If you've been following this last chapter then you will realize that we try to get you away from both Google and iCloud services as much as possible. That said, you still need some other ways to stay organized but with privacy and security.
Let's now dig into what to use to have your phone experience remain on an organized level.
You'll likely require a calendar and contacts option, perhaps also cloud access to have some photos and documents, whilst on the go, for all your devices?
For Calendar and Contacts
Nextcloud is a good option for client-server software for creating and accessing file hosting services. These include calendar sync via CalDAV and a contacts sync via CardDAV. Nextcloud is free and open-source allowing anyone to install and operate it, at no charge and on a private server.
For Notes and Files
Standard Notes is a simple, secure notes app that makes them simple and accessible from anywhere. It features end-to-end encryption on all platforms and a versatile desktop experience with themes and custom editors. It's also been independently audited to verify it's privacy credentials.
Both Nextcloud and Standard Notes are suitable for iOS and Android and also have an f-droid version, so no need for the Playstore to download them.
For File syncing
Syncthing replaces proprietary sync and cloud services and is a) open, b) trustworthy and c) decentralized. Three ticks! It is for you to decide how your data is stored, if it is shared with 3rd parties and how it is transmitted across the internet. There is no iOS version but it is available via f-droid for Android and you can sync with Mac OS, Linux and even Windows PC.
For Password management
Bitwarden is a free and open-source password manager. It aims to provide password management for all. It is amongst the simplest and most secure solutions to storing your logins and passwords whilst syncing them between your devices. You can also easily host your own Bitwarden server, if you don't trust the cloud. Bitwarden is avaliable on iOS and over f-droid. However the Android version has, for no good reason we can find, Google analytics in the background.
KeePassXC is a community fork of KeePassX, a native cross-platform port of KeePass Password Safe. It aims to expand with new features and fixes to provide a multi-feature, multi-platform, open-source password manager.
LessPass is a free and open-source password manager that generates passwords for websites, email accounts and anything else based on a master password. No sync needed, it uses PBKDF2 and SHA-256 and it is advisable to use the browser addons for greater security.
Here you have a few good options...Riot, Signal and Threema are really great messengers and we have done writeups on all of them here on Decentralize Today. All three are available on iOS and Android. Signal over the apk link which doesn't require Google services, Threema also has a shop option where bitcoin is accepted and Riot is in the F-Droid store. There is a RiotX that is available on f-droid but it is not yet ready to be a daily drive. We missed notifications and even entire messages which were delivered to the main app but which showed on RiotX.
It goes without saying that you need a browser you can trust. On iOS you don't have much choice but on Android we recommend the Tor Browser which you can download on f-droid or on torproject via apk and Fennec.
Last but not least, emails! There are a few good options out there. On f-droid you can find tutanota which doesn't need Google services. Sadly, one service we do like, protonmail, doesn't send notifications if you don't have Google installed, so we can't recommend it.
There is a newer option we have recently discovered where you can host your own email or get mailbox.org and sync it with FairEmail and use PGP/GPG. We will have an separate follow up article on how to generate your own key and share it with friends & colleagues shortly. However, by way of a teaser, here is a brief glimpse of what FairEmail promises:
FairEmail is described as a "fully-featured, open-source, privacy-oriented email app for Android." It works with any email provider including Gmail, Outloook, and Yahoo. You can use multiple accounts and email addresses in a unified inbox. It has conversation threading, 2-way synchronization, offline storage amongst many more claimed features.
It goes without saying that you should use your DNS of choice. You have the option of DNSCloak or NextDNS on iOS. Both come with the options of blocklists which ensure a cleaner browsing experience for you.
On Android 9 or higher
Settings -> Connections -> More connections settings -> Private DNS -> Private DNS provider hostname:
or any of these DNS providers.
You can take it one step up by using AdGuard on Android, where you can use your own filters to block bad actors on your phone.
And please read up once more on the Android security chapter for the best setup for your phone.
See you soon in Chapter section 5.7