I am in love with Google. I resisted it for a long time, being a hardcore Yahoo junkie, but made the switch during my recent problems with Yahoo. I’m glad I did.
Their email application is wonderfully simple to use, which is just the way software should be. There are no irritating, flashing advertisements to distract me from my messages. The small, unobtrusive text ads that show up on the right side of the page are easy to ignore and most of the time I don’t even know that they are there.
Gmail groups emails together into conversations, which means that the usual back-and-forth banter between two people shows up under one heading in the inbox, instead of numerous messages. Contacts are easy to manage and there is even a way to add a personal photo to each one. With almost 3 GB of storage provided for free, most people will never have to delete another message.
Google Calendar is also fantastic, with “Quick Add”, an incredibly easy way to add appointments, dinner dates and more. Birthdays can be added so that they repeat on the same day every year. You can set up reminders via email or SMS message to a cellphone.
I started using Google’s customized homepage a few days ago and it is brilliant. They just added fun themes that change dynamically throughout the day based on the user’s time zone. The sun moves across the sky, the colors change, the characters move around, etc. Juvenile, but fun nonetheless.
The start page is both functional and convenient, as users have the ability to add gadgets like RSS feeds, news, local weather, a preview of Gmail and scheduled events from Google Calendar. I can even set up a widget with links to my most-visited pages for easy access from any computer with internet access. There are hundreds of more fun and useful items in their list of available gadgets.
Anyway, I’m hooked and can’t wait to see what Google has in store for the future.