Thursday, March 1, 2012

Google Owns Your Information: How To Get It Back To Your Mac

CloudPullThere’s something very scary about giving so much information to Google. Can they be trusted? Every other web site has Google advertisements (including mine) that track our whereabouts on the web.

Google can pry into our Gmail messages. We give Google our Contacts and tell Google what we’re doing each day in Google Calendar. What do we read? Google knows that by looking into our Google Docs or our sites in Google Reader.

How can a Mac user get all that Google information from the cloud back to your Mac?

There’s A Mac App For That

Most of the apps that Google allows us to use are free. In exchange for free, Google gets to look at our information.

Much of it is innocuous but it’s still my information that’s sitting on Google’s servers somewhere out there in the cloud.

CloudPull is a handy Mac utility to help remove some of our Google-inspired paranoia. It copies all that Google data back to the Mac. If Google loses it, you’ve still got it.

For example, CloudPull can bring Gmail messages back into Apple’s Mail.

CloudPull Gmail

If you’re ready to dispense with Google altogether, you’ll like all the goodies in CloudPull.

CloudPull Documents

Import Gmail messages into Apple Mail. Import Contacts into Apple’s Address Book. Import Calendards into iCal. Import Google Reader subscriptions into Safari.

Not only do you get to own your information again, but CloudPull makes it easy to browse the backups. This app even handles up to 10 Google accounts. Backups from Google to your Mac can be hourly, and it keeps backup snapshots for 90s.

I’m not ready to dump everything Google, but it’s nice to know there’s a way to keep all my information when I do.