A rant about Google Drive for Linux

Google Drive was released April 24th 2012. At the time there was a lot of buzz and comments on the missing Drive client for Linux. In the days following the launch we had multiple comments from various Google employees telling us to "stay tuned".

Now 4 months later we still haven't heard anything about a Linux client, stopping the adoption of Google Drive in the Linux community.

I've always wondered why this is taking so long, considering that the needed technology is already present in another product (Google Music) which had a Linux client available at launch. I know that Drive is a little bit more complex to build, but most of the underlying technology could be the same.

A point I would like to make is that even though communication from Google has improved vastly over the last year, with the introduction of Google+ and the blog cleanup lately, it still baffles me how little information we get about something that a lot of people obviously cares about. A small status drop every once in a while would be nice. Just to make it easier to follow the progress and to maybe understand a little more about why this is taking so long. I'm sure there is a good reason behind the delay.

4 weeks of Google+

I've used Google+ for about 4 weeks, and my initial impressions are good. I find it so good that I've deactivated my facebook account to see if I can live with only using Google+ for my personal social networking.

The Pros:

  • Very easy to share the stuff you want, with only the people you want.
  • Intuitive (at least for me) to use
  • Good integration with other Google products (and getting better by the week)
  • Good Android application
The Cons:
  • Of course there is a lot of my contacts from facebook missing still.
  • Poor integration to other services (Boxee.tv etc.)
  • Integration to Blogger could be better.
So far so good, lets see if Google can keep it up and keep evolving Google+ to be the perfect social networking site.

Google+ for Google Apps

Back when Google+ was first announced I was impressed with what they were trying to achieve. It was nice to see that Google finally decided to go all in on the Social Network scene. Of course everyone including me thought that they finally had something worthy of our attention. They finally decided that they wanted integration across their products and they finally tried to do something that none of the competition had managed - Control of the information you make available on the network. It seemed well thought out and it seemed they wanted to put the past behind them and make a nice product.

All their previous attempts had all suffered from the same mistake. They didn't immediately make them available to their (paying) customers aka Google Apps users which is a very big mistake as a lot of the hardcore Google users have gone all out and created Google Apps accounts. The Google Apps users are exactly the kind of tech nerds you want to test and promote new products before you make them available to the general public. I understand that big professional organisations don't want to be testing new bleeding edge features. But that can already be controlled very precisely in the control panel of Google Apps. In my humble opinion this is one of the biggest mistakes you as a global company can make. Never let your die hard users down like this.

Now, the fact that we still haven't got access as Google Apps users to Google+, is what it is. There have been a few comments from Google (here and here) saying they would have it ready "soon" in weeks or months. However it has been quite a few months now and still no luck. Google+ was even opened up the the general public under a beta tag. So now people without a standard Google Email address can sign up for Google+, but the die hard Google nerds is still out of luck. I think the general consensus is that people have just stopped believing that it will happen as is clearly evident in this thread on the Google Apps Forum. The thread is the first hit you get when you search for "google+ for google apps". This would indicate that Google needs to do something I would say.

The above is not even the worst part of the way Google handled this launch. To me the worst part is that they are so incredibly tight with giving out information about what is going on. I think people would be a lot more responsive to the missing access if Google would just give some status reports once in a while. It is incredibly frustrating not knowing what is going on, or why it is so difficult to enable Google+ (Google Profiles) for Google Apps users. It would be a lot easier to forgive this if Google would explain what the problem is and why it takes so long.