Category Archives: google

Idea for Chrome (or other browsers)

Browsers should have a setting to allow multiple profiles.

For example:
I have a Google profile for personal (bookmarks, gmail, calendar, reader, etc) .

But I also have a Google profile for work (adwords, analytics, etc) .

Since I use both throughout the day, I have to use Chrome for personal and general browsing and Firefox or IE for work. Otherwise I’d have to log in and out all day depending on what service I need (work or personal).

I wish Chrome (or the other browsers) would offer a way to maintain different profiles (e.g. work / personal / testing ,etc) where cookie settings and storage, bookmarks, etc. would be unique for each.

So you can use one browser without having to log in and out all day.

Tech Fanboys, Workarounds, and Lay Users

Is it too much to expect things to work correctly? I’m often aggravated to no end over technology that’s almost there, but not quite. I blow my lid when I visit support forums, where people are cool with the bugs and where people offer workarounds as solutions.

Case in point… For over a year I had Google alerts set up to search for terms, then e-mail my Gmail, which I had set up a filter to send to my work e-mail. I had the rule for said alerts set so it forwarded the e-mail, then deleted it. Nice and clean. Then suddenly in November or so, it stopped working. I didn’t find this out for a while until I noticed I stopped getting the alerts. So I visit Goolge’s help forums. Many others had the same problem and were as frustrated with this as I was. This is where the tech Google fanboys dismissed this as not a bug (working correctly). And the “solution” is to take out the delete part of the rule. Um, NO, this is not a solution. It WAS working. Now it’s NOT working.

I see this more and more. Which brings me to the lay user, which is me. I’m not going to hack into registry files and what not to fix stuff that shouldn’t be broken. The SOLUTION is never a workaround. Especially complicated ones. If the thing isn’t working right, fix the damn thing.

That concludes my rant of the day.

Thoughts on Producing and Marketing Complex Products

Lately I’ve been perusing message boards and blogs on the G1 phone. There is a tremendous debate among users as to their satisfaction levels. This, along with my own dissatisfaction with Microsoft Vista, led me to do some thinking. I think it might be impossible for companies with complicated products to produce products that will satisfy every one of their customers.

Take for example Vista. I hate it. Why? Because XP was easy to navigate and find files, folders, programs, etc. So why mess with it? I think, and I might be wrong, that Microsoft modeled Vista and produced it with a heavy slant towards users who want a {buzzword alert} rich multimedia experience. I think the casual user, like me, was left out. And my frustrations are some very basic things, like folder structure. Suddenly I had to click 3 times where it used to take me one click.

Now take the G1. I’m a Google addict. I use almost every one of their products and services. So going with the G1 was a no brainer. In my opinion, Is the G1 perfect? No. But it met my basic expectations.

This brings me to the message boards and blogs. It seems G1 users are divided into pretty distinct camps that range from the extremely technical to the very casual. You have Android fans that don’t mind using the phone with a beta mindset to more casual users who demand a finished product.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? Can Google/HTC/Tmobile produce something to satisfy everyone? Consider the phone is being judged by the following:

1) Phone service
2) Text messaging
3) E-mail client
4) Web Browser
5) MP3 Player
6) Camera
7) Everything else from GPS maps to games, the list is endless.

I do take exception to a few notions. The phone is/was marketed to the general public, so the notion that customers should put up with bugs/annoyances to me is an unreasonable response to complaints. Also, a LOT of advice on both the G1 and Vista require technical modifications. This does not suit a less technically savvy user or those who don’t have the time or desire to tinker.

How does a company take all of these considerations and produce a product that’ll be widely accepted? Do they just aim for the middle?

My Google Wishlist

I love Google and use almost all of their apps, but some things just bug me. Especially seemingly simple things and how all of their services are tied together (or not tied together). I’d like not to have to use other apps or services to manage or hack (e.g. gmarks or Remember the Milk). I use the Toolbar, Gmail, Reader, Notes, Docs & Spreadsheets, Blogger, Calendar, Webmaster Tools, Analytics, AdWords, AdSense, Chrome, and try out most if not all of everything else they offer.

Reader
– Add “Blog This” to Google Reader for a one click posting to my blog.
– Have shared items show up in “your shared stuff” page.

Bookmarks
– Let me edit urls.
– Allow for a public html page (sort of like delicious) so I don’t have to log into Google to access my bookmarks. Preferably set some to private and others public.
– Allow subfolders or sub tags for better organization.

Picasa
– Allow for more than one account to access and update so my wife and I can maintain one photo gallery. This applies to both the desktop software and the online pages.

Gmail
– I know this kind of goes against one the things Gmail is all about, but have a “traditional” view so e-mails aren’t grouped by conversation. It’s a pain in the neck and hard to follow when a conversation is forwarded and there are several threads with the same subject.

Calendar
– Give me a simple to do list feature. Nothing fancy.

Shared Stuff
– Let me share calendar items, bookmarks, Picasa items, blog entries, reader items.

Blogger
– Use the same profile info as my main Google account profile. Instead of updating separate profiles.
– I HATE the blogs I follow feature. C’mon. Let me manage this through Google Reader instead of having to import and maintain 2 lists.

Chrome
– For the love of God, integrate the Google Toolbar!