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Paranoid about Android

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Michael Gilligan02/01/2022 10:17:53
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

Regular readers may recall that I asked about “Android GO” … and was persuaded to avoid it.

Thanks for the advice yes

My main priority being to get a 4G ‘phone which could provide a WiFi hotspot in the event of an Electricity power-cut … and being utterly bewildered by the choice available … I ended-up buying the “dirt cheap” Alcatel 1s

**LINK**

http://techzle.com/alcatel-1s-2021-dirt-cheap-smartphone

As a modern smartphone it is definitely ‘entry level’ but as a piece of computer hardware this is astonishing: It actually cost less than the chips I purchased to upgrade my first desktop PC from 640kB to 1MB RAM surprise

BUT : Android 11 scares the willies out of me

My old ‘phone was frozen at Android 4.2.2 and becoming useless … but at least it did not try to dominate my life !!

I have removed the diabolical Google ‘Assistant’ and various assorted junk; but the big one [for me] is that it appears I cannot use the existing contacts on my Sim Card without importing them into my [expletive deleted] Google account.

The only reason I ever set-up a Gmail address was to ‘ring fence’ any activity which might trigger excessive SPAM etc. … My Google ‘Contacts’ list is currently empty, and I intend to keep it so.

Any advice on how to tame this Android would be most welcome.

MichaelG.

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Edit: for the benefit of Oldiron … Gmail address >> Google account

 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2022 10:43:37

Oldiron02/01/2022 10:33:57
995 forum posts
40 photos

Well Michael. without a Google account your phone is about as much use as your old one. No updates no email no access to the play store for all those very usefull apps. I was dubious at first but have now come to realise that its no big deal. Just turn off location and any notifications you dont want and all will be well.

regards

Michael Gilligan02/01/2022 10:37:46
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos
Posted by Oldiron on 02/01/2022 10:33:57:

Well Michael. without a Google account your phone is about as much use as your old one. No updates no email no access to the play store for all those very usefull apps. […]

.

But I have a Google account

It’s the details on my Sim card that I don’t want to share with Google.

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2022 10:44:47

Ady102/01/2022 10:50:28
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5169 forum posts
738 photos

I bought a tablet for doing personal stuff

Mobile phones are far too invasive for me and you have no clue whats really going on inside it

Edited By Ady1 on 02/01/2022 10:51:11

Michael Gilligan02/01/2022 11:01:43
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

This is the sort of thing that concerns me:

.

b87cbfa2-646c-43ec-862f-b80a6cf7482f.jpeg

.

Ref: **LINK**

https://www.model-engineer.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=174972&p=2

.

MichaelG.

Farmboy02/01/2022 11:05:56
170 forum posts
2 photos

With both Microsoft and Google I start by uninstalling or disabling all the " special features" that I have no use for. While it is very annoying that Google insist on regularly reorganising my contact list I have learned to live with it and barely notice it now. In fact I believe it has more or less stopped, maybe the artificial intelligence algorithms have noticed I don't like it 🤔

My old blackberry phone seemed much more grown up but sadly the battery died.

John Haine02/01/2022 11:07:08
4715 forum posts
273 photos

Michael, I've had Android phones for the last 9 years and a Google account before that. My phone must have uploaded the SIM card contacts and so far as I can tell the only affect that has is that when I change the phone and need a new SIM it can easily transfer all the contacts. I do have a gmail account but very seldom use it, and when I do I just look at the one or two emails of any interest and bin the rest.

Amongst the many benefits of using the Google account is the way it handles malicious calls to my mobile, almost all of these are flagged as such when the call comes in.

Journeyman02/01/2022 11:16:31
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1174 forum posts
236 photos

The only way to really make the phone yours is to 'root' it and install a custom ROM. This however is not for the faint hearted and can easily 'brick' the phone if the wrong button is pressed or an incompatible software is installed. Thats if you can find a suitable ROM for the Alcatel.

Probably best to just carefully go through all the settings, remove the apps that you don't want or disable those that cannot be removed. It may be possible to find a 3rd party contacts app from the playstore that does what you need.

I'm sure you have already searched online but this is an interesting *** Article *** from MakeUseOf.com

John

mgnbuk02/01/2022 11:19:00
1205 forum posts
72 photos

My limited number of contacts are saved on the phone, not the SIM card. This is a bit of a pain when I change phones, as I have to manually re-enter the contacts on the new phone as they don't transfer with the SIM card - but changing phones is not a regular occurence for me so it is not a major issue. Your post has reminded me that I need to do this for the phone I changed to just before Christmas !

Google has not asked me about transfering any contact list operated in this way for the previous 2 phones & I do have a Google Account, GMail, purchased & "free" apps etc.

Nigel B.

Michael Gilligan02/01/2022 12:29:31
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

08e7f0f4-97fa-4592-a85d-19da4359d514.jpeg

.

Android 11 is happy to grab information

But it does not let me simply make a call to a contact on the Sim

‘though Android 4.2.2 did.

MichaelG.

Peter Cook 602/01/2022 12:35:55
307 forum posts
88 photos

Michael,

I don't think Android 11 allows contacts to be used from the SIM. I have a new Android 11 phone, mine is a Samsung so may be different, but it should be possible to move them from the SIM to the phone (I think) :-

If I open the Contacts app and press the three lines top right I get offered a menu one of which is to Manage contacts. Pressing that gets me a set of options one of which is Move contacts.

That gets me a chance to select where to move the contacts From & To. On my phone the four choices are SIM1, Phone and either Google or Samsung accounts. Selecting Phone gets me a list of all the contacts on the phone. Selecting ALL ( top left of the list) then returns me to the From - To menu and would allow me to move them to the SIM card.

I presume you could do the opposite and put them on the phone.

Edited By Peter Cook 6 on 02/01/2022 12:38:17

Michael Gilligan02/01/2022 13:40:07
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos
Posted by Peter Cook 6 on 02/01/2022 12:35:55:

Michael,

I don't think Android 11 allows contacts to be used from the SIM. I have a new Android 11 phone, mine is a Samsung so may be different, but it should be possible to move them from the SIM to the phone (I think) :-

[…]

.

That [I think] is the essence of the problem, Peter

The contacts on the Sim are ‘mine’ and only knowingly shared with my service-provider.

I have no desire to share them with Google.

But, if I understand correctly … if I move or copy them from the SIM to the phone, they become my “Google Contacts” and are ‘fair game’ for Google and its associates.

MichaelG.

Pete Rimmer02/01/2022 13:51:08
1256 forum posts
69 photos

Your number will already be shared around google because of the other people that have it in their phones and use any of the caller ID apps. I was on site one day and the manager (who I had never met before and never clled either) said 'call me so I have your number'. I called the number he gave me and my name popped up on his phone.

It's something you cannot prevent and cannot un-do.

Edited By Pete Rimmer on 02/01/2022 13:51:18

Oldiron02/01/2022 14:05:18
995 forum posts
40 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2022 10:17:53:

I have removed the diabolical Google ‘Assistant’ and various assorted junk; but the big one [for me] is that it appears I cannot use the existing contacts on my Sim Card without importing them into my [expletive deleted] Google account.

Edit: for the benefit of Oldiron … Gmail address >> Google account

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2022 10:43:37

Sorry Michael I must have misread this somehow. I read it as if you had deleted your Google account.

On my Samsung I can have the contacts on either the sim or phone and move them back and forth at will.

regards

pgk pgk02/01/2022 14:16:24
2600 forum posts
293 photos

I haven't looked but may be worth digging about in the dreaded play store for an alternative phone and contacts app.
My annoyance with android phones is that at best one can 'turn off' unwanted pre-installed stuff but can't actually delete it and free up memory. And turned off may not mean it is.
It's probably better to resign oneself to the self surveillance generation and always include key-words in one's text and calls - suggestions include:

Ricin, jihad, nitrate, peroxide, death to America, assassination etc

pgk

Stuart Smith 502/01/2022 14:59:03
282 forum posts
43 photos

Michael

I had a search online and found this:

**LINK**

Does this do what you want? I don’t think it uses your Google account.

Stuart

Michael Gilligan02/01/2022 15:09:35
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

Posted by Oldiron on 02/01/2022 14:05:18:

.

Sorry Michael I must have misread this somehow. I read it as if you had deleted your Google account.

[...]

.

It's my own fault, for trying to be more genteel than writing #######

**LINK**

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expletive_deleted

MichaelG.

Michael Gilligan02/01/2022 15:16:00
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

Posted by Pete Rimmer on 02/01/2022 13:51:08:

.

Your number will already be shared around google because of the other people [...]

.

Strange as it may seem, Pete ... My main concern is the 'duty of care' that I feel I owe to [at least some of] my contacts.

The technology encourages one to add ever-more detail to a "Contact" and Google will be mining all of that information, and aggregating it with data from other sources.

MichaelG.

Peter Cook 602/01/2022 15:16:39
307 forum posts
88 photos

Posted by Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2022 13:40:07:

The contacts on the Sim are ‘mine’ and only knowingly shared with my service-provider.

I have no desire to share them with Google.

But, if I understand correctly … if I move or copy them from the SIM to the phone, they become my “Google Contacts” and are ‘fair game’ for Google and its associates.

Michael, on my phone there is another option on the Manage Contacts menu to Synchronise contacts. That allows me the option of turning on or off synchronisation ( or not) with my Google (or Samsung) Account.

If you turn off synchronisation and then copy to the phone, I think they stay on the phone.

Michael Gilligan02/01/2022 15:21:46
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos
Posted by Stuart Smith 5 on 02/01/2022 14:59:03:

Michael

I had a search online and found this:

**LINK**

Does this do what you want? I don’t think it uses your Google account.

Stuart

.

Thanks, Stuart ... but I believe that does exactly what I am concerned about sad

[ currently up to my ears in trying to fix the old MacBook Pro, but I will have another look this evening ]

MichaelG.

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