Why I’ve switched back to Nokia’s ghetto smartphone OS (for now).

Short post today, but one that I hope makes an important point.

You could blame my recent one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn — from the most popular smartphone OS of the day to one less so — on my shameless love affair with the folks who do word of mouth marketing for Nokia. But you’d be wrong.

The real reason why I no longer use Android on a day-to-day basis is right there in the screen grab above, the Terms of Service for Google’s native search app for S60.

If I don’t want Google to log my location, the sound of my own voice and who knows what else I simply click the button under ‘reject’. The only negligible effect is that  I can no longer search the Internet from my E73‘s homescreen. That’s it.

Try doing anything useful on a stock Android device without being logged in to a Google account and see how far you get. I won’t argue for a second that Android isn’t a powerful platform capable of wondrous things; I’m just saying that I value my privacy more.

Oh, and that whole “what’s the worry if I’ve nothing to hide” argument? To me that’s an excuse for people who are lazy or have lost all hope of maintaining any kind of control over their personal information online.

I’m not telling you to switch to S60 — or any specific mobile OS for that matter — just letting you know that Google doesn’t have to own your ass if you don’t want them to.


  1. Have you ever considered switching to HP/Palm WebOS?
    Just asking out of pure curiosity, since it seems to be a well polished OS, only lacking a user base

  2. Yep…
    So back to just choosing between iOS, WP7 and Android…
    Was really considering to switch to WebOS, but with those news and the fact that I actually like Android (been playing with an old HTC Magic for the last 10 days) it looks like I’ll have no choice but Android (or staying with Symbian, but somehow I can’t push myself to do that. Feeling too betrayed by Nokia for giving it up)

  3. Depending on the phone you have, you could install CyanogenMod without the Google Apps (Google bits of Android) and you will be safe enough. You will have no Android Market, but you can always install the Amazon AppStore, or download apps straight from the browser. Just food for thought.

  4. Just yesterday Andrew has been posting about Replicant (and F-Droid) as a google free alternative.

    The HTC Magic I’m currently using is running Cyanogen. It is nice and all. But I still have this nagging in the back of my head “This is google. They are in there” But that may just be my usual paranoia when it comes to google and similar companies

    Currently my hopes are back to meego being picked up (after all, Acer just released a netbook with it, so maybe we can get more phones with it)

  5. If you avoid installing the “Google-bits” there’s really no Google in CyanogenMod. If you are still skeptic you can download the source (http://goo.gl/RMo3g) to your computer, and maybe even build it yourself from scratch.

  6. I recently flashed the leaked version of Symbian Belle onto my N8. It. Is. Impressive. Smooth, fluid, efficient, no lags, and it actually freed up a ton of RAM. It’s like a new phone, the difference is unbelievable. Looking forward to the final release. No version available for anything other then the N8 currently. There is still some life left in Symbian. (how much remains to be seen)

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