How do you feel about using Google services?

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gc15

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 23, 2012
179
1
Im just curious, I'm wanting to try out google's ecosystem, but I don't know why I get the impression I shouldn't trust them. I guess its just me being over protective with myself, but things like google now telling you information before hand is very convenient; however, it gives me the vibe of Big Brother. Can somebody give me some insight about the whole google experience and make me more comfortable with their platform.
 

RMD68

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2007
283
10
I have the same apprehension with google services. They are big brother, but so are all the other competitors. Google just has 1984 down to a science while also offering good products.

I don't think Google is more insidious than the rest of "big data." Google is just better and bigger than the other data miners.

By the way, I'm actually looking at the Windows Phone instead of the android devices. The android os has a similar look to apple while not having the same seemless experience. As of right now, if I left iOS when the iPhone 6 is released, I would get a Windows phone, but I'm still open to ideas about the android devices.
 
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Lloydbm41

Suspended
Oct 17, 2013
4,019
1,455
Central California
Im just curious, I'm wanting to try out google's ecosystem, but I don't know why I get the impression I shouldn't trust them. I guess its just me being over protective with myself, but things like google now telling you information before hand is very convenient; however, it gives me the vibe of Big Brother. Can somebody give me some insight about the whole google experience and make me more comfortable with their platform.
Apple and Google are the same when it comes to data mining, Google is just better at it.

Think about this: What is iBeacon? What is iAds? What is CarPlay about? Apple wants data just as much as the next guy to make life more convenient for you, but to also make the company money through ads. Lots and lots of ads.
 
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Dolorian

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
1,086
0
In order for you to build some trust in them, the first step, I'd think, is for you to read their Privacy Policy and learn about what data they collect when you use their services and what they do with it.

A common myth is that Google sells your personal data to advertisers, but they do no such thing, nor is someone at Google personally looking at your data. Rather, a computer does it and this is used to both improve their services, something which you end up benefiting from, and also to show you more relevant advertisements, which is how Google turns a profit and what allows them to offer so many great services for free.

Yes, indeed, Google does ends knowing a lot about yourself if you decide to jump into their ecosystem and user their services to their full (in truth, so do Apple and Microsoft). But is that really a problem? Personally I don't think so.

If you are concerned about your data being safe with them, know that it is in their best interests to safeguard it given that the value and usability of their products and services is entirely dependent on them actually having, organizing and making useful said data.

In the end, any company with an ecosystem of integrated hardware, software and services like Apple, Google and Microsoft have will want to obtain your data to better improve their products, it is just how it works. The question is basically about trust and what ecosystem you like better. Not whether any of these companies are actually gathering your data or not.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,371
32,969
Boston
I'm not a google fan, for different unrelated reasons, some of it is born out of privacy. I'm not jazzed up about a company that scans my emails to determine what to advertise to me. I also don't like the web interfaces of their products.

If I can avoid their services I will, and since I was on iOS I did, and now that I'm on WP8, I'm also avoiding it.

If I opt for a Note 4 (when it comes out) or some other android phone, then I'll have to bite the bullet, but so far I've not seen any reason to justify a purchase of an android phone (I was close with the note 3 :) )
 
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gotluck

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2011
5,641
1,033
East Central Florida
As long as they keep not selling the actual information they have on users, I'm okay with it. Just keep selling ads. At this point, after the whole NSA snowden thing, you just have to assume certain people have the ability to read your email. I really doubt Google employees personally sit there and read my email, I'm much more comfortable with a computer scanning it.

The stability of their services, namely gmail, are really second to none. I use Google apps for my business, w/ my own domain.
 
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gotluck

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2011
5,641
1,033
East Central Florida
Apple and Google are the same when it comes to data mining, Google is just better at it.

Think about this: What is iBeacon? What is iAds? What is CarPlay about? Apple wants data just as much as the next guy to make life more convenient for you, but to also make the company money through ads. Lots and lots of ads.
Aye agreed.

If you want to be safe. Host your own email . even then, you probably aren't safe.
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
The best part about Google services is that they're supported across almost everything.

So it doesn't matter if I use an iOS, Android, Windows or whatever device... I can just sign in, and my contacts, calendar, email are sync'd and stay in sync.

You can also view and control a lot of what Google is keeping track of, by going to your Google Dashboard: https://www.google.com/dashboard/
 
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jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
13,284
11,438
US
The best part about Google services is that they're supported across almost everything.

So it doesn't matter if I use an iOS, Android, Windows or whatever device... I can just sign in, and my contacts, calendar, email are sync'd and stay in sync.

You can also view and control a lot of what Google is keeping track of, by going to your Google Dashboard: https://www.google.com/dashboard/
Exactly...and to add..... Chrome allows you to sync bookmarks and open tabs across devices.....
 
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mclld

macrumors 68020
Nov 6, 2012
2,234
1,266
I assume the op doesn't use Facebook since he is so paranoid. I personally don't use fb but I have no interest in it, not because privacy issues
 
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Stuntman06

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2011
961
5
Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
I got a Gmail account when I got my first Android phone. My primary email is hosted my cable provider. I just simply forwarded my email to Gmail as I found the Gmail app and web interface very convenient ot use. I didn't get rid of my original email address as all of my contacts use it.

I use Google as my exclusive search engine. I am also on Google+. I have a YouTube account that got merged with Google+. I use Hangouts for multi-party video calls mostly. I use Maps occasionally, but most often use Waze which Google ended up buying. I have a Google Drive account, but don't use it much except for sharing files with friends.

I'm comfortable using Google services. So far, I haven't noticed anything related to my use of Google services that would concern me. I don't know if there are any other Company's services that could do the same as Google that wouldn't cause a similar concern. Google collects data to make its services more useful on an individual level. Any other company who tries to really personalise their services is going to need information about me as well.
 
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SpoonCody

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2014
286
0
Serious question: why does it bother people so much that Google displays ads catering to our likes/interests?

I don't see the big issue of that, especially if it means we get excellent free services in gmail, youtube, hangouts, google (everyone's google-d something!), etc.

Can someone enlighten?
 
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westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
Serious question: why does it bother people so much that Google displays ads catering to our likes/interests?

I don't see the big issue of that, especially if it means we get excellent free services in gmail, youtube, hangouts, google (everyone's google-d something!), etc.

Can someone enlighten?
For me the ads are not useful, they are meant as a barrage. I go to Grainger and look up a Allen wrench. Now for the next two weeks a 3rd of the websites I go to are going to have a picture of an Allen wrench on the web site. And then if I did purchase that Allen wrench why do I still see ads for the wrench?? To me, it's not effective. This whole online thing is sold as "predictive", yet no one is discovering anything for me.
 
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Savor

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Jun 18, 2010
3,742
916
YouTube, Android, Google Voice Search, Google Now, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Voice, and Chrome works well with me.

Better than that handcuffs and 98-100% CPU hog on Windows known as iTunes.
 
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Saturn1217

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
986
245
I am heavily invested in Google services but I'll admit it makes me uncomfortable sometimes. Especially Google+ and Google now (which I refrain from using as much as possible). But it is still really convenient to use a service that is dedicated to supporting all the platforms I use. Unlike Apple and to some extent Microsoft.
 
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burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
2,047
1,529
I don't have any major privacy concerns with Google Services. However many of the apps on the store I won't use because of very intrusive data collection. Apps that upload my contacts, send text messages to my contacts, use the camera and microphone at anytime without my knowledge, are too much for me. These data collection permissions are not needed for the app to function at all. To Google's credit, the permissions screen on apps is a good thing, vs Apple App Store.
 
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nixiemaiden

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2010
877
0
I don't know the whole thing is a little creepy but Apple is doing the same sort of stuff now.

I remember when I first got my nexus tablet, it very quickly learned where I work and where I live and figured out my work hours. So like 10 minutes before I had to leave for work it would notify me how far away work was. Lunch time it would notify me how far home was, etc. I was very very creeped out by it.

Now my iPhone does the same thing.

My point being that if it is something that Google is doing now, everyone else will be doing it soon enough. People seem to value convenience over privacy now a days.
 
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ozaz

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2011
1,270
285
I'd rather I didn't get targeted ads but I'm not bothered enough about that to stop using Google services.

I think gmail is fantastic, and wouldn't switch away from it if someone paid me.

For various reasons, I have a love/hate relationship with other google services and would certainly be willing to switch away from them.

Google Maps. Love how comprehensive it is and the inclusion of walking and public transport navigation on top of driving. Hate that it does not have proper offline support like Nokia HERE.

Google+ Photos: Love how clever it is / has the potential to be. Hate that it doesn't allow me to privately tag/label my photos, and doesn't support sharing to other social networks.

Google search / chrome: Love the advanced search options (compared to Bing). Hate the lack of granularity for autocomplete/search suggestions. I want to decide the sources for autocomplete & suggestions (IE is much better on this).

Google Now: Love how quickly it allows me to get to certain information. Hate the lack of granularity in what informs Google Now.

Google ignoring Windows Phone & Windows 8 is a bit of a turn off. I'm reluctant to invest in Google Play Music and Video content because this, and also because of lack of offline playback support on iOS (in the case of Movies).

I'm a bit reluctant to use Google Drive because I would want to be confident about getting technical support if I ever have problems with it. I don't know if this would happen with Google. Has anyone had experience with this?
 
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SpoonCody

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2014
286
0
For me the ads are not useful, they are meant as a barrage. I go to Grainger and look up a Allen wrench. Now for the next two weeks a 3rd of the websites I go to are going to have a picture of an Allen wrench on the web site. And then if I did purchase that Allen wrench why do I still see ads for the wrench?? To me, it's not effective. This whole online thing is sold as "predictive", yet no one is discovering anything for me.
So this doesn't really have to do with privacy, just the ads being ineffective.

Given that, would you want GOogle to mine even more data so that the ads are more accurate?

Cause the only other option is no ads but that would mean sacrificing all the free services Google provides (many already mentioned here).
 
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Stuntman06

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2011
961
5
Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
Serious question: why does it bother people so much that Google displays ads catering to our likes/interests?

I don't see the big issue of that, especially if it means we get excellent free services in gmail, youtube, hangouts, google (everyone's google-d something!), etc.

Can someone enlighten?
When people get random ads on items they don't use, they complain that the ads are not useful. When people get ads that specifically target them, they complain that it's creepy.
 
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Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,156
315
I don't know the whole thing is a little creepy but Apple is doing the same sort of stuff now.

I remember when I first got my nexus tablet, it very quickly learned where I work and where I live and figured out my work hours. So like 10 minutes before I had to leave for work it would notify me how far away work was. Lunch time it would notify me how far home was, etc. I was very very creeped out by it.

Now my iPhone does the same thing.
I think the difference is that in the former case we all believe that Google knows where you are. In the latter case, it is *your* phone that knows where you are. I think that is an important distinction.

A.
 
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sixrom

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2013
709
1
Big Data, the Insurance Industry and the¡£overnment already have all of us in their sights. They've been taking and compiling our data for years. Google has nothing on them. No need to let ones imagination run wild.
 
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gotluck

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2011
5,641
1,033
East Central Florida
I think the difference is that in the former case we all believe that Google knows where you are. In the latter case, it is *your* phone that knows where you are. I think that is an important distinction.

A.
You really dont think apple gets the information from the phone?
 
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