Sunday, September 21, 2014

Google Tools: Dumber and Dumber

Annoyance of the day: New and Updated Google Maps: My Places.

It used to be an awesome tool. Then, in July 2013, they broke it without a warning (incidentally, that happened the day I departed for a month long trip, right after I spent about two months planning the trip to a minute detail. I found myself on the road with no access to trip plans and maps whatsoever - soured it quite a bit).

They promised to bring it back.

More than a year later, they keep trying to reintroduce the "new and improved" My Maps, but it is still multitude of order times slower on the desktop, is missing critical features, and, unlike the previous implementation, is *not* integrated with Maps.

This is not the only case - other Google tools keep losing features as time goes (not to mention products that are just killed, sometimes despite vehement protests from their users, with the only notable exception that won't die despite general contempt).

While I was advocating using Google tools when they were in their prime, I have to admit now that I can't and won't do that anymore. The only reasons to keep using them now is "they suck less than alternatives", and the moment a viable replacement shows up - I'll be the first to jump off this bandwagon.

And, once again, this is a stark warning that nobody escapes the fate. Just as people, companies are born, grow up, mature, then outgrow themselves, wither, and die. Google is no exception.