Galaxy S without GoogleSupport


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  1. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    Dear Forumers,

    I have the option of purchasing either the Samsung Wave or the Samsung Galaxy-S. The Wave has unfortunately a high SAR (0.9) compared to the Galaxy-S (0.2), so I'm leaning towards the S. It, however, is based on Android, which is a very good system but also Google's lacky. So, I have a few questions:
    A. How easily can I use the phone without entering a Google account? I use Outlook for contacts, calendar etc. and have a gmail account for email (and email alone). I don't need GPS sync with online services, I don't need voice commands, and I'm sure I can download software without the Android Market.
    B. If I avoid entering account details, does Google has any way of obtaining information from my phone? Is the browser privacy-insensitive? Are there any possible backdoors? (eg Palm Pre's user tracking)

    Thank you in advance.
     

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  2. karnka

    karnka Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting that you are quite so anti google. I guess there are companies I don't like / trust but I guess I have allowed google to take over my existence!

    Anyway, to your points. You do not _need_ a Google account as such to use the phone. Some thoughts on that.

    The 'normal' way to use the phone is to add your Google account which will by default pull your contacts, GMail and calendar in from Google as well as using your account for the Market. This same account (without further login) could be used for Latitude (location tracking) and Picassa (photo uploads) and I think a few other things).

    The browser is fairly stand alone. You have to log in to your Google account separately with it at which point history and things would go back to Google but you can choose not to and can change the default search engine etc etc.

    Another place I've seen 'anonymous' data go to google is when you turn on wifi/cell tower based locating, but there is a popup asking you if this is ok.

    In summary:
    Browser won't send anything to Google if you don't 'login' to your Google account via it.
    If you don't add a Google account to the phone you won't be able to use the Market, Latitude or have your contacts or calendar synched from Google (which you sound fine with). You also won't be able to use the 'GMail' application
    You can add your email/gmail accounts to the none-gmail email application (as POP3/IMAP/etc) which will just pull mail.
    I don't believe you can sync contacts/calendars direct from outlook, only from MS Exchange (which it doesn't sound like is backing your outlook).

    Anyway, entirely possible to avoid Google to a large extent, methinks. Anyone else chime in if I'm wrong.
     
  3. vikingisson

    vikingisson Well-Known Member

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    agreed, you can use it without any googles. But you miss out on much of the power especially with 2.2. You could also as suggested only use the gmail login to gain access to the Market (otherwise you'll need a different way to install apps). There are enough privacy settings to suit your needs.

    The Goog knows a whole lot about you so I get the concern however, the difference here is that google doesn't sell your data, they sell ads based on that info but the 'evil doers' never see your data. Other companies don't do such a good job. But we're always keeping an eye open on the google, to keep them good. ;)

    While we're at it, use any services such as digital cable tv? You give up a lot more privacy with those closed systems than an android phone ever does. just sayin.
     
  4. karnka

    karnka Well-Known Member

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    A thought having read the last post (may actually be what was meant)....

    You could sign up for an additional google account for the sole purpose of downloading free apps from the market.

    Quite interested in your response to some of these suggestions and a bit more background on your issues with google... Like a good discussion like this ;-)
     
  5. vikingisson

    vikingisson Well-Known Member

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    yeah a lot of people sign up for an account just for the phone, or people that never used gmail at all. And it doesn't have to be just the free apps, you can use that account to purchase apps too. Really though it is pretty harmless. The first time you change phones or do a factory reset you really appreciate the automatic sync. No half broken pc/app sync nonsense.

    Not sure I'd want to get into the debate though, it brings out the fanboys and stubborn opinions that get way off topic. :cool:
     
  6. vikingisson

    vikingisson Well-Known Member

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    And this is the most activity I've seen on this forum for a long time. I've almost given up hope. Just thought I'd give it a peek and here I am posting. :)
     
  7. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    Did you say the browser sends the browsing history to Google?

    I reckon you can sync Outlook through Kies. I know many times the manufacturers don't bother enough with making sure the desktop software actually works, but is it the case this time?

    With the privacy settings, the question remains regarding backdoors and user monitoring. Is it only there when using wifi/cell tower geolocating?

    There are many problems with having one company accumulate so much information about persons and about groups or people. Without going into detail, you should just ask yourself whether you'd be content with knowing a certain P.I. has a thick folder about you, or, say, with the FBI monitoring your activities. Would you trust their promise not to sell or misuse your accumulated years-worth of data?

    Regarding cable TV - any information system you use is prone to those risks, but few have the computation power and "information wisdom" to use it as Google can, does and might, and few have the breadth of information Google has. In this regard it is key to decentralise your used services - having cable TV from one supplier, cell phone access from another, etc. Email, search queries, browsing history, contacts' data, phone-calls' contents, SMS phrasing, locations and routes, tone of voice, usage patterns and other kinds of data - all in a single device - that's just too centralised for comfort.
     
  8. vikingisson

    vikingisson Well-Known Member

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    It works just like it does on your desktop.

    I have no reason whatsoever to sync with outlook. And yes, kies is that bad.

    Your cell carrier is more likely to leak that info to the boogey man and there's no way to turn that off. Google doesn't need to sneak in the back door.

    Don't buy any cell phone then, again, it is everyone else I'm more worried about than the google. I have to assume that you don't use any social networks because they are way scarier than android.

    um, you miss the point about the transparency (lack of) in how they do it and what they do with it. I'm not as paranoid as you are but I'd never get digital cable services that required an STB to tune.

    One of the beauties of android is the open source and flexibility. You can make it into what you want. Again, don't get any cell phone because your other choices are more closed, secretive, and the privacy is unknown if not in fact doubtful. goog makes plenty of money without getting in bed with Big Brother.
     
  9. karnka

    karnka Well-Known Member

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    About the browser history. That will be sent to / stored by google IF you log into a google account in the browser, as the last poster says, same as on a desktop.

    I'm also not aware of any other little backdoor collections of data other than the wifi location stuff. You can be fairly sure that the OS itself isn't doing anything untoward as it is opensource. If you are sufficiently paranoid remember that the Gmail app, the market and maps are closed source... now you're not going to use the Gmail app, the market app can be used with a single purpose account as we discussed, maps is the outlier... Bear in mind thogh, if it ever came out google were doing anything dodgy in maps they would be crucified.

    I'll also agree before I forget, Kies is the worst piece of software I've ever seen, but you'd be using that for the Wave too.

    On the subject of google knowing so much, I admit I have given it some thought. I use latitude and have location history turned on. That used to just lead to a list of where I'd been. Recently a dash board was put on top of this that makes deductions about the data and summarises them for you. Where you work, where you live, where you visit and when, how much time you spend in certain places, etc. When I saw this I had my moment of doubt about google and how much they know.

    Had a long think and came to an interesting conclusion. As you say, it's the sort of info a PI could collect on anyone. At least it's being done with my knowledge and by a company I (believe I) understand the motives of.
     
  10. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    Desktop browsers don't usually send browsing histories anywhere. They do send referral data to any website that requests it. And no, I don't use "Chrome". Logging to a Google account logs search queries in a more personal way, but it's not something the browser itself does. Anyway, that's a reassuring.

    My cellphone carrier isn't half as wise as to do that.

    I don't use any asocial networks because they don't interest me at all, and I don't have 582 "friends" anyway. And yes, I'm also not interested in those operators knowing everything about me - it's not so different from Google.

    I'm referring exactly to that. When a company has more financial, computational and human resources than most governments, to what extent are you ready to trust it to play by the rules?

    Google IS the big brother :p In case you've missed "Street View" - but that's just the tip of the iceberg. As for the cellphone itself - I've checked those issues with other cellphone as well, but you're missing one very important point - again -
    . Nokia, Samsung, Motorola etc. can't match it. That's a whole different level of basically everything. As for open source - yes, that's a big plus. It's worth noting, though, Android isn't really "open source" in the common community model, and that's a big drawback.

    That's a bizarre twist of things! It was either "syncing the Wave with my desktop" or "syncing the Galaxy using Kies to avoid Google", but if they both use the same software and it's crappy, than all of a sudden the Galaxy is much preferable, just for the chance of having a better sync program somewhere amidst the large number of programs available for Android.

    That's truly just the tip of the iceberg. Such vast computational and financial resources (and of course human resources) as "Google" has allow you to draw much, much more thorough conclusions, and bear in mind even the above is only based on a couple of years' worth of use - what can you conclude based on a decade? A lifetime?

    No, a PI will not have half as much data without ten times the effort - not the mention the funds - and you're giving all this data virtually for free, out of your own good will. As for motives - those are similar for most businesses.
     
  11. vikingisson

    vikingisson Well-Known Member

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    The only safe way to comm
    [​IMG]

    If you think that the cell carrier or anyone else is less prone to violating your privacy than google because they are smaller then you're mistaken. But that's for you to worry about now. enjoy.
     
  12. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    It's not only "whether they'll do that", it's also the extent to which they'll do that. And it's not a matter of "smaller", it's a matter of "not as smart". Google virtually invented internet user profiling (or at least succeeded in it commercially), and unlike my cell phone provider, they develop much of their technology in-house. The extent to which they're able to analyse and utilise information is much, much greater than most unimaginary local comms suppliers. Much greater. That's their power and that's the danger they pose. Also, comms suppliers are under the regulator's watchful eye; Google has no such obligation. Add all of that to what we already know, and you get a picture where you have to be a weary consumer and not just a "happy user".
     
  13. someone else

    someone else Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the info, guys/gals!
     
  14. DroidRick

    DroidRick Well-Known Member

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    >The Wave has unfortunately a high SAR (0.9) compared to the Galaxy-S (0.2), so I'm leaning towards the S.

    'Someone else' I purchased the Galaxy S first and foremost because of its low SAR rating (not quite as low as you have stated).

    Although I am relatively happy with the SGS (it's my first phone) I almost always have it set to 'Flight mode'.

    I seldom need to use the phone and even with its very low SAR rating I can still feel the juices flowing when I turn on the phone.
     

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