Tag Archives: Google Software Update

Google’s recent sins

Here’s a list of some of the sins that Google committed against me as a small user, and without leaving me a venue to vent myself off (where someone might actually read it).

Let me point out: most of them are not evil — unless you consider willful sloppiness evil. I also still love Google. I am however highly frustrated by some of the stuff they do.

Google Talk app for Chrome… OS
After introducing Chrome Web Store, Google managed to frakk up one of its offering. Google Talk app is available only for Chrome OS. One of commenters alleges that this is because on other platforms the browser lacks capability to show popups and other feats of integration. Well, the way out is clear then, isn’t it?

GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent on Mac
Read more in my previous post. Read more in this post why having this agent is evil.

Charging $5.00 for adding content to Chrome Web Store
I understand this one — they’re trying to filter out spam this way. I agree, this is a good way to do it. Still, I had to cash out $5.00 to add a free app and no way of getting the cash back… because Google Checkout merchant accounts are unavailable outside US (and UK, I think).

Google Checkout merchant accounts are US/UK only
Google is one of the first mega-ultra-big computing-related companies that offered its services in Croatia, in Croatian, and overall localized. We also got Google Translate support relatively early in its development, and it works relatively well. It’s true that some of the services lag an internal release or two behind it’s .com counterparts, but still, for a 4-million-strong country, we’re pretty well supported. We can also receive payments from Google Adsense; they simply mail a check.

Then Google Checkout comes and Google frakks up by not allowing me to earn money that way. Then they do an even worse sin, and allow Chrome Web Store payments only through Checkout. Hello, guys! We can already receive money from you. Apple allows app developers from Croatia to earn money from iPhone development (and soon Mac development). Why the hell can’t a company that already has a payment system in place, that is obviously dedicated to Croatian market, and overall is obviously familiar with Croatia, introduce its payment system over here?

Google Latitude is iOS4 only, Google Goggles is iOS4 only, new Gmail interface is iOS4 only, …
Frakk you on this one, Google, seriously. Have you heard about NSObject’s “respondsToSelector”?

Damn you for making Latitude iOS4 only. My iPhone 2G is not good enough for it? Oh, you mean the point of the app is sharing location in background? You mean there is no chance that I might not want to load the web-based app in Safari? That’s right, on iPhone 2G Safari is “HYPER-FAST” and Latitude loads instantly on it — why the hell would I want a native app?!

Damn you for filtering Google Goggles out of your app. My iPhone has a camera already — why the hell can’t you process a static image I photograph and extract the data from that?

Damn you for leaving us 2G users to use old interface of Mobile Gmail. You told me on Twitter (can’t find link, sorry) that you had to override native scrolling in order to do some of the magic. What about simply using “position: fixed;” for your toolbar? That was not possible? Because that’s basically why I want to use the new interface — I really am not interested in much else.

No native client Google Talk with video chat
Hey Google. I don’t want your browser-based plugin. I want to use native Google Talk as you used to develop for Windows, but I want it to have video chat support. And I want to use it on my Mac. Did you know, Google, that Gmail video plugin is the only way your Mac users can use video chat? No, that’s not acceptable — I don’t want to have to switch to one of a zillion Safari tabs I have open whenever I receive a message, and I don’t want people’s clients to get confused about which client to deliver to.

And your plugin crashes often, taking Safari down with it. That. is. not. acceptable.

Fragmenting people more and more
They began by having screwy support for Google Talk on Mac and Linux (no native client). Then they went on doing the same with Video chat plugin (only recently was it released).
Chrome was also very delayed on Mac and Linux and initially had LOADS of Windows-specific code. Why?
Then Google began offering services only on Android (Google Goggles).
Then they went on discriminating me by offering new stuff only on iOS4.
Then they went on discriminating me by offering new stuff only on Google Chrome OS.

What the hell, Google.
What the hell.

Sorry, blog readers, I had to get this out of my system. And who knows, maybe someone from Google will actually come and read this, and start to wonder what end users might think about it. You can’t compare yourself to Apple: Apple is dedicated to a single platform, but grudgingly supports another. You, Google, support “everything” — you are a web company, remember? You want to support everyone.

In the end you don’t.

Google, get your shit together. I hope I won’t have to move to my own setup. But maybe worrying about backup, setting up open source solutions, et cetera is less trouble than having to worry about in what way will I next be looked down on by Google, because of the place I live in, because of the computer I use, or because of the phone I use. Of course that it is not so yet, but …

Why my Mac is Google-free: Google Software Update

Apart from using Google’s web apps, I have cleaned my Mac of Google’s apps. Chrome is great — I’d love to have it. I don’t need Picasa. Google Earth would be cool to have, but just that: cool. I don’t do 3D, and I can’t add buildings to Croatia, so SketchUp is useless. Google Video and Voice Chat would be great to have, but it’s still somewhat unstable, and besides, I don’t have anyone to do video and voice with on a regular basis. And Google Gears was never updated for 64-bit and Snow Leopard so I could use Offline Gmail.

But all this is not a real reason. I love to have a lot of junk apps, just in case I’ll run them every once in a while. The real reason is the hyper annoying, unconfigurable, trojan-like piece of shit called Google Software Update. In its current incarnation, it still does not announce its presence to the tech un-savvy Mac user. It does not provide any configuration whatsoever. And it silently accesses my Internet connection.

Yes, that means that I’m doing a hyper important update of a web site over piss-poor WLAN (I have a few locations where the connection is very, very sluggish and unreliable), or even if I’m doing it over bandwidth-capped EDGE connection over my phone, Google Software Update will think it prudent to kick in and silently fetch updates.

I never, ever expected such disregard for user’s needs from Google. Just because this is a Mac, they believe everyone is hyper-rich, always on broadband and never on slow net, and never, ever unable to afford random software updates grabbed over capped EDGE.

Guess again, Google! I don’t want you to fetch updates randomly, and I don’t want to be alerted every few hours by the firewall that you’re trying to fetch an update. At the same time, if I blocked just your update program, I have no idea what else I’ll break.

A total lack of transparency when installing Software Update makes me call it a trojan: it doesn’t transparently present itself when installing, it sits silently in background invisible during normal use, it performs potentially malicious tasks.

Oh, and you can’t block its installation. Even if it’s a separate component in the installer (Google Voice and Video Plugin), it’s marked as required. Required my ass — let me keep the software out-of-date, and get off my lawn!

Hence, I’ll give up on all the “benefits” of various Google apps on Mac, and call it a day. And I’ll post this rant, just on the off chance it’s read by someone on Google’s Mac team. Or on the off chance that it gets picked up by some statistics bot they run.