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Small frustrations with Google

posted 21 Sep 2010, 14:49 by Atharva Inamdar
Google is a great service provider. With great email service, photo and video hosting and even online collaboration tools such as Docs.

I have two small wishes to the giant genie, Google.

First being with their storage policy. Gmail started off in 2004 with 1GB of storage. Since the invitation back in 2004 I've been using it and seen its storage increase dramatically and currently just over 7.5GB! This is extremely huge amount of storage compared to any of its competitors.
Picasa is also another amazing product brought forward by Google. Its sister product Picasa Web Albums, an online photo gallery, offers 1024MB of storage for free. This product hasn't gained any storage since its birth and Google is showing no increasing its free storage for Web Albums.

Logically, one would think that a photo hosting service would require and thus provide a large amount of storage in contract with a mail service which on average doesn't require such a huge amount of storage. Email attachments are limited to 10MB (except Gmail allows 20MB to other Gmail accounts) and most of the emails are text only with a very small number of background graphics. These simple emails require only several KBs of storage space each. I know there are an immense amount of emails sent and received everyday but is 7.5GB+ storage space justified?
Photos on the other hand, require several MB each especially now that cameras are gaining more and more pixels. Picasa Web Albums offers to upload photos at reduced resolutions from 1600px to 640px and of course the full resolution of the original photo. But you the reader ask yourself, Would you want to show off your pictures at a worse quality than your camera? The reason you bought your expensive 12MP camera was to take amazing photos and share them with amazing quality! I have been using Picasa Web Albums for about 3 years now and I have nearly filled my quota and by only uploading at their recommended 1600px size.

Here is my actual frustration, if you want to buy more storage from them, its easy and fairly good pricing. An additional 20GB is USD$5.00, yes just five dollars. But this storage is shared between Gmail, Picasa Web Albums and Docs. Also a small note that any photos uploaded to Blogger or Buzz also count in the Picasa Web Albums storage quota. This space is allocated on a first come first serve basis to these three products. Now if Google is willing to give 7.5GB+ of storage for free to Gmail why not allow that storage to be shared with Picasa Web Albums and Docs? Why have paid storage shared with a service with which they promise to provide ever increasing storage space and which frankly is unnecessary. This might just be another money making trick! I really wish that it would be possible to reduce the free storage space allocated to Gmail and be able to allocate it to other services such as Picasa Web Albums and Docs.

My second wish is that Google work hard and push Google Wave as a much more mainstream product. This product is revolutionary for collaboration efforts. it the ability to see live edits and file uploads there is a tremendous scope for use in education, research and project coordination (but not limited to these).

I used Google Wave (or GWave as I like to call it) for my group project at university. This is an amazing tool to pull togather all resources found by all the team members and even to file all our team meetings with our supervisor. Sharing presentations and draft report sections was easy with this. File uploads and even to a small extent versioning. One use I put its interactive feature to was the voting gadget. With several ideas for logos floating around, we uploaded them all to a wave and asked members and other Waving friends to vote.  Google Wave has since gained many extensions/gadgets and features.

Google officially announced that this tool will not see any major developments and will be available "atleast trough the end of the year". This is not good news and an online petition has been set up at www.savegooglewave.com to ask Google to keep this tool alive. I ask you all to go and enter some basic details and "sign" this petition. This is an actually revolutionary communications tool.

I hope my readers understand my frustration and wishes regarding these issues. More so, I feel Google need to review their policy on storage space allocation and also keep Google Wave alive.

Thank you
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