If you have anything to do with the internet, I’m sure you are aware of the ubiquity and omnipresence of Google. Google’s everywhere. It just dominates the internet (not an exaggeration!). Just sit and think about the products or applications that you rely on everyday. You’ll find at least one product (if not several) which is directly or indirectly associated with the Google brand.
Google has revolutionized the way we interact on the net and it’s a great company, no doubt. However, as a hedge against putting all of my data in one place, I decided to list some apps which help to reduce your heavy dependency on Google products. I say reduce and not remove or eliminate because it is tough to find exact matches on most applications. However, they are worth being familiar with so that you can avoid a crisis situation when you cannot access a Google product for some reason.
Yahoo or Ask.com
I know you love Google search. But do you know that there are things which Yahoo search can do but Google cannot? Also, recently I came across some more useful features of Yahoo search. Ask.com is another nice search engine with some nice features.
Thunderbird or Outlook
I don’t think any other web based email compares with Gmail. If you are using something else, then immediately set up a POP3 or IMAP account and use it with the desktop clients like Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird.
If you haven’t heard about Zoho, it’s time to give it a shot. It’s an awesome collection of free apps which can easily give Google Docs and Google Notebook a run for their money. I’ve tried it and highly recommend it.
Flickr is no doubt the most popular photo uploading and sharing site. If you’ve been using Google Picasa to upload photos then you can shift to Flickr and mark your photos as private if you don’t want to share them.
Windows Live Photo Gallery
Google Picasa also comes with a free desktop version to manage your photo collection. To replace that, you can use Windows Live Photo Gallery, which is equally good and let’s you manage your pictures with ease.
The only advantage which Google Calendar has over 30 Boxes is it’s Gmail integration. Otherwise 30 boxes is an awesome calendar app which can easily replace GCal.
Bloglines is a nice web-based RSS reader which was revamped sometime back to include new features and a nice interface. It could prove as a worthy replacement to Google Reader.
If you are too addicted to Google Reader and just can’t use any other web based feed reader, then consider trying FeedDemon, a desktop based RSS reader which was recently made free to use. It’s very popular and easily the best desktop reader available.
Yahoo Alerts is a service similar to Google Alerts and helps you stay updated with what’s happening in the web world, based on keywords of your choice.
Live Search Maps
Microsoft Live Search Maps may not be as popular as Google Maps, but it’s worth exploring and it’s got some very nice features.