Google Feedback from my Parents

(I’m not with my parents this Christmas, but I’m thinking about them and thought I’d post this.)

I was chatting with my parents a couple weeks ago and the subject turned (as it often does) to Google. They wanted to give me feedback on some Google products:

  • My Dad has been using Google Book Search, and he said that it’s gotten a lot better since last year (mostly because he found more books, but I think he also liked the newer features). He used it to check out some Physics books and see what level they were at before he bought them.
  • My Mom has been using Picasa 3 on her Vista laptop. She says that it’s got a lot of nice features — she especially likes the straightening feature in Picasa. She says that Picasa lets her do more work without opening up other programs.
  • At this point, my Dad chimed in with a guilty admission: that he’s not using Google Chrome. “Dad,” I said, “you’re running on a Mac, so you couldn’t easily run Chrome anyway. They’re still working on it, but it’s totally fine if you want to stick with Firefox. Use whatever works well for you.”
  • Then my Mom hit me up with a feature suggestion (she often has good ideas to improve Google’s services). My Mom uses Gmail and she also interacts a lot with people that speak Chinese because of a charity she works with. So she’s often in a situation where she gets an email in Chinese and wants to translate that email into English. She can do that via the Google Translate web page, but it’s a hassle to go to that separate page. She wanted a “translate into my language” button in Gmail that would auto-translate any text into English. I didn’t have a great answer for her, so I told her I’d pass the suggestion on.

On the last suggestion, I had a few thoughts while my parents and I talked, but I wanted to do more research. Some of the options I found:

1. The Gmail blog mentioned a new Gmail Labs experiment to let you add any Google gadget to Gmail. I wasn’t sure if this would work though, because probably the gadget wouldn’t be able to access the main frame with your email.

2. Then I thought this would be a pretty good Gmail Lab. In theory, you just take the content from the current email and send it to Google Translate. It seemed more like gluing two existing services together. Maybe a Googler would be interested in a 20% project to try this?

3. Then while doing the research for this post, I think I found an easy answer for my Mom. Since the last time I looked at it, Google Translate has been beefed up quite a bit, including a new tools section with a one-click bookmarklet to translate an entire page (or the selected text on a page) to your desired language. If you want to translate text into English, click on the “English” bookmarklet link and drag it to your bookmark bar on your browser. Then to translate any web pages into English, just click that “English” bookmarklet. Want to translate just some text? Then select that text and click the “English” bookmarklet.

So that was the product feedback from my parents (Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad!). Anyone have feedback of their own on Google’s products?

59 Responses to Google Feedback from my Parents (Leave a comment)

  1. @ Matt,

    Are you ditching your iPhone for the G1 that Google is giving you for XMas?

    ,Michael Martin
    [ signature removed. I've got a no-sig policy. --Matt]

  2. Michael Martin, I often walk around with my iPhone in my pocket and my G1 in the other pocket. The design behind the iPhone is amazing, but I love how open the G1 is and have already written a “Hello world” program for it.

  3. Matt,

    How long have you had the G1? (I figure you would have been one of the 18,000 Googlers getting it for the XMas bonus this year)

    At PubCon I felt like the only one w a G1 as most everyone, including yourself, had iPhones.

    Please let me know once you create any Android apps for me to check out and possibly review for my Android site GoogleAndBlog.com – especially if they evolve into any of your “spam buster” tools. :)

    ,Michael Martin

  4. Sanjay Mehta

    Matt,
    In the new iGoogle, the Gmail app integration leaves a lot to be desired. While replying to emails, it does not take the ‘reply to’ address, but instead, takes the ‘sender’ email id only. Also while composing email from the interface, it is not possible to add cc or bcc.

    Would love to see these improvements.
    - Sanjay

  5. A button inside Gmail to translate will be a nice idea, Also there shd be some option with the help of which we can FWD multiple mails at the same time .. like FWD all selected mails to .. blah blah !! mail address.

  6. sam

    If I can add my own feedback – how about resurrecting the Grand Central team? We were promised an update in April but haven’t seen anything … still waiting for SMS here!

  7. Truth is that my mom doesn’t use Google or computers. But my mom did say that Regis Philbin would be a good spokesperson for Google to get the older crowd. Funny right? Google doesn’t advertise. lol. Merry x-mas.

  8. Hi Matt,

    first of all, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)

    Now, i have a little feedback for Chrome. Great browser, and easy to use; became my default browser since day one. But one thing that would improve usability very much would be making a tab’s X button and the tabs’ + button more clickable.I think it takes more effort than it should to click them right now. As a suggestion, why confine them to a height smaller than the height of an actual tab and not let them fill that height?

    Best wishes,
    Teo

  9. Hi Matt,
    The idea of Translate in Gmail is very cool, but there was already a rumor in March 2008 http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/03/google-to-add-language-translation-in.html

    Merry x-mas

    Pascal

  10. Although the bookmarklet is a rather easy solution, a button inside the Gmail interface would be more convenient for most users.
    Merry Christmas!

  11. I’ve been using Chrome since it was released, and like it quite a bit. The navigation is intuitive– good ease of use. I find myself wishing that the icon for at least controlling the current page was on the left side. It only takes a few seconds, but I notice that if I need to use it for some reason I end up hunting around for it. Somehow, since it is page specific, I want it to be with refresh and page back. It’s fine (for me) to leave the Chrome controls on the right.

  12. Harith

    Hey Matt,

    No HOHOHO picture this year :(

  13. I do agree – Google Translate has come a long way. Not only with its new features, but its translations seem to be a lot closer to the ball. Eg, in the past (especially with Mandarin), I found some phrases just didn’t work and the English output would be quite comical. But saying that, when compared to other free services, the quality was the same.

    Also, I LOVE how there is the “>” so you can switch between the way you want to translate. Gosh, such a little, simple thing, but it has only just come in to play the past month or so… but such a small feature skims off so much time for me and for others too, I’m sure.

  14. Hi Matt,

    Hope you’re having a nice Christmas :)

    Couple of pieces of feedback:

    - Regarding the new redesign of Google Reader, I now have to click twice to manually refresh my feeds. I know the idea behind having the new dropdown was to consolidate a set of options into one area for the user, but I feel that the refresh option is used often enough to warrant it being return to its original place where I can click it at any time :)

    - I had a play around in google docs yesterday for the first time and because I had opened things like my CV and various documents people had sent me via Gmail, I had a long list of documents which weren’t relevent to the workspace I was planning on starting. It wasn’t too difficult to move the items into the hidden folder, but I would suggest that any documents opened in google docs via gmail, should be hidden in their own folder, rather than put straight into the workspace :)

    P.S. Give Emmy an extra special Christmas hug from me!

    Dean

  15. My favorite addition this year was the ability to connect adsense to your analytics account, it has helped us tremendously, seems though it was put out under the radar just a little while ago.

    Problem is when dealing with large volumes of data it doesn’t pull it all in correctly. Basically the adsense reports in anaylitics do not match what our adsense account works. When it completely up and running, bug free, its going to be an incredibly powerful tool.

    If you’re readers haven’t done so already I’d strongly encourage them to link their two accounts. There is a message that usually shows up (in text) at the top of your adsense account that prompts you to link the two accounts, if you have done so already. More people should do this so they can all help me lobby google to work out all the final kinks :)

  16. dude, your mom is waay smart to want a buttone to automatically translate an email, i never would have though of that, but as soon as i heard it, i said to myself “self, what a obviously great idea” kudo’s to mom, get her on the google payroll..

  17. Morris Rosenthal

    Matt,

    My mom is a reluctant computer user, doesn’t use bookmarks or know what they are. But she mentioned at lunch today that when she wants to find the latest article my sister wrote for a publication that they don’t subscribe to, she knows that typing my sister’s name in Google brings it right up.

    Morris

  18. Hoki

    Your parents are just awesome !

  19. Sometimes I search for various part numbers and spec numbers. What
    comes first, sometimes, is a bunch of extremely search engine friendly
    pages from “shopping engines” such as dealtime, mysimon, price.com and
    so on. The pages typically contain nothing besides a “no merchant
    found, no reviews found, submit your own review” or “call us to locate
    part for you”, or just a few affiliate links. etc.

    I even set up my own custom search engine where I try to exclude all
    of those assholes that I come across. I do not want to mention the
    engine’s URL so as not to appear to peddle anything.

    But my question is, how come Google does not at last kick those
    worthless web spammers out, why are they cluttering these searches?

    For example, do a search on 0726A001AA (Canon part number for fax machines network board). The only useful result — ie not junk — is at amatteroffax DOT com. Everything else is just script generated garbage.

    Removing the top two dozens of worst offenders, would really help
    matters.

    At the very least, it could be made a user preference or a search page option.

    As of now, some part number searches are totally worthless.

  20. EGOL

    Matt… I am submitting my 2009 Christmas list to the Google Santa

    ====================

    GMAIL:

    When I have a big list of messages to work on I would like to smoothly move from one message to the next. For example if I delete a message GMAIL takes me back to the inbox and I must figure out where I was in the long list of messages. Every other email program that I use takes me immediately to the next message in the queue. It would be a huge time savings if GMAIL would to that. Thanks!

    =======================

    NEW PRODUCT: Related content widget

    I like how adsense matches ads to the content of my webpage. It would be great to have a tool that would scan my sitemap and create a list of X articles on my site that are related to any given page. I could then place code similar to adsense on my site and that 300×250 or whatever space would fill with links to related articles on my site or to articles that are good adsense revenue producers. I get more pageviews and we both have a chance to show more ads.

    =========================

    VARIABLE WIDTH ADSENSE UNIT

    Right now adsense comes in a number of different widths and that is great. But how about a unit that would expand to fill the width of the space that it is placed in? Text would wrap as needed.

    The Sponsored links at the top of each SERP page do this (grab your window and shrink the width and see how the ads behave)… would be great to have something like that on my site.

    =======================

    ADSENSE KW FILTER

    If I don’t want ads with a few specific words on my pages, please allow me to submit a list that will block them from my site. My site will attract more links if I don’t have references to certain topics in the ads.

    =======================

    ADSENSE WITH UNRELATED CONTENT

    Say I run a retail site selling digital cameras. I want to sell the cameras but also make a little money from ads – however, I don’t want other digital camera ads showing. Adsense could send other high yield ads that will not interfere with my sales.

    ======================

    EASY TO USE AD MANAGER

    ADSDAQ has a very easy to use interface for default ads. Drop in the code and BAM you are done. Google ad manager would have more users if it was that easy.

    =====================

    FAVICONS IN THE SERPs

    FireFox has a plug-in that puts FAVICONS in the Google SERPs. Google might do this automatically. Searchers could scan for favorite sites quickly.

    ====================

    ABILITY TO TURN OFF TWO JAVAS

    Coffee, programming, Indonesia island. When I am looking for coffee allow me to click something to get rid of the others.

    =====================

    HIGHER ADSENSE STANDARDS

    Lots of adsense ads have incorrect capitalization and spelling. I work really hard to keep that out of my own content…. then adsense ads arrive that make my site look illiterate.

  21. Since EGOL touched on a topic that I was about to when I got back from a party, I’m going to add to it. Please note that these suggestions are intended as constructive criticism, although the tone may not necessarily reflect as such.

    Adsense

    Within Adsense, I’d like to see 2 things:

    1) XML feeds of the ads so that we can integrate them into our sites seamlessly and without the need for Javascript (of course, you can leave JS as an option, but this would work for those of us who want something to choose from.)

    2) Higher Adsense/Adwords standards as well, but not in the sense EGOL was referring to. Every site from both sides of the fence should be semi-manually approved. You could easily pass sites through a search engine spam filter to make sure they qualify, then allow them to participate as advertisers or publishers after manually doing a quick check to make sure they’re okay. The “if one site is good, then all sites must be good” logic simply doesn’t apply anymore.

    If it’s not good enough for the engine, it shouldn’t be good enough to participate as an Adsense publisher or Adwords advertiser. I do realize that this is rather difficult to pull off, given the number of ad networks out there, but the more integrity you can bring to the Ad????? (not a typo) programs, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

    The Search Engine

    Two things here:

    1) If you want to include Usenet newsgroups as Google Groups within search results (which I see sometimes), that’s cool. I can get that. I can even get the idea of separating newsgroup results from “regular” results. What I don’t understand is why a site is listed in SERPs on any level that acts as a “repository” of newsgroup posts (translation: content scraper).

    Here’s an example query. Within it, there’s a site called tech-archive.net that is clearly getting its “content” from newsgroups. Display the newsgroups as Google Groups, keep the traffic within your own network, and don’t reward the scrapers. You guys would win on two different levels (ad revenue and removing crap from the results), and more importantly the user wins because they’re not effectively seeing the same or similar results from two different “sources”.

    2) In general, ongoing attempts to continue to evolve the engine down the path you guys are on, focusing on the sites that lead to the best user experience, and with the understanding that both the content of a page and the way it is coded are of equal importance, since both merge together along with other elements (which cannot be accurately measured via automated means at this time, since they involve a lot of subjective elements such as color schemes and graphics) to maximize the user experience. The argument that content alone should be the only thing a search engine should look at is passé, something Big G has long since realized.

    Chrome

    The more I think about it, the more I honestly wish you guys would just scrap this whole idea. I don’t say this because it’s a bad browser (there are certainly worse ones out there), and there are a few features in it that I really like; however, the market is all but oversaturated as it is with choices and if a threat to IE’s dominance is to be forthcoming, it won’t come from 10-15 other “options” that offer little or nothing of real value to the average user on top of what IE offers.

    With the number of web applications and sites that either specifically require IE (e.g. anything involving Remote Web Workplace) or simply work more effectively with IE (e.g. the Primus VoIP portal), all IE has to do sit back and play divide and conquer, minus the divide. Chrome and Firefox will battle it out to be the #2 browser, and that’s about as far as it’s likely to go.

    Another thing no one ever talks about is what the browser makers are battling for…”market share”. We keep hearing about how Firefox is gaining in market share and how IE is losing market share…but the stupid thing is that the market share is based on a product that sells for…$0.00. And any number multiplied by zero is gonna give you zero no matter how you cut it. So the Firefox community and Chrome and Opera and Maxthon and Safari and (insert browser name here) are all trying to cut into IE’s “market share” of nothing. Hell, let ‘em have it. The goodwill factor generated by helping cut into IE’s dominance will be more than mitigated by the time and expense required to produce and maintain the browser to do it. In other words, the browser will operate at a loss, and take away resource that could much better be utilized on other Google services.

    Go back to promoting Firefox if anything. You guys made money doing that, and you didn’t have to do anything to maintain it. Even if Firefox becomes more bloated than Elvis in his later years, you guys are still pocketing and presumably promoting a “better alternative” to IE.

    Side note: I honestly couldn’t care less if IE is the dominant browser or if something else is, as long as whatever I’m using takes care of my browsing needs. I’m making the observation academically. I personally prefer IE for what I’m doing.

    This was always a move that baffled me…unless the browser tied into a Google OS which in turn sold for X amount of dollars, which right now it isn’t doing.

  22. Hi Matt!, Hope you had a nice Christmas. Your mother’s gmail suggestion is awesome!

  23. Yous mom’s suggestion about the auto translation is awesome and it shoudl really be a feature of gmail

    Let’s see if it will become true :)

    All the best to everyone for 2009

  24. MikeTheGoogleFanBoy

    Ok here goes. i have been yelling these suggestions loudly for a long time. 4 Suggestions

    -GOOGLE BOOKMARKS-
    1. Bookmarks; make Sharable integrated in to Shared Stuff and Suggest tags =
    Google has shared stuff and reader which are both very social and can be shared. Then they have notebook in which you can share clips from the web. Within notebook you can store/access your Google Bookmarks but you cant share those bookmarks in a logical way. Also when creating a bookmarks there should be a subset of suggested bookmarks like on Delicious.com. Google has never seen the potential here. The shared stuff could be a hub for every shared document, notebook, reader item or “shared stuff” – via bookmarklet. Case-in-point; you can use the shared stuff bookmarklet to cross-post a site on delicious.com and all these other sites but not Google Bookmarks!?? Why not!? “Dogfood” it! Google could trump delicious and digg, Plus this would be effectively “organizing the world’s BOOKMARK information and making it universally accessible and useful.”

    -CHROME-
    2. Update Channel Landing page when Channel is not set=
    When I have an alternate version of chrome installed. Either Chromium or say a portable version of chrome, instead of a generic error message= “Update server not available.(error 1)” message, they should make it so that an empty value for the “update channel” would produce a link to a landing page that will show current release info for each version (like regular/developer).

    3. Tie bookmarks to Google Bookmark feature=
    A developer channel version has/had a feature to import from Google Toolbar (which is a misnomer and is actually downloading from google bookmarks since you don’t actually need toolbar installed to use it). This feature should be made available but even more so, there should be an option to fuse the bookmarks to a Google Bookmarks account. This would not only do a one time synchronization but it would essentially “tie them together” much like your android phone does with your gmail contacts.

    4. Grandcentral/Gmail integration=
    The coolest thing to happen to phones, ever! But it is frozen since acquisition. I say start working on fusing the contacts with the gmail contacts. Then add a way in Gmail to navigate missed calls and voicemail. So not only could I search chats, emails, contacts, calendar events and task, but voicemail and call history as well. So when I hover over someones name in Gtalk or an email, instead of finding “Recent Conversation” under the “More” menu, I would find “Recent Activity” (something like that) and it would show, reader items shared calls made chats emails or appointments from the calendar..Picasa shared pictures orkut scraps.. the possibilities are endless.

  25. My big feedback is that few people know what the hell we’re talking about in tech. When I pulled out my phone, people didn’t know if it was an iPhone or the new Blackberry that they saw on the news. Most people aren’t as tech savvy as your parent. Most don’t even know what Labs is.

    If Google keeps creating these special addions because the “new new thing” is to be a platform, does Google risk confusing the people who flocked to it because it was dead simple and easy to understand?

  26. OnlyMe

    Matt…can’t they make Gmail work on a Moto Q..not Q9 just Moto Q??? Can’t switch phones till next year.
    :-) OnlyMe

  27. thanks for asking Matt!

    there’s only one thing on my wish list for Google – end the handicap of .us domains, by putting them on equal footing with .net, .org, .info, and .biz

    my experiments have been deep and wide… results are here: http://www.internetinc.com/the-dot-US-domain-handicap

    I will be happy to share specific examples with anyone from Google:)

    happy new year!!
    -eric

  28. Matt — I relate to your mom’s usage of Picasa3. It continues to get a lot better, and previously an avid Photoshop user — Picasa frequently handles most of my basic needs. I too have struggled to make the change to Chrome, but at least I am posting this comment with it. :-)

    -Ken

  29. Hi matt,
    I really like the suggestion to put my language translation stuff in email it self as i m also facing the same problem when ever i get such emails…

    One more suggestion..

    I know that Google mail provide labels and star facilities to differentiate the emails but what if they provide the facility to create folder and allow users to move emails to their folder…you might be aware that hotmail is providing such facility…
    this will help us to keep our inbox clean and reach to particular mail more easily…

    what is your opinion ??

  30. I really dont like Chrome man. I second the idea that it be scrapped.

  31. I love your mom’s suggestion about the translation. That would be a great add in order not to have to cut and paste so much. I have done that with german and spanish a number of times and I could avoid the toggling.

  32. My biggest gripe with Google products is the way that both the AdWords tracker and Google Analytics* use a “last click wins” model for tracking ad campaigns. As well as being annoying for advertisers it must cost Google millions of dollars.

    Take my company, Diet Chef. Our product is relatively expensive and quite a big deal so very people are going to arrive on the site and buy it immediately. They will almost certainly come to the site, then go away, think about it, do some online research then come back to buy. This is fairly typical for a lot of other products too.

    When I look at the AdWords or Google Analytics tracking it shows that the campaign with my company name as keywords has done incredibly well and my other AdWords campaigns have done very badly. However I use an expensive third party product which tells me that the AdWords tracking is wrong and although it’s saying that these campaigns aren’t working they actually are because people coming to the site via these campaigns but only buying on their second click after searching for the company.

    I’m sure there’s lots of other people who don’t use expensive tracking products who will be canceling AdWords campaigns because of the “last click wins” tracking so I’m sure this costs Google a very large sum of money.

    * OK, I do know you can get round it with Google Analytics by putting arcane, undocumented characters in the URL’s but it’s still not ideal

  33. Dave (originial)

    The more Browser *choices* the better. However, I do wish Google would stop with the “make the web faster” rubbish. It borders on “evil” and is false for the vast majority of users.

  34. Chrome’s great – please don’t scrap it! Shame there isn’t a Windows 2000 version though.

    Multi-worded Adam, I don’t think you’re understanding the revenue streams generated from browsers. Just because Firefox costs the user $0.00, doesn’t mean Mozilla isn’t pocketing a huge amount of money. Have a read of this: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=6715 – even if Chrome is battling it out for a #2 spot with Firefox, Google are still saving tens of millions of dollars that would’ve otherwise have gone to Mozilla.

    Plus if the future of computing lies in web apps from a browser… then it makes sense to have a product out there and at least try to be the next Windows of the cloud, as it were.

  35. Dave (originial)

    Chris, don’t worry, the day Google start taking heed of ignorance, is the day they go under.

    MWA doesn’t understand that FREE software translate into BIG money for most that offer it. It’s one of the best things about software (reproduction costs $0.00, storage costs $0.00, infinite shelf life, no transportation costs………etc). That is, you can give it away and make millions in the process. Business don’t “give away” anything without strings attached (especially M$), most don’t ever know the strings exist.

    MWA, will come back (as he always does) and post along the lines of “I should have explained better………”. then proceed to water down his erroneous statements.

    Basically, it’s one of those “if you have to ask you would never understand the answer” situations :)

  36. Hi Matt,

    For a relatively obscure service, Google Patent Search – Ability to export search results to Google Docs.

  37. Derek Coatney

    @DeanClatworth Make sure you checkout the Google Reader shortcuts, there is one to refresh which should cut down on your keystrokes – http://www.google.com/support/reader/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=69973

    My Feature Suggestion: Allow users to enter in their personal data, like phone number, address, birthday, etc into the Gmail contact info. Then, add an option to share this information with certain contacts. This will allow the contact manager to become a central CRM for many people. Even when you update your personal information you can have the option to publish the change to those you are sharing with.

  38. My mom doesn´t even have a computer!

    When she visits, and gets persuaded to try the monster, she keeps lookings down on the mouse, moves it, and then looks back up on the screen. It´s quite funny to watch:-)

    Happy new year to everyone:-)

  39. Ed

    I’d like to see a feature in Google translator that allows you to write a foreign language in Roman letters and translate the text literally to that language’s alphabet. I work in a library and a greek lady would like to be able to email her family in the greek alphabet if Google could translate Greek to Greek using our alphabet to Greek alphabet it would be a big help to her.

  40. Your dad is a great man I’m sure but even more for using a Mac! : ) Happy New Year…

  41. Vlasta

    Hi Matt, your Mom (with all respect) is not the first one to suggest integration of Translate and GMail – numerous users (including me) have mentioned it in GMail discussion forums. (I even proposed to be able to automatically translate my reply back to the language of the original email before sending it.)

    If you have any influence on the GMail team, please vote for this great usability enhancement. Thanks!

  42. I second the easier to translate suggestion by your mum. Once you get into multi-lingual SEO and need to communicate with the users that attracts, it can be quite time-consuming to flit between the apps. Thanks Matt’s mum for making the suggestion where it can be most loudly heard!

  43. John

    First of all I would like to be able to use my Google Domain apps account as my main Google Account. So rather than my Google account being yadayada@gmail.com it could be yadayada@mydomain.com. It’s okay as it is…maybe I could be even swayed into believing that the separation is good, but I just feel like I’m maintaining multiple accounts for no reason. Having more open accounts/passwords just increases the number of security vulnerabilities for a user’s identity. Lastly, Google would be able to eschew all “Google has too much control” complaints if I could use my domain app account and download all of my relevant Google data (personal settings, search history etc). That way any user can feel comfortable that they have the ability to use Google’s awesome services but if they betray that trust they can leave and take their data with them.

    Tied for first I would also like to see new and improved Grand Central features. GC is an awesome service. I’d gladly pay for additional features but they haven’t added any [significant] for a long time. Not to mention that for over a year I haven’t been able to import a contact list which is extremely annoying. I recommend Grand Central to everyone and people always comment on my phone call filtering. I never have to talk to telemarketers and can freely give out my phone number.

    If Google could finally tie Jaiku, Gmail/Google Domain Apps and Grand Central they would have a unique mobile and communications platform.

  44. John

    ….One more thing …err maybe two more things:

    I just switched tabs to Gmail and realized that these two issues annoy me on a daily basis and are probably above everything I mentioned in my previous comment. They are probably easier to implement as well.

    I really don’t like how Gmail saves every name I send email to. If I email someone on craigslist it saves the sale-xyz123@… email address and clutters up my contact list. I understand how it’s useful in some cases, but there has to be a better way to manage this.

    Second, but also in Gmail, I like to give my mom and dad a nickname in my gmail so I can type in “mom” or “dad” and have their email addresses show up. I shouldn’t have to address my parents with their full names (or email addresses).

  45. Get advice from an older generation on Google is great. You know that it is clearly very useful feedback because for the most part it is very un-jaded and unbiased feedback.

  46. Matt

    Kudos on two counts – first for having such tech-savvy parents and secondly for listening to them and their advice.

    Sometimes in our jobs we get too wrapped up in what we know and what we THINK we know is best for our products/services. By listening to a relatively un-biased third party you are broadening your horizons.

    As I said – Kudo to you!

    Mike Allan

  47. Hi Matt,
    Speaking as a member of the ‘older generation’ and a supermum who is studying Spanish I agree with your Mum I would love a translate button
    for those ‘confused’ moments!!!
    Happy New Year!

  48. I love Chrome. That is all.
    :)

    Seriously though, I am growing impatient for Chrome on Mac. I use both Mac and PC but I just bought myself a new MacBook for my HD video editing and going back to firefox felt like a downgrade to me. I think Chrome is the only thing standing in my way to have my VAIO eat dust for good.

  49. Nice post, Google is superior when it comes to search and search related services.About the chrome browser: I´m an internet marketer and have not found a better browser with tabbed browsing as Mozilla Firefox.When will this feature be added to Google Chrome?

  50. I am SO happy about Google adding Adsense to Analytics that I hate to even mention any other deficit, no matter how minor.

    One thing I do dislike is that tech searches often turn up results from Experts Exchange. THOSE AREN’T ANSWERS. They are solicitations to PAY for an answer; to my mind those should rank lower than results that actually do provide answer.

  51. John

    @Anthony L,
    I’m also annoyed by the Experts Exchange results as well. If you notice though, a lot of the answers are blurred at the top of their pages and then printed in clear text at the bottom. Also, you can view Google’s cached page as a backup. Luckily, Google can’t index their site without viewing the answers’ content.

    I don’t know that I ever really find answers on EE. After all, if people have to pay or signup to ask a question they have to do the same to answer a question. Few open source developer related questions can subsist in that scenario.

  52. Google just added our language to Google Translate. I’m very happy with this because Google translates much better than some domestic tools.
    However, I think sometimes Google tries to be TOO smart and makes real funs :) with the translated result .
    I’d suggest don’t try to be smart when you can’t understand some thing clearly :D .

  53. Googler

    Hi Matt,

    I would like a function in Google to ignore domains. That is, a function to remove certain domains from search listings. Sometimes, a site is not on track for what I am searching for, so I want to be able to remove it from consideration and re-present the list.

    For certain spammy domains, I’ll like a personal blacklist, so that they never came up.

  54. Hi Matt,

    I personaly would have suggested to keep lively up and running. Unfortunatly the decision has been made.

    Wishing you, your family and all Googlers, readers and nice people on the world a happy 2009!

  55. Hello Matt, You parents’ feedback is very good ones.
    I wish you a spectacular 2009!

    I too have a few suggestions for 2009
    ————-
    Chrome
    ————-
    While using google spreadsheet on chrome, it crashes so often especially while working with long spreadsheet. Hope chrome will be ready to handle it very soon.

    *adding 3rd party add on to chrome like it is at Firefox

    * Hope a google toolbar for chrome will be available soon or atleast a PR checker
    ————-
    Picasa
    ————-
    Is it possible to blog a picture from picasa to my own blog?
    It’d be a nice feature to add.
    ————-
    google docs
    ————-
    *Facility to tag each and every files
    *to be able to download all my files to my local PC.

    ————-
    Gtalk
    ————-
    more improved Video chat while using gtalk application

    —————
    Booksearch
    —————-
    More regional language books

    Thanks

  56. Douglas

    1. Please change the Forgotten Attachments Gmail labs add-on so that it can use a customized list of words. Also, please change the add-on so that it does not flag the message if you just have words about the attachment in the reply.
    2. Please add the ability to use email encryption certificates with Gmail using the native web interface (like one would use if one wanted to send an encrypted message to a non-Gmail-user). Right now, that’s the only reason I need to access Gmail using Thunderbird.
    3. Please set the Canned Response Lab to not object to replacing the text of the current message when the only text in the message is a signature.
    4. Please allow us to set multiple signatures based on which email address we are replying from.
    5. Allow people to delete the “Invite a Friend” to Gmail link on the left hand side of the screen, as it takes up screen space and is really unnecessary now that Gmail is open to everyone.
    6. Please allow adding words to Gmail’s spell-check.

    Thank you.

  57. the woodsman

    Wow, what an opportunity :)

    Calendars

    The way you cna add an event seamlessly but need to click through to edit the same fields you added just fine from there a minute ago… so annoying.
    I’m sure i’m not the only one who’d love to edit more info in the event callout, without going into the full form.

    Tasks

    The new tasks in Gmail are lacking a key feature – export!
    There’s no print or download option, so without a compatible phone/PDA it’s annoying for an Xmas shopping list :) And I know they cross link from emails, but as they have their own dates, they should cross link with calendar entries too!

    Thanks for listening…

  58. Googie

    The new look of “Contacts” in Gmail is nice. But it would be better still if a “Nickname” could be added to each contact.
    (I could choose to add the nickname under “More Information”; but according to me, a nick deserves a separate field!)

    - Googie

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