Gingerbread: Google Getting Greedier

Posted by on 07/11/2011
Kindle

(Or why Google starts sucking.)

At the beginning of times, when Earth was created, Google was Good. They had the “do no harm” philosophy; you were totally free to use their services or not, and when using them, you weren’t forced to anything else, nor you had to pay with your data or your privacy. But with popularity came The Temptation, the evil snake whispering into the Google Guys’ ears: “hey folks, you’re now popular: you can have a lot of power and money. Wouldn’t you like it?” And the Google Guys thought: “yeah, we DO like it!”

And Google created Android.

A lot of people complain about Facebook (Facebook F, Google G, two contiguous letters in the alphabet; just a funny coincidende). People complain about the evil use that Facebook makes of our data. “They sell it!”, people say. And indeed they sell it, of course. Where else would the money to keep Facebook working come from? Our data. But still, it’s a well known fact; therefore there’s no fooling ourselves.

But what about Google? Why nobody seems to complain about Google? Or, better said: why nobody talks about, or thinks that Google is selling our data same as Facebook does? (And, as far as I can think, Google has probably more of our data than Facebook has.) Why do we still think that Google is Good? I’m asking this because, I’m afraid, the “do no harm” philosophy has been left Far (with F like in Facebook), Far behind.

Google -as I was saying- created Android; but they didn’t create it for the fun of it, nor because they’re Good like God. They created it out of greediness. With Android Froyo (with F, like in Facebook), haven’t you ever noticed how hard it is to do anything if you don’t “sync”with your Gmail account? In effect, a non-synced Android phone is pretty useless. But, once you “sync”, what makes you think you’re not sending, in the background, every piece of information you have in your handset?: your phonebook, your address book, your other accounts passwords… Yes: Google created Android for you to “sync” it, and pass to them your data, so they can sell it!

Sync! What an innocent, harmless-looking word they use! “Oh, you’re just syncing your data to your Gmail account, so you don’t lose it and you can always recover it”. Hah! What a trap! Maybe you don’t lose it, but certainly Google won’t lose it! They’ll make sure they keep it well, to build the largest phonebook database in the world. Do you think they’re not going to sell it? Do you think they’re not already selling it? Of course they are. So, be aware that, whenever you press “Sync”, you’re pressing “Sell”.

And, yet, Android Froyo had a “bug”: you still could use your SIM card for storing your phonebook, keeping your “freedom”, disregarding the “sync to Gmail” option and depriving Google of your precious data. Yes, perhaps you were one of those aware people who thought: “I’d rather keep my numbers private, and not ‘sync’ them to Google”. Now, that was a problem. So, what did the Good Google Guys do? Easy: they released Gingerbread, Getting Greedier and Greedier.

And, now, Gingerbread is the end of all Good: now you can’t use your SIM card for storing contacts at all, except (of course) for importing your contacts from it to your phone, so that you have to “sync” it to Google. With Gingerbread, if you want to store a new contact, you can’t do it to your SIM: you have to store it in the phone and sync it to Google servers if you don’t want to lose it. It’s a perfect trap: once you get into Gingerbread, you’re bound to Google forever: your contacts are in Google servers, you can only retrieve them with another Android (i.e., Google) phone, but you can’t store them in your SIM; so, the next phone you buy will be another Android. No escape! Since Gingerbread on, you’re doomed to keep collecting phone numbers for feeding Greedy Google’s databases, so they can sell more and more while you have less and less privacy.

Of course, there are applications in the market for transfering your contacts to your SIM; but it’s not quite the same; not at all: it’s time consuming, it’s annoying, it’s not efficient, and many (most) people won’t think of it, won’t do it.

Sure: Android is a “free” mobile phone operating system and, same as with Facebook, we have to pay for it somehow. We pay with our data and our privacy. Which perhaps is fair enough, but hey!: at least, let’s stop thinking that Google is Good.

Quite the other way around: Google starts sucking.

(Not to talk about the message: “you may not able to log in to your Gmail account again if you don’t provide us with your mobile phone number” that we get every now and then when checking our mail. What the hell is this supposed to be? Big Brother?)

.

7 Responses to Gingerbread: Google Getting Greedier

  1. znikam

    sure google is sucking, fortunately for them not in quality. the quality, as you know helps a lot in the world of online s***, helps sp much that many things can go unnoticed. personally i don’t have a phone so maybe i don’t understand the gravity of the issue ;)

    • The Pabster

      Hmm… What do you mean with “not in quality”?

      • turo

        my next phone,im leaving android for good personally bc of the SIM issue. it really ticks me off i can’t save my #s on the sim. i prefer to keep my numbers & calendar on me or my pc, not in some remote location.

      • The Pabster

        Same here! Personally, I also find that the Google Guys have gone too far. Saving contacts in SIM is an important option to have. I don’t want any Android any more (and also because of the lack of an off-line navigation application). But when I wrote this in an Android website, they became hysterical! They’re Android extremists, and attend to no reasons. :)

  2. Richard

    But is Apple or Microsoft any better?

    If you want a phone and you want applications for it these days, you are forced into Apple or Android – none of the big boys are writing apps for Blackberry or Symbian any more :( Google have withdrawn their gmail app for Symbian – not just stopped developing it, they stopped it from working.

    It’s all about the bottom line. You don’t get something for nothing for long. If you want a long term solution, you have to pay for it somewhere either through donating your data or paying a monthly fee. You just have to choose the less of all evils.

    So if you are dumping Android, which way are you leaping?

    • The Pabster

      Hmm… I wasn’t judging if other companies were better or worse. I just state that the Google Guys Get Greedy because they’re deceptive… precisely because they try to “fool” people into the belief that Google are the Good Guys, who offer you “free” open software. Exactly as you say, you usually don’t get something for nothing (and, yet, it’s not true, because with Linux in computers you definitely get something for nothing). And when you buy Apple, you know what you pay and what you get, but when you buy Android, people not so easily realize what they pay. A lot has been written about this and we’re not going to invent the hot water here, but I simply consider more “honest” Apple or Microsoft approaches. Google have tried to depict themselves, since the beginning of times, as the good characters of the movie.

      On the other hand, a lot of people seem to believe (and methinks you’re one of them) that there’s no point at all in having a smartphone and NOT using one hundred apps, or at least not use those from the “big boys”, as you humouredly call them. But that’s far from being the case. There are millions of users, including me, who are happy with Wassap, an email client, Skype, a browser, a map application and three or four more apps. And, for this, I don’t need the Android or Apple market with their 5,000 apps.
      Nobody’s writing apps for Symbian, you say? Well, I frankly disagree. I’m on Symbian and I have all the apps I need, and I can store numbers in my SIM card, and I have free offline maps for excellent offline GPS navigation, and I can perfectly use my Gmail account (which I’m dumping, by the way, for the same reasons I neglected Android) without a dedicated Gmail app.
      As to Blackberry, at least six members of my family use it and they have all the functionality and applications they need. And all of them can store numbers in their SIM cards. :)
      Still, don’t take me wrong: there are some things I very much dislike about Nokia. I don’t say they’re perfect. I just loathe the tricky and “snakish” ways of Google.

    • patrick ngugi

      delete gstatic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.