There are many reasons you might want to stop using Google apps. Maybe you're concerned about online privacy. Maybe you don't like the idea of one conglomerate having so much power. Or maybe you just like the idea of trying something new. Fortunately, it's possible to find competing alternatives to pretty much every service and application that Google offers - and most of them are every bit as good. Here are some of our favourites.
Below, you’ll find picks from major competitors like Mozilla and Microsoft, as well the best open-source options. We’ve also included some Apple apps and services for completion’s sake, but some are iOS or macOS only and we’ve made note of that where necessary.
Since many Apple users still use Google’s services, we thought it was worth highlighting what was available on their devices as well.
It’s trite to remind people of Google’s notorious track record for killing off its apps and services, but it’s true. Like any company, Google is continually trying out new ideas and testing new technology. Sometimes it works out, but other times it doesn’t, and a new Google product seems to get its own doomsday countdown every few months.
If you’ve forgotten which Google apps and services are being shut down, a group of open-source digital historians has your back.
We also have a guide on how to completely quit Google that covers everything from alternative apps and services, to ridding Google from hardware and operating systems. But since the goal of that piece is a complete separation from Google, we made this quick list of common alternatives to Google’s popular first-party apps for reference.
You’ll find even more choices in our roundup of the best Gmail alternatives.
Samsung Messages (Samsung devices only)
Apple Messages (iOS and macOS)
There is no true YouTube replacement due to the nature of the platform and the unique content hosted on it, but there are a few respectable alternatives and ways to use YouTube without having to give Google tons of data, all of which we detail in our How To Quit Google guide.
Google’s upcoming game streaming platform, Stadia, isn’t available just yet, but it’ll be here soon. We cover alternative marketplaces for mobile games in the next section, but when it comes to specifically streaming console and PC games, here are your current options:
Steam Link (Stream your Steam games from your PC to another device over Wi-Fi),
Xbox/Windows 10 Game Streaming (allows you to stream gameplay from your Xbox and Windows 10 games to other devices in your home)
Microsoft is also rumoured to be planning an announcement its own dedicated streaming platform to rival Stadia in the near future.
Google Play Store
While the Google Play Store is itself one platform, there are sub-apps tied to specific types of media, so we’ll cover each one separately:
Music (including Google Play Music and YouTube Music)
Movies and TV