Google's Shotgun Approach To Apps Is Bad For Users

Source: Google Play Store

Google is well known for its capacity to try new things, give them a year or two and then drop them if things don't pan out as expected or they can't turn a good idea into a revenue raising one. Which is why something in a recent MSPowerUser article piqued my interest. Google has 91 different apps in the iOS App Store. Is this a sign of great platform support or an indication that things are out of control at the Googleplex?

The MSPowerUser article was opining about Google not offering the same level of support for non-browser experiences for Windows users as it does for other platforms. And while that's an interesting thing to consider, I'm more concerned about a few things.

Is there anyone at Google thinking strategically about the apps that are being developed and deployed? Surely there's room for some integration. For example, why are the Gmail and Google Calendar split? Wouldn't an Outlook-like experience, that brings those together make sense? And I'm certain there's overlap in many of the apps that could be eliminated. While that may make code management a little more challenging, it would mean users would have fewer apps to keep up to date.

Does anyone even know what apps and services Google has? With 91 apps for iOS, and 131 for Android, can anyone keep track?

Then, there's Google's often sudden discussions to deprecate apps and services. I'm still a little bitter about Google Reader disappearing although I'm pretty happy with Feedly and gladly shell out the cost of an annual subscription.

What do you think? Is Google's broad spectrum of apps a good thing for users? Or would it make sense for them to create a more accessible front end so people knew what apps and services the company makes?


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