Monday, March 15, 2010

Google could do better with minor changes

Gmail, Docs and Chrome. If a few tweaks where made, it would be on top.

My mail was flowing nicely into my OSX for three domains. Nice, however I was tired of relying on one computer where my email resides. I'm a super geek, but never really have ventured out much - even though I recommend these services everyday - I myself was still doing it the old way. Firefox and where my "men".
Now all three domains get "poped" right into Gmail, color coded as to what domain, easy to filter and skin. Setup the iphone to pop Gmail and I'm done. My Macbook could explode but all my email/settings/contacts are still in the cloud. What makes this sing even more is the Gmail extension notifier.

Recently I decided to jump in with both feet and go all "google". I know Chrome is fast by means of webkit. I know gmail is solid and has many customizations. I've setup Gcal for many clients and businesses. It just works. Realistically if your using a pop client, your behind the times (we know, your 'corporation' requires it.. and they are behind too).

Now that Chrome has extensions like firefox, there is no reason not to use Chrome. The Mozilla foundation is seeming a bit lazy these days. Firefox is getting slow, logging out of sites that I tell it to keep me in for no reason and wont be HTML5 compliant anytime soon.
Chrome out of the box syncs and backs up all of your favorites right into docs so any computer you sign into Chrome with - bam, there is "your world".

I don't write blog posts much. However I am enjoying my two feet-jump into Google but a few things need to be said. It's amazing all of this is "free", so nobody can really complain too much. After jumping I did come across a few things that don't make since to me as to why they are.

Lets just hit the points:

Chrome: (updated below)
- Spell check. Why is that I cannot right-click a misspelled word, get suggestions and fix the misspelled with two clicks? Google has the best dictionary in existence and we know this can/is being done with Firefox. Why not? This is actually something many of us geeks rely on.

- Standard RSS. Try to look at your standard RSS feed. It's all gibberish. Now go look at it under any other web browser - it looks like it should. WHY!?

- 1-by-1. Docs is awesome and now Google allows us to upload any file type for online storage. You receive 1GB of storage for free, however you can buy larger storage starting off at $5 a year for 20GB - which I immediately did. But if I would have known the main limitation, I would have not. This being that you can only upload a file - one -by - one. No, don't try to upload those files from your dropbox account that are all organized in folders the way you want them. You must only upload a file - 1-by-1. Ugg. It wont replace my dropbox account for now and I will not renew my $5 a year account. It's not really meant to replace dropbox I guess, but it could very easily bring people over if they just allowed folder uploads. Google doesn't even have to make it "sync" and it would still be a winner.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fanboy otherwise I wouldn't be writing this blog post. As Google grows and people really learn the power that they could have in a cloud/mobile arena, there is almost no reason not to do it. But as with anything, there are a few things that could use improvement. Using Google Voice, Docs, Cal, Mail all together is almost the mothers milk.

It's not like Microsoft or Yahoo are even close to catching up and maybe that's why some of these smaller issues are not ironed out quit yet. Once HTML5 is rolling, the functionality and customizations is going to be crazy (or it could be...).

What other items do you find in your googlevers that makes you say "wtf, really google? Why?"


Found the issue with "two click spell check fix".
- Instead of highlighting the word first as we did in firefox, just right-click the red/underlined word without highlighting.. it works! weird..

Found the fix for RSS feed pages. Install this extension.


Crash said...

Great article, Jamie. I, too, have taken the plunge into Chrome and have found it to be very easy to use, as well as significantly faster than FF. It's funny - it really seems that Mozilla has focused their attention to something other than FF these days because it just doesn't seem to work as good anymore.

As for viewing RSS feeds in Chrome, boy did I notice that little "quirk"! LOL It's odd that they totally missed that.

Your article here has me wanting to check a little deeper into Google Mail. I have two accounts and LOVE their approach to handling mail. Being almost a "lifelong" Yahoo guy, I have grown really tired of having to wait for the Yahoo Flash adverts (which have priority over my mail, naturally)to load. I have just about completed my migration away from Yahoo to Google. Now I just need to forward my ISP's POP mail over to complete the move (never even thought about that until reading your article here).

Google really has it going on these days and I can see things only getting better. Free email with ZERO Flash ads to contend with, Voice, Calendar, and Documents all accessible from any computer in the world makes for the perfect mobile business and personal solutions!

For years my friends and I joked that Bill Gates (what with all the power M$ had from all the market share) must be the Anti-Christ. Now I have to wonder if it's not someone over at Google! LOL They will be taking over the world - especially if they DO get into Linux-based Operating Systems so that we can drop the MicrosCrap OS's from our PC's. :)


Chrome rules. The RSS thing is a minor setback, but other than that I haven't even so much as loaded FF or IE for many months. If there's a site Chrome doesn't handle well or to keep up with RSS feeds, I fall back to Opera, which, by the way, is TOTALLY underrated, it's improved SO MUCH since they hit 10.0 and beyond... though I still prefer Chrome.

Viva la Dropbox!!! I actually paid the $10 monthly for 50GB until I quit my job.. Now that I'm employed again, next payday, I'll re-up it. No better peace of mind than that.. no matter how redundant my unkempt and scattered crap is across several hard drives that are all over the place unlabeled and all that, Dropbox brings even more comfort than a Drobo would to me, as I can keep my VERY MOST IMPORTANT 50GB worth of stuff there and generally expect it to stay. I would say Google should just acquire Dropbox, but Crash makes a damned good point with his semi-serious "antichrist" sentiment... we all know that absolute power corrupts absolutely, Google notwithstanding... maybe they shouldn't dominate the market with every single relevant internet service.

Either way, you're right. GMail is absolutely brilliant. It took me a while to understand why their sorting system is better than using folders, and even longer to learn to use it, but once i did.. damn.

Also, I just noticed that Chrome on Win7 is actually trying to correct my spelling (it thinks GMail isn't a word-- Irony much?), so the lack of that might just be a Mac thing... or perhaps more technically correct, a non-windows thing?

Anyway, rock and roll.

me said...

Very cool.
Yes, I did find the spell check fix. It was always underlining.. but never a quick way to fix it, but I found it and updated post.