7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy

Kannon Yamada 08-03-2017

If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”


This quote certainly rings true when it comes to Android apps. Those apps collect data — which Google monetizes.

Some of Google’s apps come pre-installed. Others you must install. Either way, these services drain your battery down while siphoning your data onto Google’s servers. Fortunately, users can limit how much data they share with Google (and how much battery drain they incur) by uninstalling or disabling some apps and reconfiguring others.

Can You Disable Every Google Service?

Google makes its money from data. And right now, its biggest money-making scheme revolves around the artificial intelligence technique known as machine learning 4 Machine Learning Algorithms That Shape Your Life You may not realize it but machine learning is already all around you, and it can exert a surprising degree of influence over your life. Don't believe me? You might be surprised. Read More . Machine learning requires analyzing a lot of data. Specifically, it requires a lot of your data. Without sharing personal information, you interfere with Google’s plans for the future. And they don’t like that.

Google makes it impossible to disable all of their services, unless you’re willing to root your phone What Is Rooting? What Are Custom ROMs? Learn Android Lingo Ever had a question about your Android device, but the answer had a bunch of words in it that you didn't understand? Let us break down the confusing Android lingo for you. Read More and install a custom ROM How to Find and Install a Custom ROM for Your Android Device Android is super customizable, but to fully take advantage of that, you need to flash a custom ROM. Here's how to do that. Read More . However, that path comes with its own bugbears and pitfalls — do so at your own risk.

You can, however, minimize battery drain and privacy concerns caused by Google’s most intrusive services. Let’s take a look at how you can limit the data you share with individual Google apps and services.


Note that Android versions older than Android 5.0 Lollipop may not possess the same software as listed in this article, and things might look slightly different depending on your phone’s manufacturer Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Hardware makers like to take Android and morph it into something that is entirely their own, but is this a good or a bad thing? Take a look and compare these different Android skins. Read More .

1. Google Play Services (and the Google Play Store)

Many people don’t even realize that their phone runs Google Play services until it needs an update. It’s essentially an app that works entirely in the background, providing the connection to Google that so many other apps need to properly function.

Can Play Services Be Uninstalled?

It can’t be uninstalled unless you possess root access (why doesn’t Android come rooted? Why Doesn't Android Come Rooted? Rooting your Android phone is a rite of passage. It unlocks the functionality that separates Android from iOS and opens a realm of almost infinite customization. Replacing the entire operating system is possible on a... Read More ). If uninstalled, you can’t install new apps without third party stores like F-Droid (which can actually replace Google Want to Rid Yourself of the Android Play Store? Kiss Google Goodbye and Try F-Droid Did you know that Android allows the installation of app stores other than the Play Store? You might already use apps from the Amazon Appstore and GetJar—but you probably never heard that a completely free,... Read More ) or the Amazon Appstore. While third party stores work great — particularly the open-source F-Droid — their app selection falls way short of Google’s.

If you want to disable Play services, you must go to Settings > Apps and tap on Google Play services. Then choose Disable from the top of the screen. Unfortunately, not all phones can disable Play services.


7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google play services 01

Can I Limit Play Services?

It’s nearly impossible to use Google Play services and completely avoid sharing personal data. On top of that, there are no configuration settings within Play services that limit data sharing. Each one of Google’s apps must be configured in order to reduce what data you share.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy android device restriction google play store

While users can turn off many of Play services’ permissions (what’s an Android permission? The Seven Deadly Android Permissions: How to Avoid the Sin of Slothful Preparedness Everyone with an Android device should know that your private information isn’t treated as private. For example, making an app purchase may expose personal contact information, including one’s name, physical address and email address, to... Read More ), that would negatively impact how your apps perform. In fact, many apps just won’t function after tampering with Play services.


How Do I Reduce Play Services’ Battery Drain?

Out of all of Google’s software, Play services beats on your battery the most. But it’s a two-edged sword. It also gives access to lots of Google’s software and the largest app store on the planet. And while you cannot completely avoid some of the data collected by Google, you can reduce its battery drain.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google auto datas sync

Users can disable account syncing in order to limit power draw — but that option forces users to use manual syncing. Turning on manual syncing requires the following:

Go to Settings > Accounts. From the Accounts menu, tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner of the screen. Then uncheck the box for Auto-sync data. From now on, your device will require manually syncing each application.


2. Google Now or the Google App

The Google App is basically Google Search for your phone, though Google has used it to do all sorts of other tasks too The Master List of "OK, Google" Commands Google Now has tons of useful commands, but how do you keep track of them all? Here's a master list, organized by category, so you can control Google how you like. Read More . Because of that, it really knows a lot about you.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy picture google app launcher 1

Can the Google App Be Uninstalled?

On most devices, it cannot be uninstalled without root. However, it can be disabled. To disable the Google App, navigate to Settings Apps, and choose Google App. Then choose Disable.

Can I Limit How Much Data I Share?

You can limit the data shared by the Google App by launching the app. After launching it, choose the configuration menu (marked by the three horizontal lines at the top left of the screen). Then choose Settings > Accounts & Privacy.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google app instructions

From Accounts & Privacy, you can inspect data tracked by Google. This includes the My Activity option, where you’ll find virtually all of your online activity. Fortunately, you can delete a big chunk of this data.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google my activity accounts privacy

How Do I Reduce Battery Drain?

If you’re not familiar with the technology, Google Now (revamped as Google Assistant in some newer versions of Android) is the service that creepily pops up information that you didn’t know you needed. Part of its stalker-like ability to keep tabs on its users derives from the huge amount of information Google collects from its customers.

However, aside from the obvious privacy concerns that Google Now presents us (a single service that aggregates everything a massive corporation collected from its users), Google Now can cause battery drain.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google assistant disable

To turn off Google Now, launch the app and then press the menu button, denoted by three horizontal lines. After that, go to Settings and then under the Google Now (or Google Assistant) heading, select Settings. Then flip the slider off.

3. Google Maps

Google Maps tracks its users’ location histories even when they aren’t using the Google Maps application. If you don’t want that to happen, there are some steps you can take.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google maps launcher

Can It Be Uninstalled?

Most Android devices cannot uninstall Google Maps without root. However, you can disable it by navigating to Settings > Apps and selecting Google Maps. Then choose Disable.

Can I Limit How Much Data I Share?

To turn off Location histories, open the Google Maps app and tap on the menu icon (three horizontal bars) in the upper-left side of the interface. Then select Settings. From the Settings menu, choose Google location settings.

Then, under Location services, choose Google Location History. Turn it off by tapping on the slider on the top-right side of the interface. From now on, Google will no longer track your movements.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy disable location history google maps

How Do I Reduce Google Maps’ Battery Drain?

Google Maps liberally uses GPS, for good reason, although it causes tremendous battery drain — particularly if you just open the app to look around.  To enable battery-saving mode for Google Maps, perform the following actions:

Settings > Location > Mode. Then select Battery saving.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy enable battery saving mode google maps location

The disadvantage of Battery saving mode is its diminished accuracy compared to GPS location tracking. However, the improvement to battery life is noticeable.

4. Google Calendar

If Google Maps tracking you wasn’t creepy enough, Google Calendar knows exactly what you’re doing and when.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google calendar launcher

Can Google Calendar Be Uninstalled?

Most users can’t uninstall Google Calendar without root. However, you can disable it by going to Settings > Apps > Google Calendar and choosing Disable.

Can I Limit How Much Data It Shares?

You can limit the permissions requested by Google Calendar. Unfortunately, most of the permissions deal with the core functionality of Calendar. Once turned off, the app won’t function as it normally behaves. I’m not aware of any other privacy feature, such as usage statistics, that users can disable.

To access Google Calendar’s permissions, navigate to Settings > Apps > Google Calendar and select Permissions. From within this menu, you can safely disable Phone and Location without causing severe disruptions to the service. However, Contacts and Calendar permissions are integral to Calendar’s functionality.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy disable google calendar permissions

How Do I Reduce Google Calendar’s Battery Drain?

You can force Google Calendar to use manual syncing. To turn manual syncing on, navigate to Settings > Accounts. From the Accounts menu, choose Google, and tap on the account that you want to modify. Enable manual syncing by tapping on the slider to the right of Calendar.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy disable google calendar syncing 1

Once manual syncing is turned on, however, you won’t be able to receive notifications if you haven’t synced recently. It’s also worth noting that Calendar does not contribute significantly to battery drain, so enabling manual syncing won’t give you much additional screen time.

5. Google Photos

If you take a photos regularly, your Google Photos library might contain your face as well as the faces of your friends and family.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google photo app launcher

Can Google Photos Be Uninstalled?

No, but it can be disabled by going to Settings > Apps > Photos and choosing Disable.

Can I Limit How Much Data It Shares?

If you’ve enabled photo uploading, Google has already indexed (analyzed and possibly identified) everyone’s face that has shown up in your pictures — including strangers who blundered into a photograph.

You can turn off facial recognition by opening the Google Photo app and tapping on the menu icon (three horizontal bars). Then choose Settings. From within the Settings menu, tap on the slider for Face grouping.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy turn off facial recognition google photos

However, Google’s data retention policies regarding your already uploaded photos remain ambiguous. You could delete them all, but Google might still retain your information within their databases.

How Do I Reduce Google Photos’ Battery Drain?

You can configure the photo app to only upload pictures while plugged into a power source. You can also prevent it from uploading video and photos while over a cellular connection. Preventing photo uploads while on battery power or cellular data can provide serious battery improvement for shutterbugs.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy turn off auto sync google photos2

To turn off uploading over battery power, launch the Photos app and tap on the menu icon (three horizontal bars). Then choose Settings > Back up & sync and scroll down. Tap on the slider for While charging only, Videos, and Photos (which are under the header Cellular data back up).

6. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts may be less-consuming leaning now that Allo and Duo Google's Most Interesting: Apps, Projects, and Services You Must Know About Google always has dozens of projects going at any given time and it can be hard to keep track of them all. Here are the most interesting ones that you should be aware of. Read More are here, but many people still rely on it for making calls or using Google Voice Google Voice Gets an Update and Is More Useful Than Ever Google Voice, long thought abandoned, was just revived by Google. Here's what's up with Voice and what you can expect to see in the revamped apps. Read More .

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google hangouts launcher

Can Hangouts Be Uninstalled?

Google Hangouts can’t be uninstalled on most phones — unless you have root privileges. However, it can be disabled by opening Settings > Apps > Google Hangouts and tapping on Disable.

Can I Limit How Much Data It Shares?

You can turn off the usage statistics collected by Google by opening the Hangouts app and tapping on the three horizontal bars and choosing Settings.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google hangouts privacy

From within the Settings menu, tap on the slider icon on Improve Hangouts.

How Do I Reduce Hangouts’ Battery Drain?

There aren’t many ways to reduce Hangouts’ battery drain, other than to stop using the app.

Some great alternatives to Hangouts include Signal and Telegram. For desktop users, the amazing (and open source) Pidgin can run Hangouts Use Skype, Hangouts, and More With These Pidgin Extensions Pidgin lets you use several messaging services in a single application. But it's not perfect, which means you need to do a little bit of work to access the most recent messaging services. Read More (and Skype) in a single program — without running Hangouts in the background.

7. Google Chrome

As the default web browser on most Android devices, Chrome knows all the websites you visit.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy google chrome mobile launcher

Can Chrome Be Uninstalled?

On most devices, you can’t uninstall Google Chrome without root access. However, you can disable the app by navigating to Settings > Apps > Chrome and choosing Disable.

Can I Limit How Much Data It Collects?

Chrome collects a number of usage statistics. You can opt out of this program by opening the Chrome app, tapping on the three vertical dots at the top-right of the screen, and selecting Settings. From the Settings menu, choose Privacy. Then turn off Usage and crash reports.

7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life and Privacy turn off privacy options google chrome

You may also want to turn on the “Do Not Track” option. However, you might notice the quotation marks surrounding the option. That’s because sites only voluntarily cease user tracking if this option is turned on. Many sites track users regardless of whether or not the box is checked.

How Do I Reduce Chrome’s Battery Drain?

Whenever you use Chrome, it drains battery. And while Chrome does offer a Battery Saver mode, it sends the contents of images to Google’s servers. The best option, in my opinion, is to just use a different browser. A great alternative is Firefox for mobile. Firefox offers most of the features of Chrome, but without the privacy violations.

Software Suggestions

For root and non-root users, I suggest using a combination of Greenify and AFWall+ firewall. For those interested in improving their Android device’s battery life, you might want to check out this article on improving Android’s battery life 10 Proven and Tested Tips to Extend Battery Life on Android Suffering from poor battery life on Android? Follow these tips to get more juice out of your Android device's battery. Read More . Out of all the possible tweaks, enabling Aggressive Doze probably provides the greatest improvement to battery life.

How Do You Preserve Your Privacy and Battery Life?

You might notice a common thread: Google doesn’t like users uninstalling their apps. It definitely doesn’t want you to give its apps fewer permissions. However, for those of us who value privacy and battery life, you may want to evaluate at least a few of the apps in Google’s software arsenal.

Do you think that companies consider privacy a luxury good Privacy Is Now a Luxury Good: Here's Why That's Bad for All of Us Tech companies now know so much about us that privacy is becoming expensive. Here's why chipping away online privacy is bad. Read More ? Check out our article on that topic next.

Image Credit: Neirfy via

Originally written by Kannon Yamada on April 16th, 2013.

Related topics: Battery Life, Google, Online Privacy.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Jason
    August 21, 2019 at 12:16 pm


    "Google makes its money from data...Specifically, it requires a lot of your interfere with Google’s plans for the future. And they don’t like that."

    directly above:

    "We notice you're using an adblocker."

  2. Matthew Durbin
    September 20, 2018 at 4:39 am

    I turned off my microphone permissions on all Google device and Google Assistant sent me an email. It said...
    "I miss you like peanut butter misses jelly."...

    Im not joking.

  3. Stewart Daniels
    April 3, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I always rooted my devices. There is a big difference between the Android Experience and the Google Experience.

    Out of the box. I delete all Google apps except Maps, Play Store, and Google Play Services. I switched DNS servers (Cellular search results do not go to Google), I remove all analytics/ advertising/ spying services from the Google Play Services app and every app installed, and top it off with a system based (Root) firewall that let's nothing in or out without permission. Semblance of privacy restored.

    Armed with a device that no longer doubles as a personal Google spy, I enjoy the full Android Experience. A world where your battery never dies unexplainably overnight, and past searches/locations remain in the past.

    • Kannon Yamada
      April 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      Nice! I have a phone that doesn't have any Google software on it, as well. I use F-Droid instead of the Play Store. Overall, it has great idle battery life.

  4. K
    March 9, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Unfortunately, most google apps give a warning when you try to disable them. I don't know which will actually cause problems if I disable them anyway, but having made that mistake once and then having to figure out why a totally-unrelated app stopped working because I disabled a Google app I never use...

    Now, if only I could figure out why my tablet shows Google Hangouts has been using data when I have never in my life so much as opened the app...

  5. John F.
    October 12, 2017 at 4:13 am

    I have Google Maps (as well as OsmAnd+ and am running my rooted S3 on 4.4.4 with no Play and no Play Services. To replace it, I use microG Services Core. There is one app that I cannot use: 7-Eleven, which says it needs Google Play Services. There are several others that "need" Google Play Services (Whataburger and Google Maps, for example), but they run using microG.

  6. Timy
    June 10, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Very useful tips even years old article..thanks for the author

  7. Ish
    March 14, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    It's good info to know if a user is concerned about battery life, but I find the article to be poorly worded. It comes off with pushing a little too much fear-mongering for the paranoid.

    • Berni
      March 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      This article is great if you don't want to use your phone for anything but calls and text. At that point you might as well get a flip phone or if Google scares you that much buy that Amazon Fire phone *sarcasm*. But seriously if you have to do all this for privacy and battery drain, specifically to get around just Google, then just stop using Android and probably the internet altogether.

      • Kannon Y
        April 1, 2017 at 10:12 pm

        You make a good point. We all need to accept at least some compromises when it comes to privacy. But I would argue that some of Google's free services take a little too much of our privacy.

        The Amazon Fire Phone's battery life isn't that great (proud owner of one), by the way. I imagine that Amazon collects just as much data on its users as Google does from Android users.

        • Elizabeth
          October 20, 2018 at 1:44 pm

          Uh, we don't "need" to accept compromises to privacy. We can choose to accept compromises but we need to admit that we are making a choice not being forced into it.

      • Gio
        March 9, 2020 at 3:49 pm

        HI. I'm sorry but you seem to be are unaware that there's not only Google out there. It's not Google or nothing.

        I have nothing from Goggle on my phone and still enjoy everything from cloud services, to maps, to video/voice chats etc. etc.

        If you don't mind having your privacy abused and loads of bloatware, slower phone, battery drainage etc., it's up to you....but like Elizabeth mentioned, it's a choice not an obligation.

  8. Homofetus
    March 9, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Also disabling vibration for notifications

    • Kannon Y
      April 1, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks!

  9. Josh
    July 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you so much! My Galaxy S4 has been giving me fits with power drain. Of course I had this problem before my Razr Maxx, so it would make sense that I'm having it since I've sold it and moved on. It was between Google Services, the screen kicking on because the buttons were being pressed in the case and my cell services struggling to search for a signal in my inner building office. I think I should have a phone that will last the day now!

    It's too bad that you can't schedule sync for these items to have access to the service but also some control on how much they're used. Maybe Google will get a clue on that one at some point?

    • Kannon Y
      July 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Actually, you can schedule sync using a more intelligent data access program. More or less, for your particular issue, it's possible to automate your apps access to data based upon whether or not you're getting good cellular service. When it's poor, or you don't need it, data is turned off.

      [Broken Link Removed]

      In truth, the worst Google Service is Google Maps and sometimes Google Now. I've had serious problems with both, but that might be because I also get poor cellular reception in my area.

      Thanks for the comment Josh!

  10. Akshay Hallur
    June 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    In most of these cases the faulty SIM card is the real killer of battery SIM Card causing high battery drain (Solution) this will help you

    • Kannon Yamada
      June 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Akshay, you are totally right. I went ahead and refit my SIM card and many of my battery issues entirely went away.

      I suspect that Google Maps is otherwise the only service that truly drains the battery... Perhaps some of these issues are magnified by use of a faulty SIM card.

  11. Mark LaFlamme
    May 14, 2013 at 6:03 am

    One thing you didn't discuss, unless I missed it, is freezing offending apps, which renders them powerless without actually wiping them off your phone. I use either Titanium Backup or Link2SD to freeze maps I want to keep on ice until I need them. Hell, it occurred to me that I don't use Maps all that often, so I froze the sucker. Tons of battery savings. If I need it for something, it's as easy as defrosting, which takes about three seconds. I love the freezing option.

    • Kannon Yamada
      May 14, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks for sharing! Freezing apps with TB is definitely a great option, although I have caused bootloops before doing so. Also, I didn't know Link2SD could freeze apps, though, I'll have to try it out something.

      Chris wrote a great article about how-to freeze apps natively. Although that's available only on ICS and better.

  12. Tom Six
    April 22, 2013 at 2:31 am

    I have all of these on...great read, great to know.

  13. Konrad Mowrer
    April 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    One more reason to get an iPhone.

    • Kannon Yamada
      April 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      From what I can tell, Windows Phones and Symbian tend to have fewer problems with security and background processes. iOS is an improvement over unrooted, unmodified Android handsets, but many studies show similar security issues.

  14. Jon Procter
    April 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Would be nice if you did one for Windows Phone :)

  15. Elaine Czarnecki
    April 18, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Thnks for all of your great(not to mention free) info!

  16. Taha Ben Ali
    April 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Thank you I am interested in Android

  17. rickarani
    April 18, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Good article. Disabling sync in your phone can prevent google from downlaoding background data without your knowledge hence hogging your data and battery.

  18. Bala Murugan.R vicky
    April 17, 2013 at 3:05 am

    yeah.. just because we have Google's os they shouldn't suffocate us with this many apps, that to mostly every thing is pre-installed and we can't delete them. Especially sync with your mail and social networks are fine but that too sometimes would be pain in ass if you keep hearing your notification tone non-stopping. best have your sync off.. that saves the battery big time. And one more info those battery saver apps, FYI it takes some of your batt and reduces it. its a waste for rooted phones atleast.

    • Kannon Yamada
      April 21, 2013 at 12:06 am

      Good tips!

      With root you can install Greenify - generally speaking, it's highly effective at reducing your phone's power consumption. It's not an app-killer, which does have the negative impacts that you described, but rather it's an app-suspender. The difference, I'm told, is that while app-killers do stop apps from running, these apps eventually restart.

      A suspender will allow the program to run in the background, but it's in a suspended state, meaning it doesn't actively draw on your phone's resources, such as data or Wi-Fi. I've used it and it works well, although if you don't install junk apps, you probably don't need this program.

  19. Gideon Waxfarb
    April 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I look at tracking and privacy like this... if they're tracking me, it's because they want to advertise to me. And currently, with an ad-blocker installed on a rooted Nexus, I see 0 ads, so track away for all I care :) I don't really do anything on my phone that I would be uncomfortable seeing in tomorrow morning's headlines, so I don't see what the big deal is. People act like their grocery lists and baby photos on Facebook is super secret data that billion dollar corporations actually care about.

    • Kannon Yamada
      April 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      That makes perfect sense for those concerned about what Google is doing with our info: probably trying to target us with ads. And I absolutely agree with you on that point.

      Though, as mentioned in the article, the degree of integration between Google's services and your phone make for uncomfortable situations: Like where you accidentally "log into" a staff meeting while using the bathroom. Yes, I actually did this. Fortunately, the person still in the meeting was very understanding.

      Another important issue is battery drain - because Google's services are constantly collecting metrics on you, it's also running your battery down. There's a great deal of disagreement over the extent to which your battery is impacted, but in my experience, it causes a substantial amount.

      Currently, my phone drains at about 2-3% a day while idle. With Google services, it drained as much as 50% while idle, while I slept. Horrible.

  20. williamworlde
    April 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Maybe it's because I'm in IT. Maybe it's because IT, and my very own nature, made me super suspicious (the things we do to our users!). Maybe it's because Google is the organization out of all those I deal with that I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TRUST. Maybe it's any one of those things or all of them, the first thing I did upon switching to Android (from iP) last November after rooting my GNex was put avast! on and firewall the daylights out of the device.

    This doesn't mean it's debilitated in any way. It is fully functional but I'm always keeping my eyes and ears open for new security breaches and fixes/workarounds. (With a firewall you can stop apps talking to the web when they have absolutely no need to, which implies better privacy and battery life.)

    I performed all the pointers you covered in your article intuitively, but the majority of folks, including IT ones, don't.
    Maybe you should have a permanent link on your homepage saying something like, "I have a new Android smartphone; MUST-DO next steps." Google's free operating system is way too expensive if users ignore properly securing it from their ever-prying/spying eyes!

    I pride myself on trying my best to be one of their absolutely WORST customers!

    • CarlosO
      April 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      What's great about what you did is that you can actually say for a fact if google apps have been reporting any sensitive information you wouldnt want to... have they?

      • Kannon Yamada
        April 20, 2013 at 11:38 pm

        Aside from being able to log in from a toilet, no, I can't say with certainty that Google is using your information insecurely - but they have in the past. The worst thing that happened was the Carrier IQ scandal.

        Google, through cellular carriers, made available a logging software that recorded your keystrokes (passwords and logins) and then secretly mailed this information back to a third party - the company in question, Carrier IQ, did not disclose how this information was stored. So even if they didn't have malicious purposes, they were likely not encrypting this data - any security lapses on their part could result in all manner of passwords and logins getting into the hands of hackers.

        And, in fact, they WERE handing people's data over to the FBI!

        Should we trust Android? Probably not.

  21. Priyal Soni
    April 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Nice thanks for sharing

  22. dragonmouth
    April 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    The more MUO articles I read about smart phones and tablets, The more I am convinced that I do not need/want one. It's like revisiting the bloatware-filled HP or Compaq PCs on steroids.

  23. John
    April 16, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I can happily say i dumped Google last year and have never been happier. I believe in keeping my privacy and data mine not shady Googles.

  24. Nevzat A
    April 16, 2013 at 6:12 am

    I don't turn-off sync for gmail and talk but for others, it's necessary. In fact, if you use Facebook, Twitter etc, you should do the same and set the sync off to save battery and RAM. Good article, thanks.

  25. Madan Kumar PC
    April 16, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Thanks for the article. Fortunately, i am also in the safe zone as of yet.

  26. Chris Marcoe
    April 16, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I can happily say I do NOT have any of these on my phone slowing me down. And speeding up the battery discharge.

    this si a great article. thank you.