Friday, October 15, 2010

Google Fail

Let me start by saying I really like and respect Google as a company. I use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Voice, and (of course) blogger. I also recently activated my Android phone. Once in a while, the services won't be available for one reason or another, but for the most part, all of these services work pretty well.

However, I've run into two really big frustrations lately. The first was with Google Chrome. I still use Firefox as my main browser. There are some annoyances with it, like when it decides to use all of my CPU for no apparent reason. But it works pretty well for me and I like all the development tools it has. I thought I'd give Chrome a try because I like other Google products and wanted to have the automatic bookmark syncing.

I decided quickly that I couldn't use it. Aside from the fact that there are fewer plugins for it, there was one particular issue that drove me crazy - when you use the address bar, you can't type a partial URL and have it find the full link you're looking for. For example, at work, the main site I develop on is I don't want to have to type that in every time I visit a page, so I'll just type 'login' or whatever. Firefox finds the login page from my history and gives it to me as an option in the drop-down menu. Chrome does not. I think it's silly for a search company not to be able to do this. I'm even more bothered by the fact that there has been a trouble ticket open for this issue for over a year. It looks like the issue is finally being resolved, but that is a little ridiculous to me.

Problem #2 came with my Android phone. I thought I'd use the Google Voice application on it and I installed the latest version. I noticed that there were some things weird with it - sometimes it would take hours for it to notice new text messages. Even worse, when I did get texts or voicemail, it would take a very long time to open the application and view the text - sometimes 30 or more seconds. Then when I'd start typing a response, the phone would slow down to a crawl and type maybe a character every other second. Again, I noticed that there were other people who had opened a thread on the issue. And again, no fix after weeks. It's horrible. I had to downgrade to the previous release (which works great).

So I'm starting to question my faith in Google. Do they have any quality checking at all? I've heard they hire some pretty smart people. Maybe they only care about their code and creating new applications and don't care about feedback from their users. Maybe they should leave their applications in Beta forever like they used to.

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