A Complete Guide to 39 Google Apps and Services

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Eoraptor

Well I have used google stuff for a while now. Did not know about Aardvark, so will have to try that out. I do keep Reader, Gmail, and News tabs pinned.i messed with igoogle, but honestly, I don't use it.

However, I have found that bing maps seems to be faster and more responsive than Google Maps, so I switched to that service.

Send and Archive and Move to Next Message are two great tweaks to Gmail. I hate hot it defaults by making you go back to your inbox when you are done with a message, and wish they would turn those two features on by defualt.

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-=GNO=-

Just want to let you know your link to Picnik doesn't work.  You have a K between the C and N that doesn't belong.  Just an FYI.

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Phrish

 

I would just like Google to concentrate on making the basic PIM apps as best as they can be, and fully sync'd with Android services.

-Mail
-Contacts
-Calendar
-Tasks
-Notes

Mail...

They have the mail thing down VERY well. Great service. However, they still don't have a way (that I know of) to mark messages high/low importance. I'd also like to see inline graphics as well as attachments. There is also a very capable Android app for Mail.

Contacts...

Contacts is getting better. Interface-wise, it opens in the same window as mail, via link on the left. It stores great data for contacts, the search is good, and the types of data are very flexible. Each type of dropdown (email, phone, link) has a custom selection where you can write anything you want (e.g. this number isn't "work" or "home" or "mobile" but it's "workshop"). One thing that does scare me, though, is that changes you make in Contacts are IMMEDIATELY saved. Whoopsiedoodle, I just messed that number up. Crap it's already saved, I don't have the option to "cancel." Still Contacts is very serviceable, and it's my main contacts list and backup right now (Outlook used to be my main backup, with stuff mirrored in Google Contacts... now Contacts is my main). Android also has a very good Contacts app, though with some trouble showing full addresses.

Calendar...

Google Calendar is also very good. Interface-wise, it's not on the left side with Mail and Contacts. It's on the top of the browser window. Nor does it open into the same space as Mail and Contacts, but opens a whole new browser window or tab. Nothing wrong with that functionally, but it's a poor interface choice that's slightly confusing, since it's not in the same place as Mail and Contacts. Any human interface designer would tell you that this is bad form. BTW, Outlook has the interface for all the basic PIM apps nailed. The buttons to access each app are in the same place (in a button array on the lower left of the screen), and they bring the app up in the same "space" so you know what to expect. Beyond interface, though, Google Calendar is very capable, and I love the fact that it can work with multiple calendars, yours or public. Android has a very serviceable Calendar app.

Tasks...

Google Tasks needs some work. It's very, very basic. Interface-wise, you access it from the same place as Mail and Contacts (link on the left), but like Calendar, it doesn't use the same "space" as Mail and Contacts. It's a strange popover window over Mail or Contacts, whichever happens to be active at the time. It's a basic list outliner, but in a style that I like. Works a bit like MS Word's outlining function, type, enter, tab, shift tab... for very fast task entry. Despite simple, I would like to see the interface for it improved a bit. Android doesn't have any Tasks equivalent, which is a glaring omission on Google's part... shame on you Google. Fortunately, apps like Astrid are starting to "sync" with Google Tasks, but still Google should have a dedicated app for it itself. This is a BASIC PIM APPLICATION, and Google needs to get on the stick.

Notes...

Google doesn't really have a notes service. Well, in honesty they do, but no one knows about it. Now, by Notes, I do NOT mean Google Docs, which is NOT a note app. Think again to Outlooks notes, small, sticky-like notes you can keep for yourself. If you are an avid adventurer, you can spelink into the dark, stinky bowles of Google and find Google Notebook (www.google.com/notebook), and this is my idea of notes. However, Google neither advertises it, nor practically supports its use. There is no Android equivalent that will sync. As for the PC it's almost impossible to even find it unless you type the URL directly into the address bar. Again, Google, this IS A BASIC PIM APP and you need to have this supported with the others, in the same basic interface, with full sync compatibility and a dedicated Android app. What's wrong with you? Even Windows Mobile and Palm have been doing this for years... do you even have a human interface expert on staff?

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Well that's my rundown on Google Services. I have no hope that anyone at Google will read this and say "oh hey... dugh!" but you never know. Here's to dreaming the dream...

 

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