More reasons to hate Google Hangouts

Dear Google,

I’m so glad you decided to link all of my settings to my Google account, rather than to device on which I’m using that account. Because of your decision, I don’t get to say that I would like chat notifications on my tablet, but not on my phone. I either get notifications in both places, or in neither. This is perfect! I get to choose between never seeing chat messages unless I’m on my laptop (where I use Pidgin, a wonderful program that does all the things Hangouts won’t), or having my phone pester me with pinging and buzzing every single time somebody sends me a chat message. Which is fabulous when I’m, y’know, in a public place.

This is such a brilliant move on your part. Even better than that time you decided to take away the nice Talk app and replace it with Hangouts, where I don’t get to see whether somebody’s status is Active or Away or Do Not Disturb. I just love having companies strip away utility and force me into some marketer’s pre-determined idea of how I’m going to use the program, rather than the way I was using the program. You’re doing a bang-up job of understanding your audience; if you didn’t have such a firm grasp of what we wanted, you wouldn’t be so successful at giving us the exact opposite.

No love,

One Response to “More reasons to hate Google Hangouts”

  1. Jaws

    Premise: The more a company thinks it knows how you should — and therefore actually do — organize your life and work, the fewer options you’ll have… and the more any instructions provided (whether “manuals” for those of us who can still read more than one paragraph at a time or “help systems”) will begin to resemble IRS circulars, with “hypertext” crosslinks to both critical (and immediately relevant) definitions and complete inanity, all in a special language in which words that you think you understand don’t mean what you think they do.

    For example, [unnamed Silicon Valley firm] hides all information regarding takedown of products that infringe trademarks (but not copyrights) on a link that one can reach only through the terms of service. One would think there would be a link on the copyright page saying “Is your complaint about trademark and not copyright? Go here.” One would be wrong, because — according to public presentations by this firm — people don’t actually associate “takedown” or “copyright” or “infringe” with “trademark”…

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