I make it no secret I would consider the world a better place if we were to eradicate Google. Not that I mind its products; some of them are pretty good, some the best. It’s the surveillance and the tracking that comes bundled with those services that I despise, which is why I have already dedicated a post to Gmail alternatives in the field of email.
Now I am here to tell you of another alternative to a core Google service, the calendar and contacts applications. The rational for ditching Google in this department is clear: first, do you really want Google to know exactly where and when you are going to be, through your calendar? And second, what did your friends ever do to you that you’re letting Google gulp down all their contact details?
There are, of course, viable answers to these questions. Services like Google Now can only work if you do let Google know everything there is to know about you. Besides, let’s be clear, Google does a pretty good job managing contacts and calendars; theirs is not a product one would want to leave behind because of its inferiority.
Yet that’s exactly what I did, and I am here to report I am happier for having done that.
The contacts/calendar alternative I went with comes from fruux, a small German company specialising in contacts/calendar solutions. Wow, such an exact fit!
The key difference between fruux and your Google is in the privacy department. Starting with fruux being a German company, its policies state it never uses your data for anything while its security facilities have your data encrypted both when communicating with fruux' servers as well as when at rest with fruux. Do note, however, that fruux uses Amazon servers, which pretty much guarantees the NSA has access to your data, assuming they have the ability to crack its encryption. The main point is that your data is as secure and private as it can be for a cloud product that let’s you enjoy the benefits of a cloud based solution (as opposed to, say, the Apple solution that only works on Apple gadgets).
These benefits include web access at will and for free (through facilities that can feel noticeably cruder to Google’s) as well as up to two devices for free. Note fruux does not have its own apps; you are free to use any standard calendar/contacts application, from Outlook to the Contacts or Calendar apps on your iPhone.
There is not much for me to add here other than state fruux simply works, with both my wife and I being happy converts from the Google jail. We particularly like the ability to throw shared calendars into the mix, which allows us to easily (incredible easily!) run our own private calendars/contacts as well as a mutual calendar for stuff that’s relevant to the two of us.
I took great pleasure in deleting all my contacts and calendar information off Google. And I highly recommend fruux!
Image copyrights: fruux
Image copyrights: fruux