Friday, February 6, 2009

Something different

It's not well known, but I'm a big Google fan. I use Gmail, Reader, Docs, Calendar, Picasa and Blogger regularly. I love the idea of working in the cloud; having your data available wherever you have access to the internet. And I love that the apps are constantly developing and improving, and I believe this will be the future of computing.

Google development does seem sporadic sometimes, but in the last few days they've been releasing revisions and new tools daily. It's been incredible.

On Gmail, they've added offline functionality, a revision to tags to make them more like folders, and today they added multi-inboxes. On my gmail page I've also got a Twitter gadget and recently added Google Tasks. If you compare that to the UI of Webmail.co.za, the awesomeness of Google is put into perspective.

On other applications, Latitude allows you to see where your friends are on Google Maps, and Google Earth 5 allows you to visit the ocean depths from the comfort of your desk.

However, not all Google apps seem to be getting the same attention. Blogger, for example, has been stagnant for ages. There have been no improvements or additions for ages. Gadgets on their layout page that are more than 6 months old are still marked as 'new'. It's no wonder people are moving their accounts to Wordpress and the like.

One of Google's acquisitions, GrandCentral, has been dormant months. This app allows a user to have a single phone number, and when that number is dialed all or any of the phone linked to the account will ring. This can be set up based on time of day, groups, etc. I think the potential for this is enormous, but Google either doesn't see it's potential, or hasn't figured out how to montise it yet. Google bought the company in July '07, but invitations were only available from existing users (like Gmail in the early days). However, no new invites have been issued since early 2008. 

I remain a Google fan, but please Google, give all the apps a freshen-up and spread the awesomeness around.