Things which google have done which bug me in the last year

how google perpetuates itself

Most people would say I’m a fan of google services but I just find them the best of a bunch. Don’t necessary buy their old do no evil stance but they do a good job on most things. One of my favourates is of course Google Now. However there some thing which have bugged me over the last year, heres my list…

  • Offline maps
    I don’t quite understand why they got rid of offline maps but its frustrating, as it use to save me tons of money in roaming charges. If I go on holiday somewhere, I could make a offline version of that city and happily know I have most places to hand. The best thing is it still worked with GPS, so I could be in a taxi or on a bus and track where I was going to the exact moment. Now Google have removed the feature and I’m aware of the “OK Google” trick but its not the same.
  • Hangouts vs Gtalk vs Google Voice
    I know Google have changed Gtalk to fit into Hangouts. Great but whenever I say lets hangout, people assume you mean video and audio, which is a hangout on air? Where does Google Voice fit into this frame? I have no idea… Don’t get me wrong, I love hangouts but the application does kill batteries and I quite liked Gtalk, as I could use it with Pidgin.
  • Google Voice for the UK
    The one thing skype has over hangouts is the ability to call and text phones. Google Voice does this but its not come to the UK still, even after years. I also don’t understand why it works on my android tablet (I have £10 worth of credit) but it won’t work on my android phone?
  • The built in browser in Android
    On Android there is the built in browser but you can install multiple alternative browsers. So I have Browser, Chrome, Firefox and Opera on most of my android devices. You can make any of them the default but I don’t really understand why Chrome isn’t the default?
  • Circles vs Categories for contacts
    Google Plus has been on the market for some time now and I like the circles, but what I don’t get is the categories which run parallel to the circle methodology. Ideally would be able to convert your gmail contact categories into circles. But Google have done nothing. Worst still Circles acts like taxomomies rather then folksonomies meaning there a duplicate scheme to sort contacts. If one was tag/folksomy based then it would be understandable.
  • Google Task API
    I know there is a Task API but it seems so flaky or at least all the apps which connect to it like
  • Inconsistency of staring something in Drive vs making it offline
    In the past, anything you stared in Drive/Doc would automatically be downloaded on Android devices. Some time recently that stopped being the case and you now have to manually select download on every device you want it on. This also can not be done remotely (from what I’ve seen). So I might have made it offline on my phone but not my tablet. The star system was better
  • Offline access generally
    Offline access generally isn’t ideal, its almost like someone at google hasn’t really experienced offline for long. Take for example Google Calendar. Offline mode, generally works without internet access, so you can go forward and backwards over a few months. But if you want to add or edit a something, forget it.
  • Google reader
    Of course no list about issues with Google wouldn’t be complete without a dig about Google Reader!

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.