FixIt!: Google Experience

uk_mapsPart of the attraction of Android is the tight link with Google and its products. Most devices are packed with applications developed by Google to help the users get the most out of their product: Gmail, Google Maps, Gtalk, and YouTube. Did Google create a perfect Google Experience or is there room for improvement?

  • Google mail. I’ve used the Symbian version of this application and oddly enough, in some aspect, it is better than the Android one. No, it didn’t have real push email and was not as easy to use on my non-touch screen, but I was able to setup more than one account. Indeed Google you’ve succeeded and today lots of people have two accounts with your email product: a personal gmail and a work/university Google Apps account, so it would be great to be able to access both from Google Mail, no? Rumor is that it will be included as part of Android 2.0 but I wish we would not have to wait that long!
    What Google Mail is also lacking is a better handling of embedded files. For instance, a preview of attached images like I can see in my browser would be nice. Google Mail is a good app but lacking many features to replace email clients or even Gmail on a browser.
  • Google Maps.  I am a fan of Google Maps on the web. I have a few saved maps in My Maps, as I’ve been using it to prepare all of my recent vacations (get distance for road-trips, find hotels and things to see on the way,…). Unfortunately, I can only wish that I could access My Maps in Google Maps on my Android. To be able access and edit maps I created on my computer, create new ones on my smart-phone and see them once back home on my computer with Google Earth.
  • The other Google: There are other applications that could have been included in the Google Experience: Google Docs, Google Reader, Google AdWords and Analytics, iGoogle (as widgets), Picasa to name only a few. There are alternatives on the Market for most of these, but hopefully some of the smarter Google engineers are using their 20% to work on Google’s version so that they become part of the experience.

The Google Experience is a valuable asset to any Android device but it could be improved to be a better match and companion to their desktop computer counterparts. Let’s hope that Google will keep up the good work and improve its range of Android apps.

If you think of any features that are missing in the existing apps or have in mind apps you would like to see from Google, please post a comment below.

  • Agreed with everything. The more Google integration, the better!

  • I’ve been waiting on an official Google Reader app. The alternatives in the market are ok, but they aren’t great.

  • AL7AIR

    You might want to check out the “My Maps Editor” available on the Market, it ties in with your Google Account nicely, and you can open, edit and create your own Maps directly on the device.


  • Brak

    The point is that it's not part of the google built-in package. Yes My Maps Editor is dandy, but then it should be included dontcha think?

  • lazarus

    you can forward your emails from one account to another and you can also set filters for that

  • Not everyone cares about My Maps, and it's 750k installed. For the current crop of HTC devices, I'd say Google did better by leaving it out. Of course, they could promote it more…

    • SiI

      🙂 I agree with you… but I think all 'pre-installed' software should be a choice to install (maybe done as part of the sign process – e.g. decide if you want gmail, maps, IM, twitter, FB, etc).

  • webreaper

    I listed some of the more serious problems with the native Android Gmail app in this issue:

    Star it if you agree, and it might see some action.

  • Jabba23

    Photos taken with the camera with GPS coordinates should automatically show on your fully integrated maps on your phone. My maps should not even be a seperate app, it should be an option that shows up just like Latitude. The ability to send emails from different email address within the one email address is sorely needed. To be honest for this to be a full "Google phone" it should have all or the majority of Google's product integrated. I really shouldn't have to go online to Market to get to my Google Docs or Reader or Blogs and various other awesome Google products that I find I use more now that I use an Android phone. Hello Tasks integration with calendar….

  • Jabba23

    One other thing is log ins, I've already logged my Google account to the phone, why do I have to log in to all my other Google products as well?

  • Even though Google Android is out and many phone (and laptop) manufacturers are adopting the mobile OS, I still consider it to be in its early stages. As the author mentioned, Google has many great products and most of them (if not all) reside in the cloud. Integrating those great services into Android would certainly give Android a further increased advantage over all other mobile platforms.

    Just imagine Google Docs on your Android phone. That alone could be a turn key for many potential customers/business professionals.

    Also it would be cool if we saw a 'Close' or 'Exit' button on every app. It always feels good to properly close something rather than just leaving an app. Of course that's just my opinion 🙂

  • Nasty 1

    Yea give us Google Earth app like they have for the I Phone !!!!!!!!!!!!I mean this is a Google phone after all.

  • I have a personal gmail account, a work and a university Google Apps accounts. Yes, it would be great to be able to access all of them from Google Mail. Interesting post!

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