GMail Ain’t Broke

When Google first introduced gmail, it was a revelation, pretty much exactly the way webmail should have always been.

Since then, it has gone fitfully downhill.

Not the service itself, certainly not the amount of storage or the spam filtering, but the UI.  Good god, every major change to the UI has been at best neutral and more often negative.  Now adding injury to insult, the Android version of gmail has elected to replace the useful, functional checkboxes with appalling profile photos — usually blank ones that are defaulted to colored boxes with the first initial of the sender in there.

Yes.  Thank you, Google.  That’s exactly what gmail needed.  Not the ability to, say, select the fifteen emails sent to me by my build system about which all I need to know is the subject line, and archive them all at once.  Instead, I was really looking for a big colored box.  You idiots.

Does anyone remember when Google was notable chiefly for putting out amazingly high-quality products?  Does anyone want to make the argument that they’re still notable chiefly for putting out amazingly high-quality products?  I’m not saying that their product range is terrible or anything right now, but could you say with a straight face that their quality hasn’t slipped incredibly versus six or seven years ago?


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