific toggles in the URL. However, the thing I don't think people realize is that yes Google has data, but it isn't data that they openly sell to others directly. They know that N number of people searched for service X in area Y. They start people bidding on the top ad result for service X in area Y, without giving info on the exact N people. Apple and Microsoft scan Email just as Google does, but they just filter spam, Google goes one step further and offers an ad. Not from a human being targetting me specifically with said ad, but from an alogrithm. It's just barely more than Apple or Microsoft do in my opinion. Could you guys do one on quitting, I don't know, Facebook? They pretty openly sell data directly to others. I quit it full stop because I don't like *my* data being given away because a friend chose to play Farmville or some garbage like that. Maybe show how to switch to Ello or Twitter or something similar (Twitter has said openly they won't give over user data iIrc, which is just as proven as Apple imho).
  • Rene,
    There's one problem I have with your story here, and it's made readily apparent by glancing at the rather long list of ads, beacons, and analytics (including Google Analytics and Google+ Platform) generated by ABP and Ghostery on this exact web page along with the rest of iMore.com
    I can't help but have an issue with articles similar to this when the source is employing pretty much all of the data tools they're criticizing. Doesn't this strike you as disingenuous?
  • ...Dude, Renee...what happened to you, man? I can't believe this is your article. Yikes. On your podcasts with Georgia you seemed so fair-and-balanced, mature, knowledgeable. This article lacks all three of those! Where is your common sense? This is really disappointing. :-/