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Dinged. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...

Hello, my name is Ray and I'm a Googleholic.

Hi, Ray!

Once I untethered myself from AOL a good decade ago, Google was the shiny new thing we all wanted to use. The search interface was clean and simple, and most of the related apps got rolled out slowly, and usually with invite codes attached.  My blog-name at gmail was a break from the AOL walled garden and just looked nicer than anything I'd ever experienced at places like yahoo and msn/hotmail/whatever they were calling themselves.

But I missed The Voice.

In those days before tabbed browsing and multiple pieces of smartware all accessing the Gmail platform, I needed something to come out of the background to remind me to go check- and Doodles Brin (or was it Page?) provided it in the form of a little blue envelope:

Fine, moi's is not in French, but for close to a decade, those simple little boxes have brought me thousands of LJ comment notifications, bill and payment confirmations, occasional genuine letters from friends, and virtually no spam.  The grayish envelope meant nothing was new; an exclamation point was usually my first clue that the router (or worse) was down; and the beautiful simplicity of "check mail now" and "tell me again" have been friends for years.

Until now:(

The email came on Sunday; the Google Notifier Beta (amazing that it never got OUT of beta after all these years) will go away on January 31st:

Starting on January 31,  Google Notifier Beta will no longer be supported, meaning the app will no longer show recent emails and calendar events.

Since the Google Notifier Beta launched in 2004, a lot has changed. Smart phones can now notify us of new messages wherever we are, and improvements to web technology enable similar features to be built right into the browser.

If you want to continue to receive notifications, you can use any of the following alternatives to Google Notifier Beta using the Chrome browser....

Blah blah a-ha! THAT's the agenda.  This little widget predates Chrome, and worked across all browser platforms; mine has always been paired with Mozilla.  But now, as with Google Reader and Google Browser sync (still part of Chrome), and iGoogle (another way to get email notifications through any old browser), the boys have moved on to bigger and better (or likely more profitable) things.  And convincing you to use their browser would appear to be one of the most profitable choices they can make you make.

Yet the one thing they won't kill is the thing that's probably their biggest failure: Google+, which tried to be Facebook when it grew up, took a brief and seemingly promising run at the market, and has since retreated to the Republic of Obsoletistan.  Even now, they keep moving other products into its universe (such as the now-deceased Google Talk, merged into the plus-based Hangouts area).  I suspect this has more to do with them just disliking the Great White Zuckerberg and refusing to admit defeat to him, rather than any sensible business decision.

Come weekend after next, I'll disable the little envelope.  Usually, these days, my phone dings with the herald of email about as quickly as the notifier does- and it does so without splitting my mail into "primary" and "promotions."  I'll live, and learn, but it's sad that such a nice, small part of the company's legacy was too much for them to maintain.

Maybe a newer version will come along. As Howard Jones sang even more years before, Things Can Only Get Beta;)

This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/184600.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
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tilia_tomentosa From: tilia_tomentosa Date: January 24th, 2014 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
And I somehow didn't even know about this envelope thingy's existence. :)
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