Sorry for the long break in posts, life happens. :)
My migration away from Google for most things is pretty much complete at this point. I’ll go through each service and explain my replacement.
I had already begun migration away from Gmail some time ago, having first tried Protonmail and then finally settling on Fastmail with my own domain. Using my own domain is key to this transition for a few reasons, but the largest one by far is ease of service switching. If for some reason I am no longer satisfied with Fastmail as an email provider, I can migrate to another service and not have to worry about giving out yet another new email address. This is a definite plus, for sure, as it was quite a hassle to get my contacts used to using my new email address. The only items remaining on Gmail were some of my billing portals and some mailing lists. The mailing lists weren’t a huge concern, privacy-wise, but the payment confirmations being received from the online payment portals were. Google scans your Gmail account, and I had come to find out that they keep track of things you purchase and keep an history of it. Don’t believe me? If you’re currently logged into your Google account and you use Gmail, click this link and you’ll see what purchases, if any, they’re tracking. Gmail has become my throwaway spam account, much like my ancient Hotmail account that I recently closed out.
Google Calendar is widely used, of course, but again I wanted to try to get away from Google. Right now I’m using iCloud calendar since it integrates well with my iPhone, iPad and it works pretty well on Windows via the calendar app. I don’t really share my personal calendar with anyone, and I can still subscribe to other calendars should I need to, so it works and gets the job done.
I was not particularly pleased with the time it took to get security updates out, nor was I pleased with the lack of updates. I know, this is more a handset manufacturer issue, however, it’s still an issue for me. I’ve become less and less about “oh, look at how customizable it is!” and more about “I need this to work, work well and be secure”. My iPhone does that, and before you all complain about moving from one walled garden to another, that really doesn’t affect me that much. iOS works, it’s up-to-date, and Carplay works so much better in my car than Android Auto did. For the record, no, I’m not buying a new iPhone every year, I’m over the needing the newest tech immediately. My current iPhone should last me quite a number of years, and only when it dies or when it’s no longer supported is when it will get replaced.