I’m really not a shill for Google. Really I’m not. But I find myself using their Web applications more and more often. In fact, I’m using one right now to compose this post. Here’s a quick list of google products that I use on a regular basis:
- Search – Naturally
- Email – Gmail blew Hotmail away and I’ve never looked back.
- IM/chat – AIM’s most recent update is so wretched that I wish everybody were on Google Talk. I reluctantly use both. Google Talk’s smooth integration into Gmail is also really nice.
- Blogger – Owned by Google. Simple and yet feature-filled. Not as filled with features as I’d like, but it has more than enough to keep me coming back.
- Google Reader – Yeah, I realize this is cheating because it’s been momentarily supplanted by Bloglines, but I’ll continue to keep an eye on it.
- Picasa – For red-eye removal only. Sad, huh? If it integrated with Flickr I’d be sooooo happy. But Flickr is Yahoo’s baby. So no-go.
Google Calendar offers what promises to be a responsive and intuitive calendar. Being just released to the general public last night, there are still the occasional hiccups. But I noticed small problems with the release of Gmail and the integration of Google Talk into Gmail too, and they were resolved fairly quickly. I won’t talk too much about the interface. I already used both “responsive” and “intuitive”, and I really don’t have anything to say about it beyond that.
The feature that I’m most interested in is the ability to share and display multiple calendars between users. You can see from the picture that I’m currently displaying four of “my” calendars in Google Calendar. In addition to my default calendar, there is Kate’s calendar (which I can see but not update) and two fully shared calendars that both of us can update. I’m hoping that I can continue to use the Internet to supplement my woefully inadequate memory and actually keep my busy (ha!) social life in order.
Google Calendar also allows users to add “public” calendars. Right now I’m using two of these. Knowing all the US holidays is a nice addition. And since I’m a big geek I added a public calendar that automatically shows new episodes of Lost. Say it with me: Big. Geek.
Interesting. I have all my events (work and personal) in my Outlook calendar, which syncs to my phone. Until Google comes up with a way to combine work+personal calendars and provide a sync solution to mobile devices, I think I’ll stay on the sidelines.
Here are the links tim provided, but clickable:
The Search Term “Tiananmen Square” in the Google you know and love.
The Search Term “Tianamen Square” in the Google that is provided to the Chinese people at http://www.google.cn
And I don’t post this as a rebuttal, but here is a public justification (of sorts) from Google at about the time they chose to filter the search results from China.
Honestly, I’ve always thought the whole “don’t be evil” thing was a bit trite and melodramatic. The thing that keeps drawing me to Google products is their quality. When other people do it better, I’ll go there. 🙂
Google — builds great stuff. But then, “Don’t be evil” is really just a slick marketing thing. It’s an instant cliche, but compare: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=tiananmen+square&spell=1 against http://www.google.cn/search?hl=zh-CN&q=tiananmen+square&btnG=%E6%90%9C%E7%B4%A2&meta=
Anyway, I use the blasted search engine, but I feel dirty about it.