So, I finally decided that I have to get a smartphone.
I need tethering when I'm at the country side;
I need Skype;
A Web browser;
A phone with a camera that has an acceptable quality;
E-mail capability (HTML based is enough);
I've decided that HTC Wildfire S is good enough.
The problem is that it's basically a Google phone. As far as I've heard, you have to enter Google ID the first time you boot it, and from that moment on, all your data are belong to Google.
From the random data on the internet it seems that:
All your contacts are synced to Google (GMail?)
All your calendar entries and schedules are synced to Google
Your GPS location is synced to Google in some ways
All your email goes through Google
All your browser history and searches go through Google
Google can update and uninstall any software on your phone they wish at any time, uninstall can happen without you knowing
All tagged photos are tagged to Google?
I'm not very paranoid or anything, I use Google search as a primary search engine, and I often use Google maps and that like. But there is a line where data leakage is simply too vast for my liking.
Since this is a tech forum, and many of you probably know everything about Android phones, maybe someone can tell me if it's possible to use Droid without that much data leakage?
I've been using the Droid for two years now... yes, the thing is essentially run off of your Google account.
You can sync your contact list on the phone with gmail, Facebook, and others - but it's not required. You can add or remove them at any time.
I sync with my Outlook calendar from work, but it doesn't do anything to my Google calendar - I think that is an option, but it's must not be the default.
It will use your GPS position for various things, but frankly if you're using *any* mobile phone your carrier can tell where you are, and you have the option of turning the GPS off completely.
The default email for the phone is gmail, but you can setup other accounts.
The default browser is Google, but you can install other browsers. And even in the default browser, it has options to change the search engine.
Most of the providers out there have the ability to uninstall software without you knowing; supposedly in case some kind of malware gets loose. I don't like that one myself so much, but it's not exclusive to Google, and there are ways to prevent it from happening.
Not sure about the tagged photos thing...
All in all, I've been happy with the Droid - including Google. And if you're really put off by Google, there are various roots out there that solve that problem.