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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Google+ and Gmail Integration

What I envision in the future is sort of a highly integrated, but scaled back, Gmail, Google+, Buzz, and Wave. That sounds like a lot, so let me clarify a little.

For one, I don't want a dozen Google Apps on my Android cell phone, and a dozen Tabs on my Google/Gmail interface. I would like 1 App for most communications functions. I want to see an an App that aggregates most of my Google feeds - email, Buzz, Google+, etc.

What would this look like? Well, I get an email, or maybe a Google Voice text or call. That email address or phone number is in my Contacts, so when I click on that message, I see not only the message (at the top) but also a short Buzz like summary of all the social activity that person has allowed to be shared with me. Think threaded email message type integration. Then I can drill down on any other stuff that person has posted, or shared - relevant documents, Videos, Buzz, Conversations/Hangouts in Google+, Shared Calendar events, etc. And under the email, and under each of those entries is a reply, forward, Google+, +1, comment, chat, Buzz, Twitter, etc. share options.

This would allow me to see my friends or associates complete social stream. I am sure your interface experts can conjure up an elegant, moderately light weight, easy to use layout. Wave had a lot of good ideas, but was too heavy, even on modern hardware.

Additionally, this would limit the storage used on my phone for all these different Apps, and would streamline communications. Google has SO MANY great products, but integration is not what it should be. Google Health, for example, was a great idea, but no one knew about it, which is why it didn't catch on. Likewise the Power thing.

And while I am on the topic of integration, and simplicity, why is it so hard to get to my Contact Manager interface at Google? I have to specify the URL (google.com/contacts), instead of clicking a link in Gmail or Calendar.

Mark, despite privacy concerns, I love Google's products. The main thing lacking is integration, and a good way to be informed of new products and features.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas on Streamlining the Google Experience for your customers. Perhaps it is too difficult to accomplish short-term, but if Google starts working toward a more integrated product set today, it will be unstoppable in a few years.

Change the game. It is time for a new approach to communications.

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