2013-07-08

Letter to Google

Dear Google,

I used to be a 100% Google user: Gmail, Talk, Reader, Maps, Blogger, Apps, Drive etc (even Wave and Buzz, I think we were 13 in the world using them).
I liked all the products, and I felt having one big (non-evil?) company taking care of all your needs was probably a good thing (especially if all these tools were free, with non-intrusive ads and a clear privacy policy - apart from PRISM of course).
But now, day after day, you are forcing me to leave and use alternative products (oops sorry, sometimes I forget that *I am* the product!).

We all know Reader has gone: and the reason I'm upset with this is that none of the alternatives is (for my needs) comparable to it. I am now using Feedly, it's *almost* as good as Reader but on some of my devices it runs noticeably slower that the good old Reader (here I am not referring to The Good Old Reader app!).

Then Finance: it's good on the desktop browser but the app was almost s**t when it appeared on the Android Market (it wasn't a Play Store yet). Like many other products, it will improve, I thought. Has it improved? Nope. It's still the old s**t app but I end up using it anyway because there are not many alternatives around.

Third and final example, and I get really pissed off about this: Google Talk. I loved it. Simple, fast, reliable, threads were archived on Gmail, it was a great tool. But one day I "upgraded" to Hangouts; please note that in doing that, you should know that there is no "downgrade" path if you don't like it, it'll just replace Talk and if you uninstall it there is not the old app waiting for you on the Play Store any more. I clearly didn't think about it.
Well, Hangouts has at least two problems. The first, well known to most, is that there is no user status available from your contacts. Not a problem for you maybe, but for me... well, I would chat wife or sister only if they were online, otherwise I would use a text or ring or simply wait.
Second problem: the GUI. It's certainly my fault, as one of my devices is 3 years old and has a screen that does not fit the entire interface. Result: I could use Talk on that phone, now Hangouts is completely unusable and there is no easy way to get Talk back. I might switch to eBuddy or http://imo.im soon.

Dear Google, if your Big Plan was to bring more users to Google+, you should have had it better integrated with Reader and the other tools, not kill them or screw them up.

Sincerely,

      A User