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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
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    Default What's happening to you Google?

    The question is asked here and IMO is a valid one in light of recent changes to Google Services:

    Why Google is getting worse | Digital Trends

    Maps, Gmail, Photos, are all going from top notch to mediocre or worse in the span of a couple updates. Don't get me started on Youtube. Hangouts still feels unfinished. And the list goes on.

    I think I know the answer to the question the writer is asking, and it's Sundar Pichai. It's unlikely a coincidence that these problems have been appearing since he took Rubin's spot.
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Not sure I agree... at least not completely. For the way I interact with my devices and services, Google has made things much more efficient and greatly refined the UI's to eliminate most of the junk I couldn't care less about from my daily routine. I literally sometimes go check the "Social" and "Promotions" folders in G-Mail sometimes when I'm bored, and I'm grateful that the contents of those folders are not displayed to me unless I go seeking them. Of course, the usefulness of functionality and the pleasantness or lack thereof of a UI, etc. are all extremely subjective, but generally I like the direction that things are going, if I do second guess quite a few of the individual decisions, taking a step back and peeking at the larger perspective is rather reassuring.

    One of the things I have a love-hate with is the reductions of customization abilities within Google's services. It used to be a tinkerer's dream to get Google products and customize your heart away, make each and every thing your own. As Google evolves and unifies their platforms, a lot of those options are going away. At the same time, I'm getting older, busier and sometimes really appreciate having a rock solid place to start from, without HAVING to go "fix" what they left undone. Although, I don't think I'll ever stop loving the ability to take that starting point and then finding ways to make it me, I generally agree with the design philosophies represented by Google and am excited to see where it's going.

    I know people can find change difficult to deal with, especially if you really love something in it's current state... but maybe it's the timing or just a personality quirk, but I feel like Google and I have been growing up together and I'm pretty amazed by some of the things that I see coming out of there. All that being said, sometimes it is a little old constantly beta testing each thing and having them evolve at different paces and sometimes it's really easy to appreciate the polish that people love from other companies.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Your reply rests mostly on the premise that this is an issue of taste. I'd recommend you read all of the recent user reviews of Maps on Play Store as just one example of what the writer is referring to. This isn't a matter of what I like vs what you like. Its a quality control issue.

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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rule9 View Post
    Your reply rests mostly on the premise that this is an issue of taste. I'd recommend you read all of the recent user reviews of Maps on Play Store as just one example of what the writer is referring to. This isn't a matter of what I like vs what you like. Its a quality control issue.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
    I get that people are complaining... also that most if the grievances seem to be laziness on the users part as within seconds I can "solve" the problem within the app. To be sure, there are always individual decisions that can be frustrating alone. What I'm saying is that within the context of the larger picture, many of the decisions make sense.

    As for quality control, I am seeing very few reviews citing bugs, force closes or things that are objective issues. I reread the article and comments there again, and it does come across as a perspective issue, rather than Google putting out a lower level product.

    Why is the assumption that Google is not using analytics to drive these decisions? If sends like nearly every statement they make about design is about making the device disappear, eliminating extras that most people ignore and putting the most relevant data in front of the user when it's needed.

    "I use (feature, app, method) and Google changed it", and "I don't want to use (same) and Google added it" are the most common complaints in both app reviews, blog comments and in the forums. Maybe I'm wrong, but that did seem to be the premise of the author's post and nearly every point was through that lens.

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  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    I can't speak for all of those users but what I can tell you since updating my own Gapps:

    • YouTube Force froze on a regular basis - I went back to an older version
    • Gmail apk breakdown has revealed integration for upcoming ads - we all know about this news already - and the new folders although you say you like looking through them when bored, I sure don't. - I stayed on an older version
    • Maps - I already talked about this. They simplified it by removing parts of it people actually liked. - went back to an older version.
    • Hangouts - still a bit glitchy
    • Google + - still needs polish
    • Play Music - still needs polish, missing a lot of things as a music player. I find it at best to be a storefront barely disguising itself as a barebones music player, which is probabaly deliberate.
    • Photos - AOSP Gallery, which they obviously wish to replace soon is better than G photos. Even they know it, which is why they haven't yanked out the Gallery app - yet.



    Google apps I DO think are doing well and progressing well: Chrome, Calender, Keep. Prior to now I also would have had Gmail and Maps and Youtube on that list. As you can see I am looking at the overall picture, and it doesn't change my POV. Somebody needs to give whoever has been meddling with Gapps the last couple a months a good solid boot in the arse and stop screwing with things that were excellent as they were.

    I'm not forecasting "DOOOM!" but I am noticing a palpable decrease in the quality of their apps and obviously so are others. I hope this doesn't continue, and I hope this isn't a foreshadowing of the state of Android under Pichai.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by NothingIsTrue View Post
    "I use (feature, app, method) and Google changed it", and "I don't want to use (same) and Google added it" are the most common complaints in both app reviews, blog comments and in the forums. Maybe I'm wrong, but that did seem to be the premise of the author's post and nearly every point was through that lens.
    I agree that those types of complaints are many times not valid, however things like changing from having the ability to share pictures how we want (Picasa) to only being able to share though a social network no one uses (Google+) are the major issues that many have with where Google is moving. As the author of the article pointed out, they're taking away lots of the customization options, not only with how things look, but how they work. It's turning more and more into we have to use Google services the way Google wants us to (usually by trying to force Google+ on us) rather than them offering useful services that we are free to use how we like. Not allowing songs from Google Music to be stored on SD cards is Google trying to force specific hardware on us, which is one of the reasons I avoid Apple products.

    I've noticed quality issues with some of their new products, too. For example, I accidentally told Google Now that I use public transportation to work and I can't find how to change that and it won't give me traffic updates for my commute. Location based reminders just don't work right. They always remind me that I should have done something at the place I just left rather than reminding me when I get there. Reminders and tasks in Keep sync poorly with Google Now (Keep stuff shows up in Now but not vice versa). I've found the activity monitor in Now is less accurate than random numbers. At least random numbers have the chance to be in the ball park.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Lucky for you its Android. So nearly every app you had a complaint with, there is an alternative. With the exception of MAYBE youtube.
  8. #8  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by garublador View Post
    however things like changing from having the ability to share pictures how we want (Picasa) to only being able to share though a social network no one uses (Google+) are the major issues that many have with where Google is moving.
    This is what I'm not getting though. Even through the new picture "app", sharing options for me are BlueTooth, Picasa, Messaging, Hangouts, Google+,DropBox, Drive, Gmail, Kindle, Keep, Buffer, Snapspeed, Facebook, Twitter, Tapatalk , Autodesk and Latern. I've only seen that list grow larger over time, not smaller. I'm sure if I download it, that Instagram would be added too.
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  9. #9  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    I haven't wanted to go backwards with any recent Google app update, nor have I had any notable bugs. I can't speak for anyone else.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    I'm liking their Youtube changes less and less each time they do something to it, and today I just got an email on a recommended Youtube video (Eminem YUCK) so I had to go turn it off, I really do not like getting emails like that, I unsubscribe to just about everything that sends you "updates" emails, I like to keep my mailbox clean.
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  11. #11  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    The only thing I don't like about Google is how they're forcing Google+ down everyone's throats.

    Posted via Android Central App
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  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Now they're forcing Google + accounts for YouTube comments, condemned by one of the creators of YouTube

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  13. #13  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rule9 View Post
    Now they're forcing Google + accounts for YouTube comments, condemned by one of the creators of YouTube

    Sent from my Sony Xperia Z1
    That's one thing I'm extremely not clear on. If you have the ability to comment on YouTube.. don't you already have a Google account, and therefore a Google+, Gmail and Play Store account, even if you've never used them? I feel like they're all the exact same thing and I'm not sure what's changed other than the integration of the feeds.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    I actually don't mind the YouTube change. If people have to show their faces when they comment, maybe they'll stop being such cowardly, prejudiced, spamming jerkwads.
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  15. #15  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by zorak950 View Post
    I actually don't mind the YouTube change. If people have to show their faces when they comment, maybe they'll stop being such cowardly, prejudiced, spamming jerkwads.
    This is true. Only annoyed people should be spammers and trolls.

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  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by festinator View Post
    This is true. Only annoyed people should be spammers and trolls.

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    One of YouTube's founders spoke out against it. I'd say that's a credible source. You're also forgetting that just because WE are using Google stuff, doesn't mean everyone else in the world who uses YouTube uses android. If I used an iPhone or even just a pc I sure wouldn't want to be forced into signing up for Google + or Facebook, or twitter.

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    Last edited by Rule9; 11-10-2013 at 09:18 AM.
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by NothingIsTrue View Post
    That's one thing I'm extremely not clear on. If you have the ability to comment on YouTube.. don't you already have a Google account, and therefore a Google+, Gmail and Play Store account, even if you've never used them? I feel like they're all the exact same thing and I'm not sure what's changed other than the integration of the feeds.
    I'm not totally sure either but I don't think you're forced to tie your Google account to g+ until you try to use play Store reviews.

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  18. #18  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rule9 View Post
    One of YouTube's founders spoke out against it. I'd say that's a credible source. You're also forgetting that just because WE are using Google stuff, doesn't mean everyone else in the world who uses YouTube uses android. If I used an iPhone or even just a pc I sure wouldn't want to be forced into signing up for Google + or Facebook, or twitter.
    YouTube sold itself to Google. Its founders' opinions don't matter any more than mine or yours now. I'm not forgetting, I just don't happen to care very much. YouTube is a service provided free of charge by Google, and in case anyone has managed to not notice its comments section is to discussion what sewage is to water. People on YouTube are already playing in Google's ecosystem. If they have a problem with G+, they don't have to comment on videos.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    ^^^I can understand the whole comments requirement but why is a g+ required to create a playlist?

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  20. #20  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    YouTube comments are used to help rank videos/artists etc. If you want to help an artist you like you shouldn't have to be forced to have a gmail or g+ account.

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  21. #21  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmumbles View Post
    YouTube comments are used to help rank videos/artists etc. If you want to help an artist you like you shouldn't have to be forced to have a gmail or g+ account.

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    I'm pretty sure thats what the like/dislike button is for.

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  22. Thread Author  Thread Author    #22  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by zorak950 View Post
    YouTube sold itself to Google. Its founders' opinions don't matter any more than mine or yours now. I'm not forgetting, I just don't happen to care very much. YouTube is a service provided free of charge by Google, and in case anyone has managed to not notice its comments section is to discussion what sewage is to water. People on YouTube are already playing in Google's ecosystem. If they have a problem with G+, they don't have to comment on videos.
    Sorry but saying the opinion of the people who create something that big doesn't matter is outright ludicrous.

    As far as combatting youtube trolls goes, Google had many options here. Why should people who don't own Androids,use IE instead of Chrome, use Yahoo or Outlook rather than Gmail etc be forced to sign up for a social network in order to leave comments or create playlists. If you think they're going to stop there you're kidding yourself. I have little doubt they'll try requiring a G+ account to even upload vids
  23. #23  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    Just because you like parties doesn't give you the right to attend someone's party. YouTube belongs to Google, Google can set any requirements for use that it wants. All I'm saying is that I don't share your objections or concerns; I think this will be a step in the right direction.
  24. #24  
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    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    I think* that everyone on YouTube has a g+ account assigned to them, though they may not have opted in to activate it.

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  25. #25  

    Default Re: What's happening to you Google?

    I have a fake g+ for YouTube now anyways. I wouldn't be surprised if many others do too.

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