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June 22, 2006

What Google Can Learn From Other Web Services Providers

It seems that all the bloggers are crazy about all of Google's web services but alot of Google's specific services are outshined by their competitors. Here's a summary of their competitor's features that I use.

Customizable Home Page - Google really needs TV listings. Excite actually has the best TV listings, with local listings and a favorite show section that tells when your favorite shows will next be on and highlights them in Pink on the grid. My.Yahoo.com My Yahoo has decent TV listings and most of Google's features making it a decent compromise.

Maps - Windows Live Local has a high res closer zoom photo mode called "Bird's Eye". It shows these spiffy closer up photos of the area. It shouldn't be hard for Google to implement if they really want to as it seems to be based on USGS data. It also has close buttons on most of the UI features to maximize the map areas.

E-mail - GMail seems pretty sweet but for me to use it I need to ability to check an external mail account. When I used HoTMaiL I remember it supporting that feature. What I'd really like is the ability to properly import and export common mailbox formats. Yes, I've tried those G-Mail imports but none of them work well. Most are slow, unreliable, mess up timestamps, and don't tag based on folders. I'd also like the ability to cache my mail locally. Why should I lose access to my mail just because my net connection is out. But I don't think any other webmail services allow that.

Shopping - MySimon lets you select categories to make sure that when you sort by price you actually are seeing the item you want and not some accessory. It also lets you enter your zipcode to calculate shipping.

Calculator - Let's support bitwise operators like the Mozilla JavaScript Console.

Video - Make the TV Series sortable by episode number. Why would i want to watch a serial like Deep Space 9 in Alphabetical order? I'm pretty sure iTMS allows this.

That's it for now.

Posted by ajc30 at June 22, 2006 07:29 PM

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Can't help you with the gmail imports but if you have Google Desktop installed it will keep a copy of your gmail messages cached on your computer. Another alternative is to simply leave Outlook running and use POP3 to download all email to your computer.

Just in case something happens to my Google account (I've heard stories of people losing their gmail or entire account sometimes) I have Outlook setup to download my Gmail but leave it on my Gmail account. Problem solved. And no, no other webmail service provides this feature...but Google does.

Want TV Listings on your google homepage? Write a module :P. Just kidding...I searched and searched but the best I could come up with is this: http://www.googlemodules.com/forum/thread/101/. They really should make it themselves.

Posted by: Ben at June 22, 2006 08:57 PM

If a service is free, does one have a right to complain if it doesn't meet expectations?

Posted by: Anonymous at June 23, 2006 01:35 PM

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