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Google and my Mac? entry

According to the Google Mac blog:

We want to provide great products and services to the tens of millions of Mac users around the world, because it’s the right thing to do, and because Mac users inside and outside Google demand it.

It’s nice that they hire new Mac developers and all, but they are still a lot of things not working at all.

As I wrote earlier, I switched to Gmail completely. I don’t want to go back to or another mail client but there are some really annoying things for Safari users.

In increasing order of annoyance:

  1. No Gtalk in Gmail.
  2. No Rich Text Formatting.
  3. Latest update broke the “more options” link.

About Gtalk, I can understand javascript support is weaker in Safari than in Mozilla, but 37signals manage to support Safari in Campfire, so I guess Google could at least match a small (although very talented) dev. team.

The lack of rich text formatting is even harder to understand. A lot of things like that work perfectly in Safari. I can’t see how it could be that hard to implement. I mainly use plain text in emails, but you can’t even forward a formatted mail, which is a PITA.

The third point is even worse. Gmail has been updated recently, (some cosmetic changes, not even that good, IMHO). Since then, the “options” javascript pop-up doesn’t errr… pop up in Safari, meaning there’s no access to “show original”, “delete”, “print”, etc. anymore. A workaround is to switch to the “basic html” view. Not cool. That means they don’t even test in Safari before pushing it!

I already hear the “use Firefox” crowd chiming. ;)

  1. Not fully supporting the main browser on a platform is not a good sign of their dedication. Especially as they broke it even more since their declaration.
  2. I dont like Firefox on Mac. I find it heavy, slow and full of UI weirdness (BTW, what’s up with the stuck spinner on the top right corner?1), the buttons and forms are horrible, etc. To make it short: It’s not a Mac app.
  3. My alternative browser is Camino. I kinda like it, but having an application open just for Gmail defeat the purpose of using a webmail. As Safari is set as my default browser, clicking on a mailto link or using Google Notifier opens it. Plus, I can’t edit textareas in TextMate from Camino. That’s a deal breaker. There is a workaround to do it in Firefox, but see point 2.

Don’t misunderstand me, I like Google, I like Gmail and I think these are the best search engine and free mail service. I think it’s good that they announce their commitment to the Mac, but I’d happily trade GoogleEarth Mac for a decent Safari support in Gmail.

Does Google really care about us Mac users?

Update: I noticed on 27/11/06 that they brought back the “more options” link and the old look for Safari only. It’s perfectly fine for me, I just wonder why they think it’s so hard to make a popup menu working in Safari…

  1. When FF is idle, the spinner is stuck like that, is this considered normal?

Posted on 18/11/2006 .