Gmail Under Fire

For the last two day’s I’ve been putting off writing this post. Contrary to Google’s head in the sand approach to what is clearly a hot subject, I’ve decided to speak out.

I design for a living. I’ve designed many things from Architecture to web pages and there is one rule I live by. When no one notices your design you have succeeded. People only really notice bad design and this latest Gmail uproar is a perfect example.

Firstly I am going to briefly go into my opinion of all things Google. Yip, yet another opinion! Just what the Google world at large needs! I’ve have always been a fan of Google even as it grew in size and everyone started making derogatory comments. I have always maintained that the attitude of just look at what Google has given us and at a bargain price of a whopping… Free!

Seriously, we need to give credit where credit is due. Google has indeed changed the face of the Internet (and other fields too) and given us what we now take for granted. So before everyone complains we need to step back and realise how much easier it is to research and get information from the Internet. Largely this is because of the massive input Google has made into their business and the way we use the internet.

Now, the other foot drops rather loudly, and I am starting to have a problem with some of Google’s business practices. Their general “we do no wrong, shut up and just accept what we do, or bugger-off attitude” has begun to irked me in a major way.

I have been using Google Mail for nearly ten years now. Years ago when I first started using email I avoided and eschewed reading my email in a browser. It was dreadful, lacking in features, and really clumsy! Google’s giant steps forward change the way we wrote our emails and for many years now my email client has largely been dormant.

Now the very company that encouraged me to use their online email, is pushing me right back to using an email client and reply to my email via software and NOT online. So we have gone full circle and in a bad way!

I haven’t been a fan of some of the previous changes made to Gmail but they weren’t that bad in retrospect. Largely things got better with a few odd bugs. These latest changes have left most people complaining bitterly. Google says it is just a small handful of us complaining and we “Should” have been in on the initial stages so we have no right to complain. Really?

In two days I’ve seen hundreds of angry and disappointed replies arriving in my inbox from their forum due to people being forced into the new system. Hundreds in two days! It’s the same request and every time it is shot down.

So Google’s programmers wrote a whole new “Compose” – that people are referring to is as the “Compost” – system to Gmail, we all tried it and those that knew how, reverted back to the old system almost immediately. This should have been the first warning.
I, for one, was never reminded of the new system and quite honestly forgot about it. There was no request for feedback from me. Nothing! So I think that Google doesn’t WANT feedback from anyone. We are just supposed to learn what is an utterly awful system and live with the time wasting upgrade it is.

Two days ago I was unceremoniously forced to use the new system. If you go and read (link provided below) the comments on Google’s forums you will see how it is all OUR Fault! So let me get this straight; Google writes the code but we are to blame?

So from the written words of those that support Google’s appallingly bad overhaul of the system, we really should have contributed long before now and there is no going back. Well, I’m sorry to inform you but this is not going forward either. You can read for yourself, I shall not repeat what others are saying.

Overall the bugs remain, almost ALL the buttons have been removed, and EVERYTHING you need to do now requires at least twice as many clicks or more. How is this progress? This makes as much sense as putting your car’s wheels in the cupboard and taking them out every time you want to take a drive!

After years of using the same layout, just for kicks, things are now reversed and/or in illogical positions. Menus are erratic and open and close of their own accord. Tools that you use each and every time you send an email, are now nested and/or buried in odd places. I use my spell check EVERY TIME I send an email! Why is that hidden away?

The reply window is tiny! It is the size one would expect in a texting program or an instant message system. This appears to be the route Google is taking but that is not email! There is place for both but in the same bed is not a good arena! It requires 3 clicks to get it to a decent size and it is NOT full screen as indicated.

So I’ve come to the same conclusion that everyone else is coming to. Google as a company is trying to monopolise every possible sector of the market it can. Gmail is changing because they are locking everyone into their accounts and forcing them to automatically sign into everything.

The Android system is a perfect example of this strong arm tactic. At first it seemed too good to be true. It was. It’s a great system but it now runs our cell phones and email accounts. My smart phone force loads endless Google products that I have no desire to run. The phone’s resources are always maxed out because everything including Youtube is running.

So I’m now beginning to withdraw my support of the Google brand. Their actions are not worth of my support. Will I be closing my email accounts down? Absolutely not! There is a simpler solution.

Until Gmail resumes the great service that it was, I shall not be using it but instead will be replying to email via an email client. Since Google only answers to stock prices, let us all continue to use their products but cut their advertising hits and views by NOT using their web services.

As part of the group of people who use Google services (and I appreciate them) I shall NOT be treated like a fool. I have tendonitis. I am NOT going to triple the amount of clicking I have to do to send an email when I can use software that does what the Google “Compose” window used to do! |

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