Chris J Powell

2 Days Without Google

I have made the leap.  Yes that is right. 2 Full days without using a single Google Service for anything.  The idea of being able to be Google Free for 2 weeks seemed like a good idea until it came time to make the leap.  On the Chromebook and Desktop it was not so much a  problem as I was able to leap into fully integrated Linux Operating Systems and not have to worry about much of anything at all…but the experience of being on my Nexus 4 without all the trappings of Android…well that is another story completely.


The move to another OS on my phone is not the first time that I have made the transition.  It was really quite easy, I just simply followed the steps listed over at the Ubuntu Touch Wiki and voila, I was operating inside the world of Linux on my Smartphone without much of a problem…at first.

It is important to note that this is not the first time that I made the leap to the Ubuntu Touch platform on this phone and the reality is, I have survived far longer than I did the first time (I only lasted 24 hours before reverting back to Android).  The first time was a very early release of the phone OS and to be honest…it was barely usable but this latest iteration was something light years ahead of the first install last July.

I was a little sad that there is still not a native Email App but with that being the only real hurdle that I saw before undertaking the painfully simple (yet slightly scary) install process I figured what the heck…I can do this right!  I have a Geek Badge, where my Love For Linux Proudly…why shouldn’t I just do this?


Well there are a couple of things that anyone thinking about making a leap like this should understand…there are not many apps out there for Ubuntu Touch.  It is really not a full featured phone once you make the leap and the things that you may be used to…are done quite differently…but I will say this…it works and that is all a person can ask for!

Things that surprised me this go around was how easy it had become to add Networks and import Contacts….I was able to pull down all my old contacts (yes I did have to access Google for this…but that was going to be a known issue that I would have to live with…or else I would have had to pull copy over the 400+ contacts manually – meaning writing them out and the inputting each one individually).  The Facebook App for Ubuntu is nice…not as polished as with Android but nice.  The camera, I dare say is as good or better than what I was used to with Android so I was happy to see they made the investment in getting that right.


Texting…well the keyboard left something to be desired and I did have more than one hiccup with actually having to spell out the words correctly…as much as I hate autocorrect…the autocomplete feature is really, really nice on Android and does not exist on Ubuntu.

Making calls…well it is a phone right…and from what I could tell (other than a small annoyance of having to figure out what number I am actually supposed to dial to access my carrier’s Voice Mail) was smooth as silk and super clear).

What I feared would be the biggest challenge has turned out to be a fun experience as I move forward.

Now I just have to figure out the best way to move my music over to the phone so that I can listen to tunes on my way to work…wish me luck!





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