Can you imagine your life without Google? Right now as you are reading this, can you think of how many Google services you are already using? Maybe you found this page right now just by searching on Google? Maybe you are still logged into your Google account? Okay keep that aside. What photo editor do you use? There is 80 to 90 percent chance that you are using Picasa from Google ? Where do you have your e-mail account? on G-mail? Uhm.. Lets say what phone platform you are using? Android? .. See you are using Google in one way or another no doubt about it. And of course 99% of us use Google as search engine. There are so many Google services that you use unknowingly, it has just become a habit. Without Google, don’t you think your online life will cease? Well if not cease, lets say it will be considerably slower than usual right? So in this post let us take a look at what products and services we can use to replace Google, and lets compare their qualities as well. And then we will conclude whether we can actually live without Google or not !
First thing is of course the Search Engine. So If Google dies, what will you use as your search engine? There are plenty of them, but I personally always depend on Google for its fast results and clean interface. There was a time when Google wouldn’t respond (rare case, mostly it was my network problem) i would switch to Bing or Yahoo to search. But with time i discovered that there are several search engines which can be helpful. Like DuckDuckGo is somewhat good replacement to Google. Because of its simplicity and its ability to use different search engine platforms as well. So in case you need a replacement, DuckDuckGo is good choice.
Next most of us use G-mail. So if G-mail is not there, what would you use? Maybe we will switch to hotmail or yahoo mail, but there are many e-mail providers out there. One of them is Zoho mail. Its nice clean, and easy to use just like G-mail. Zoho mail has more than 6 million users according to the Zoho Mail’s website.
Third is Google Reader. What is Google reader? well quote from the site itself : “Google Reader helps you find and keep track of interesting stuff on the web. You can subscribe to your favorite websites, and keep up with what’s popular. New content comes to your Google Reader when it’s posted, so you don’t need to visit individual sites”. To replace reader, there is something called as Sage. Sage is a firefox plugin which does the same job as that of Google reader. Just that you will need to switch to Firefox browser.
Fourth is Google Tasks. Google Tasks helps you to keep track of what you do. If you ever wanted to replace Google tasks, there is something called as Todoist (To do list). Since its only job is to keep track of what you do, the quality is superior to Google tasks. I never thought that it could be better than Google tasks, its very impressive and as they say “Todoist is the leading personal task manager that’s useful, fast and easy to use.”
Fifth is Google Docs. Using Google docs you can create your documents or upload your existing documents on the web. You can access those documents from anywhere and you can edit them as well. And third thing is you can even share those documents with anyone you want. You can choose to keep them private or public, its your decision. Now to replace Google docs, there is something called as Dropbox. Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. That means you wont lose any data no matter what happens. They say “Dropbox also makes it super easy to share with others, whether you’re a student or professional, parent or grandparent. Even if you accidentally spill a latte on your laptop, have no fear! You can relax knowing that Dropbox always has you covered, and none of your stuff will ever be lost.”
Sixth is Picasa. Almost all of us use Picasa for fast photo editing, because its very simple and easy to use. Picasa is photo viewing / editing tool by Google. It helps us to Organize, Edit, and Share photos effectively. To replace Picasa, there is something called as Flickr. Quote from Flickr’s website, “Flickr is the best online management and sharing application in the world”. And maybe they are, because that’s the only thing they do, They help manage and share photos effectively. So if you don’t like Picasa, you can go for Flickr.
Last is Google Chrome. Users first used to switch browser from Internet explorer to Mozilla Firefox. Now everyone switches to Google Chrome. Why? The answer is simple. Google chrome is made for only one thing. That is Browsing. It is fast, clean, simple and looks good to eyes. The browsing space is bigger, It boots up or executes faster. Also it loads up the web pages faster than any other browser. That’s what makes it better than all others. So if you ever want to switch to some other browser, the only browser which you should use is Mozilla Firefox. Because Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox these two are the only beasts in the competition. The only difference is firefox has many un-necessary options on screen. Firefox is like made for developers. Chrome is just simple, made for all.
Then there are many services which cannot be replaced. I mean you actually can’t live without these services. Services like Youtube. Youtube is very rich service of Google, it is one of its kind. There are other video sharing sites ofcourse, like Metacafe, Vimeo, etc. But these are nowhere close to Youtube. I personally cannot find any other video sharing site which is as good as Youtube. So now we can ask ourselves, that can we live without Google?
Can we live without Google ?
Yes of course we can, BUT Google makes everything convenient for us. Life without Google will be slow, and we will have to put in a lot of efforts to do a certain task. We will have to use several different platforms for different services. That would be terrible. Google helps us to do all the things that we need to do. When we come online, what are all our needs? We need to search for something, we have Google search. We need to mail, we have G-mail. We need to share documents, we have Google docs. We need to share photos, we have Picasa. We need to share videos, we have Youtube. We need translations, we have Google Translate. We need to find location, we have Google maps. We need to blog, we have Blogger. We need a online Calender, we Have Google calender. We need a social network, we have Google+. And many more services. Yeah most of the people use Facebook. There are around 900 million users on Facebook, while there are 150 million active users on Google+. And Google claims to reach 400 million users by the end of 2012.
So as you can see Google provides us one platform for different services. That’s a great thing for us. But this brings many questions in my mind. What about data security and portability? If you rely on one single platform for different services, then you are providing all your personal information to that platform. Your whole life is stored online. Can you trust a single platform for the security of your data? Well i cant answer this question, because once you post something online, its difficult to erase it off completely. Whatever you post will leave its traces somewhere on the internet. So if you rely on one single platform, you should think twice before posting something. You should always use the privacy feature effectively. And then if you yourself take care of your data, then you can depend on a single platform without worries. So the message is, Google has become essential part of our life. we should use it, take advantage of its services, but responsibly. We should take care of all our data which we store or share online. I personally like Google because Google makes my online life easy, fast and simple. And i just cant live without Google. What about you?