Google announced today that it’s killing off Inbox. My experience of Gmail is that, on my phone, Inbox is far superior, what with reminders, bundles, and more. Some weeks ago, Google quietly reminded the awesome “snooze to location” feature in Inbox, which allowed me to be reminded – of emails, to do things – when I arrived at various locations. It was awesome.
Google took that away, leaving it buried and only available in the super-annoying Google Assistant.
I stuck with Inbox, though, because reminders. Elsewhere in the Google ecosystem, reminders are a disjointed mess. They’re one thing in Calendar. They don’t exist in Gmail. And Tasks are a whole separate thing, now integrated, sort of, in Gmail, on the side.
If I were the customer (which, you’d think, given that I pay Gmail to be my email provided, through Apps, and for OneDrive, and Play Music, I am), Google wouldn’t take away features I value.
But time and again, they do.
I can think of no better argument for antitrust enforcement against Google than their anti-consumer management of their various mostly free, but sometimes paid, services.
It’s clear that I’m their product, and I don’t like it. And, I have limited alternatives. The definition of monopoly.
Don’t get me wrong: where Facebook and Twitter seem invested in opacity, in harvesting my information and controlling my experience, Google makes at least glancing nods toward serving me, and toward communicating about what they do with the enormous volume of information they’ve convinced me (vs. tricked, in the case of Facebook) to give them.
But fuck, Google. At least move reminders over to Gmail and integrate them across ALL your products.