Google just announced a new service/app – Google Keep:
That is sort of entering territory previously owned by Evernote. Google are quite good at creating great innovative web service and they are quite good at creating Android apps, so I have no doubt this will be a great service. Will I be using it? The answer is no – I will not even try it. Let me explain why.
Back in 2009 Google announced a new service called Wave. It was sort of a merge of email and instant messaging and to me it was absolutely fantastic and I used it as a primary means of communications in a number of projects I was involved with. After about 1 1/2 years Google decided they couldn’t be arsed any longer and they announced that they would terminate the service. In Google’s defense they were quite nice about it. First of all they let it run for quite a long time after the announcement. Second, they made all the source code open source and by the time they did close Wave, there was actually a reasonable alternative available (although I never really bothered with them – I just switched back to email and instant messaging).
Back in 2005 Google launched a RSS feed syndication service called Google Reader. Contrary to Wave, which I used in a number of specific projects, Reader to me quickly became the way I digested news. Reader made it possible for me to follow a huge number of news site, without being distracted by anything irrelevant and without reading the same thing over and over again. It is quite simple really – time wise I use Google reader more than any other web service. Whenever I got some spare time or a break, I usually check the news on Google Reader. I don’t watch TV and I rarely read News Papers – I just use Google Reader with a massive amount of news feeds. In March 2013, Google announced that they would shut down Google Reader. They immediately removed the Google Reader Android app from Google Play and they gave a 3 month warning on the web service.
I am really sorry Google, but you have pissed off one of your great fans. Over the years I have truly appreciated Google’s innovation and original ideas. You might argue that I haven’t paid for all the services I have enjoyed, but that is not really true. First of all I have accepted that Google’s business model is advertising – and I have in fact always configured my ad blockers to allow Google ads. Also, I have never ever owned an iPhone. To me there was never really any doubt – I bought an Android phone when it came out. I put up with the quirks of a new platform in the knowledge that it would grow great. I think I have been an early adapter of nearly every single web service Google have launched. Some – like Wave and Reader – became part of my daily life. Others – like Google+ – never sparked my interest (I did try it). But Google need to understand that what kept me spending time, being an unpaid beta tester, was the promise of services that would make my life easier or more interesting.
In US, the government have a web-site where the public can create any petitions they like. If any petition reach 100000 votes it will be reviewed by the administration. Days after Google announced the termination of Google Reader a petition was started on change.org and that petition reached 130000 after a few days. Google have not posted a single response to this. I know that Google’s turnover surpasses the economy of many small countries, but still – they might not yet have turned evil but they have most certainly turned bloody arrogant.
So there you have it Google. I actually think your Keep service will be great, but I will absolutely stick with my post-it notes and/or Evernote – simply because I have lost trust in you and feel that you have grown arrogant. I don’t want to end up in a years time, with hundreds if not thousands of notes and then you pull the rug away from under me and close the service. For you this is probably just an idea you toy around with and you will close it when you get bored or decide it has got no monetary value. For Evernote it is their core business.
In the future if Google want me to spend time on their new services, they can give me a call and offer to pay me for my work.
I got a few comments on this one and I’ve got two things to add.
First of all I found Tiny Tiny RSS and it is absolutely brilliant. It’s a PHP server application and it works almost exactly like Google Reader.
Second I feel like adding how I think Google should have proceeded if they wanted to stop allocating resources to their Reader service:
- Announce that the current version is final and new registrations will be closed.
- Remove all links and references to Google Reader from other services
- Close access for new registrations
- Wait until nobody use the service any longer
- Switch it off
It is that simple really. I refuse to believe that Google could even feel the cost of keeping the actual servers running.