Without fail, every time Google releases something, the crowd is all over it. I’m certainly a fan. Other than the usual Google search, I use a lot of their applications on a daily basis. Google does produce mostly good stuff, but some are just fluff. Here’s the quick rundown:
- Life Magazine photo archives on Google image search. Searching through classic photographs within a speedy search engine is just awesome.
- Street View on Google Maps. Imagine virtual tourism, without ever leaving my home or office. Much cheaper too. The exception: I can’t use it in some parts of Germany and Switzerland. Scheissen1 !
- Google RSS Reader. I use this practically every day. Fast and robust, as expected from a Google app.
- Gmail. I was impressed with Google Mail since it first went beta. I particularly love the spam filter – worked sensationally! I even advertised my Google mail address in plain sight by posting regularly to Usenet. It caught virtually all of the spam emails! Now they’ve added Google Video Chat embedded in Google Mail, which I haven’t used yet.
- Google Cloud Computing. The way Businessweek described it, made it impressive:
The only search company built from the ground up around hardware. Investing more than $2 billion a year in data centers. Far and away the leader in cloud computing.
- Google Docs. I love the idea of not having to rely on OpenOffice or Microsoft Office to do a quick document. I love the idea of being able to share those documents online.
- Google Insights. With virtually everyone using Google search engine, data mining trends using Google Insight can reveal some interesting results. Vladimir Prelovac has some fun and insightful examples.
- Google Android. It’s an exciting alternative to the Apple iPhone and the monolithic Nokia Symbian. It’s even a contender to RIM Blackberry. The list of applications is growing steadily. Not bad for a new phone OS just released a month ago.
- Google Chrome. Another alternative to the big three web browsers, except Google’s promises it will be faster and more robust. It did find it perform much better on Ajax scripts, than Firefox and IE. After the third beta release, it’s slowly getting there.
- Google Picasa. Improving on every release, this is my best photo fixer and organizer.
- Google News Aggregator. This is the ultimate tool for news junkie. I don’t read/watch mainstream news regularly, so this site gives me a quick glance on what’s currently making headlines.
- Google Mail Themes. Come on – plain white and blue background is just as good as brown and sunset. The background is dynamic, yes, that’s nifty. But still useless. I’ve seen this before with iGoogle anyway.
- Gmail as a cloud storage. Due to network bandwidth limitations, this is not an ideal solution for storage. It’s not a solution for Enterprise users either for privacy concerns.
- Google Docs. I know, I did say I love it, but the privacy concern just makes it slightly useless.
- Google Android G1 on T-Mobile. They made a poor choice with the network carrier for the introduction of the G1 phone. T-Mobile’s service and coverage are terrible for my area. Ever more bad news, my reliable cell phone carrier, Verizon Wireless, is reportedly going with Microsoft. It’s too bad. No Android in my future, yet.
- Google Talk. It’s under utilized and under featured. Yahoo Messenger has a big lead on instant messaging. In my case, it’s only as useful as how many of my friends and family use it. So far, they’re all using Yahoo IM.