Google the Great!

Pretty much since I started this blog I have been back and forth between multiple vendors hardware and software. Lately, I have been playing around with a lot of the online services that are on offer with the most recent one being Yahoo!

Whenever I switch provider they must be able to fulfill a specific requirement and that is to be able to send mail as another address other than the one provided to me by service X.

My entire contacts list has my @me.com email address, so when I send email from Gmail, Outlook.com, or Yahoo! I want it to appear to the recipient as though it came from my @me.com address. This works just fine on web-based mail clients or mail clients running on a desktop/laptop computer, but this feature is not possible from Mail.app (used by Gmail and Outlook.com) or the new Yahoo! Mail iOS app.

However, I since discovered that there is an official Gmail app for iOS developed by Google and guess what…? It allows me to use the same “send as” functionality as mentioned above!

So, as you have undoubtedly figured out by now, I have decided to switch back to Google’s services because all of the contacts that I need are available via the app too. “But what about your iOS contacts list?” well my dear friends that has been addressed here. Work like a charm!

Naturally, I will utilize the Google web-apps for my @gmail.com account via Google’s Chrome browser and sync my bookmarks with the same account too. This is beginning to not sound very platform agnostic considering all the other things that I now use Google for:

  • Maps & GPS
  • Google Translate
  • Picasa
  • Google Wallet
  • YouTube
  • Google+

As part of this Google conversion I discovered that the traditional Google app for iOS contains a web-based Tasks application. I don’t recall Google offering a Tasks application?! So, I will now give this a shot and see if it can fit into my GTD strategy for the year.

Here’s how my setup looks now:

  • Desktop OS = Ubuntu 12.04.2 on a Dell Latitude D430
  • Mobile OS = iOS 6.1.3
  • Mail, Contacts, and Calendars = Google
  • Tasks / To-do’s = Google
  • Online Storage = Microsoft SkyDrive (contemplating Google Drive)
  • Browser = Google Chrome
  • Bookmark Sync = Google Chrome

Now, here’s the thing… Should I use Google for literally all of my online needs does this defeat the purpose of being a platform agnostic technologist? Let’s think about this one… because even though Google has Chrome OS and the even more popular Android OS, I can still utilize all of the above on a Windows XP/Vista/7/8 Desktop/Laptop, Windows Phone & Surface tablet, iPhone, iPad, OS X desktop/laptop, and any flavor of Linux.

Is Google really a Plagtech’s dream come true vs Yahoo! that I previously quoted?

This blog was originally set up to make a point about vendor lock-in. Certain technologies that tie you to a particular set of hardware or software e.g. applications like Things that only work on OS X and iOS and thus making it harder to switch to another OS should you need to.

If I am using Google for the items mentioned above I am not prevented from using any device I choose. The only Google service that I can think of that has some sort of restriction is Google Play whereby purchases can be streamed to any device, but only downloaded to an Android device. This is not really a major issue for me as I have been purchasing my music from Amazon since my last iTunes vs Amazon vs Google post many moons ago.

Anyways, I think that is enough rambling from me today. I’ll give this whole “Google is Great!” thing a thinking over, but so far it seems to make sense.

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