There is something I don’t quite understand. Maybe someone can explain it to me. A few months ago Google gave IMAP support to Gmail. Everyone was happy to have this sought-after feature enabled finally. In my opinion, it was a few years too late. I never use desktop mail clients anymore (except when I was working for a technology company and we used Exchange). For something like Gmail, I just don’t see the point. The only thing I use a desktop email client for (and I use Thunderbird for this) is to back up my Gmail accounts. I don’t send mail from Thunderbird and I don’t read mail in Thunderbird. Maybe I would use a desktop email client if I used a different email service. I like Gmail’s interface too much to do that though.
Recently, Newsgator released their popular NetNewsWire and FeedBurner desktop RSS clients for free. You no longer have to pay for them. Again, I don’t understand why people would want to use a desktop RSS client. Sure, it can synchronize all your feeds so even if you aren’t at home it won’t give you the same feed as unread over and over. But you know what else does that? Web-based feed readers, such as Google Reader. Why download something to read when you could just as easily open up your browser to read it? Chances are, you’re already going to be on the net anyway.
Another thing I never understood was using things like Microsoft Live Writer and other such desktop blog publishing software. Why work with desktop software to publish to your blog? I know a few people who do that, but for me, writing in the administration of my blog software is perfectly fine. I don’t need to write my post in a piece of software that wasn’t even specifically designed for the blog engine I use.
Ever since I got my first Gmail account a couple years ago, I wished it had IMAP support. As many probably know, Gmail has recently enabled IMAP on accounts. My account still doesn’t have it enabled, but my Gmail for domains does. I was excited at this news, but then I started thinking about it. What do I really need it for? This isn’t a few years ago when desktop email was more popular. With everything going web-based, this is a step in the opposite direction. Sure, I can use it so I have a backup of all my mail, but I could do that with POP access as well, which is what I’ve been doing for backups the past year. I don’t have an iPhone or another phone that does IMAP, so I don’t need it for that. Truthfully, I don’t have any reason for IMAP. So, here is my request Google. Change the interface of Gmail. Make it look more like the redesigned Google Docs and Spreadsheets or something. You’ve had the same interface (for the most part) since you began. A new design would be a welcome change. (Just don’t do reading panes. I hate those and hate how Hotmail and Yahoo both now feature them so they can be more like Outlook.)
I came across this video about Google and it’s master plan. When you think about it, Google really does have control of a lot of information. They have my pictures in Picassa, my emails in Gmail and Google Apps for Domains, they have some papers I’ve written in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, they know who visits my websites via Analytics and what sites I visit if other websites use the service. They even know where I am on a given day via Google Calendar and could even track me down to an exact location via Google Earth and/or Google Maps. Recently they can even track my online purchases if I use Google Checkout. They pretty much have my entire life stored somewhere. Do I mind? It depends on what is done with this information. Obviously when I use Google services I know the risks and still continue to put it out there. This video makes you think though. Hat tip Google Inside
I have decided to start putting a small amount of ads on here just to help pay for hosting and whatnot. I know what some of you may think and remind me of my thoughts on ads on personal blogs, but this site generates a fair amount of traffic, more than my others that my ads do okay on, and by okay I mean at least I make a little something every day. And I don’t think they look too terrible here. The theme is nice enough that the ads blend in fairly nice. If I don’t really make anything from them then they shall disappear. We shall see.
I’ve been using Gmail for domains for quite a while and have been very happy. I was excited when they added Google Calendar and other features to the Application Suite. It just keeps getting better. If you are using their apps for domains you now have a bunch of new features including:
The start page If your administrator has activated this service, you now have a central place to find important information, preview and access your inbox and calendar, and search the web. Your administrator sets up the initial layout and content for this page, but you’re able to customize it as you can with the Google Personalized Homepage.
Domain registration Before you had to buy your own domain, now you can purchase it through Google. The process is easy; just choose your custom domain name, and pay with Google Checkout. Registration costs $10 per year including private domain registration to help you avoid spam. Your new domain will be pre-configured to work with Google Apps for Your Domain.
Custom URLs for your domain’s Google-powered apps Now you can set up simple URLs for your domain’s Google services. For example, your users can access their email accounts at a URL like mail.your-domain.com. Log in to the control panel to edit the links for your services.
Other new features include support for new languages and support for multiple domains. Go sign up your domain now at Google Apps for Domains