Those who know me for a while have probably witnessed my slow transition from an excited Google fan (I was a “Top Contributor” to the help forums for Picasa and Picasa Web Albums, both German and International, until Summer 2011) to a rather skeptical, critical user that carefully looks at Google’s product offerings.
Most recently, I try to use alternatives wherever it makes sense (and is not too much of a pain in the butt to switch – one of those is Google Voice, because my GV number is all over the place as the primary contact phone number, and I’m not really prepared to make the switch to an alternative service like Line2 yet).
Why? The death of Google Reader was the straw that broke the camels back. I just don’t want to use services that are offered by a company that has so much power and money that they just don’t have to care about niche products of a more geeky and specialized nature anymore (IMHO, it’s what made Google such a charming company, originally), and only cater features to the majority of, lets be honest, “not-so tech-savvy anymore” users.
Today, I think that specialized companies that have a narrower line of products are preferable over the offerings of giants like Google – it just seems more unlikely to me that a smaller company is going to kill their own business. Also, Google Reader has shown how stifling Google’s dominance was in the online RSS feed reader market. Or just look at the situation of web mail services now. Is there a serious alternative to GMail? So, those smaller companies need support from normal users to allow them to create and innovate.
While I have replaced a good amount of Google services in my digital life with alternatives (the full list is in this post now), there are some leftovers: my contacts and calendar in particular still are on Google’s servers – because I still have an Android phone. Which finally (ahem) brings me to the point of this post: Android 4.4 aka “KitKat”.
The company behind KitKat is Nestlé. And I find it weird that (former?) “don’t be evil” company Google now teams up with Nestlé, one of the most despicable trans-national “big food” corporations on the planet. Nestlé’s latest stunt includes it’s lobbying on whether water is a “right” or a “need” – and indeed, thanks to Nestlé, it was deemed a need, and not a right! Which translates to: yes, humans need water to survive, and ideally, they buy it from Nestlé – after they dried out natural wells and took people’s groundwater, that is. That is all documented in the movie “Bottled Life“.
I avoid Nestlé products wherever I can, and whenever I’m aware of who’s really behind a brand name (and did so long before Android KitKat). Perrier? Arrowhead? San Pellegrino? Poland Springs? Those are all Nestlé waters…
And Nestlé and Google? How does that go together? It’s doesn’t, IMHO. And I think it is important to raise awareness of this combination. Why would a company like Google, that serves organic and local food to it’s employees, combine forces with a GMO-loving, environment-exploiting company like Nestlé, for a stupid marketing stunt? Have they completely lost any sense of decency and proportion?
I don’t know. What I do know is that this Samsung thing here on my desk is my last Android phone. I can’t support this. Not with money, and for sure not with my data, either.
You should really have named it Key Lime Pie, Google.