Nate's Straight Talk Express: Improve Android's productivity servicesNate Allen - Columnist
Improve Integration of Google Productivity Services
I'm absolutely baffled as to why Google hasn't better leveraged their productivity services to gain even more marketshare, especially from the Windows Mobile holdouts (what few of them there are left) and Blackberry users who are looking for that one extra business-related feature to pull them out of their Blackberry fanboy stupor.
Don't get me wrong, Google has done a great job making sure services like Google Reader, Google Docs, Google Tasks, and Google Photos (Picasa) look good and are easy to use (mostly to read, not create) via Android's web browser in their 'mobile' view. In fact, Google Reader and Google Tasks are two of the services/apps I use most frequently on my HTC Droid Eris. I've placed a shortcut to both mobile websites on my Eris' homescreen because I haven't found apps in the marketplace that integrate and sync as well with my activities on my desktop computer.
The opportunity that I think Google has not taken advantage of is in creating great quality apps for these services or otherwise integrating them into the operating system. Think for a moment of Gmail. The Gmail app comes standard as a part of the Android OS. It's simple, straightforward, and ultra-useful. The calendar app that comes on any variation of the Android OS always allows the user to view and add events to the Google calendar, in addition to any other calendars the device may be capable of syncing with (e.g. MS Exchange or Outlook). There is also an app for Google Talk (or GTalk), which is simple and works very well. I love using the apps that Google creates and maintains because for the most part, they are very stable, quick to access, and very easy to learn and use. The one exception to this is Google Voice which has been a bit 'buggy' for me, but I can forgive that to a point because the service is still evolving and isn't even available to the general public yet.