I am beyond surprised that I feel this way. I’m a Google fanboy at heart and have been since I began my tech career over a decade ago. Gmail was great. I loved everything it stood for — and I very much still do. After years of use however, I started getting bored. Their Web UI is heavy and I felt they needed a refresh —– enter Inbox! I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to get an invite. I asked around hoping to find someone with invites who could send me one and finally — I got in.. and was… disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I love Polymer and everything it stands for. I do feel however, that Inbox is also heavy! It just feels like such a weight on the browser. I think the following explains it best:
As you can see, the tab I’m using to write this (WordPress admin) is consuming 195MB of memory. Inbox is using 471MB — what a difference! If you ask me, that’s not efficient at all! So yeah, I was excited for something new but was immediately disappointed to find that Inbox didn’t have most of the features that were in Gmail and was just as heavy if not heavier.
The Android apps aren’t far from their Web siblings. Over the years I’ve started to feel disappointment with Google’s products. They’ve done some amazing things but for the most part I feel the extremely slow pace of updating and the complete lack of adding requested features is disappointing. I’ve had things I’ve wanted implemented and have requested them to be implemented but my requests seem to flow into a black hole of requests (probably some mailbox that’s never checked).
Today I stumble on Mailbox by Dropbox. I’m not a huge Dropbox fan but I couldn’t help but raise a brow at this app. I saw it had over a million users with 4+ stars and thought “there must be something here that’s worth trying..” so I installed it. At first I was asked to add an account and log into Google which as much as I know that they have to get your e-mails somehow, I hate doing — giving yet another app/service access to my e-mails/contacts/whatever. As I started using the app I was immediately impressed with how simple it is. A quick tutorial walked me through the swiping actions which was nice. I like how they’ve implemented a difference between a short swipe and a long swipe being two different actions — for each direction. A short swipe to the right is archive, long swipe is delete, short to the left is snooze and long is label. By far my most loved feature is the fact that when you mark as done or archive, it marks the email as read! How.. obvious? I really thought Google would have at least given the option to do so by now. I requested this feature so long ago and nothing. Such a simple thing that could save me from having to open so many useless e-mails!
To Google: Wake up. You’re losing your edge. You got to where you are because you took what was already there and made it so much better. Now, others are able to compete with you. They’re able to do what you do, but better. I guess the Kondratiev waves are real. This explains the abandonment of the name Google and move to abc.xyz. On that subject, if G is for Google, what is Gmail? 😉