Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Google - Its all coming together

Like many, I like to watch what new service Google is releasing now. Google has a full array of services beyond the basic search, these include blogs, email, word processing, photo handling, mapping, and more. I am a Google fan, and I like that they are continually adding services that I like to use. One emerging problem with these services is lacking integration to each other to make getting from point a to point b faster and more user friendly. Just last night I noticed that the navigation bar in the upper left while in gmail has some new additions. These new additions are links to photos, spreadsheets, and "all my services".

One of the new services, Picasa Web, I've been playing with for the past month or so, and I have to say the integration with Picasa is a nice start, however it still has a long way to go. To start with a 250MB limit? What the heck is that? Google the same people that started with a 2GB email box that is growing every day, impose a 250mb limit on photos? Last I checked I have 1.7GB of pictures, I would like more than anything to have a place to store those that is relatively immune to data loss. The other thing that I think would be another useful step with Picasa Web, would be the ability to connect the Windows application back to the web albums. That way if you got a new computer and didn't have the local copies you could browse the online albums as if they were local.

From the web standpoint Picasa Web is fairly nice clean and simple, and easy to use. I was about to complain about lack of RSS support but that must have just been added in the past couple days too. I'm happy to see improvements, I hope they can push to further blur the line between your OS and web apps.

I personally look forward to a day where I might be able to take most of my life with me anywhere I can get on the Internet. I have to say Google has already released one app that has been helping me with that, Google Browser Sync, a firefox app that automatically syncs your bookmarks, and open pages. I love that when I bookmark a page on one of the three computers I normally use, it will be synced up to the rest of them next time I connect. I no longer need to worry that I bookmarked that on my laptop, or at home, its all the same list.

I guess we just have to stay tuned to see what Google does next to help push web services to the desktop.

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