10 points Gmail doesn’t buy me

GmailThis is in response to Mayank’s post on “10 reasons why I like gmail” and in support to Nirmal’s view on “3 reasons why I don’t like gmail“. I’m a fan of Yahoo Mail till now and not used with Gmail yet. I use Gmail as secondary though. I might be little defending on this post. I wanted to try writing a defending post. Mayank was my first victim (hope you don’t take it personally, as you’re my guru) . Let me see how this works out. Please leave your comments!

1. User Interface Customization

UI customization is really important when it comes to an end user application. Everyone end user will have their own preference when it comes to color scheme selection. I may love blue as Google but there are people out there who loves black, green etc., It would have been great if Gmail allowed me to play with my own color schemes rather than having a same blue interface every where around Google Apps. I either didn’t see any changes to the UI much after initial release.

2. Labels instead of Folders

Labels are indeed nice concept but it can’t win by itself. Lets consider analogy in bloggers term, if Folders are for Categories then Labels are for tags. If both worked together would look great but tag alone will look awkward. I love folders since I can define the hierarchy by the way I want. It makes organizing emails much easier.

3. Usability

I believe when it comes to usability drag and drop is a great feature. You can’t expect all users to be advanced user; there will be definitely novice users who will look for drag and drop feature. Only advanced users would be able to play well with shortcut.

4. POP / SMTP support

Well, when people talk Gmail as web mail system, I don’t buy why they need a POP /
SMTP support. POP / SMTP can’t be used well with Web email system. If Gmail had IMAP support then it is truly a great feature. IMAP will allow me to work parallel with both email client and web email. Even if POP/ SMTP is important to you, Gmail is not only product that supports POP.

5. Multiple Accounts

If I’m completely satisfied with Gmail, it doesn’t demand me adding more accounts. I don’t have much to comment on this, I leave it to you J

6. Messenger Integration

Messenger integration with email system is cool. But think about this scenario, if I don’t have friends in Google Talk (say if I use AIM); what is the use of having it integrated? This can’t be a buying point again. It is a negative when I think about my productivity 🙂

7. Advertisement

Wow, everyone needs to learn from Google on it advertising strategy. It might have not have banner ads in the top. It covers the left side of all messages with text ads. More over it had the clip ads in the top. Google places more and more self-promotion wherever possible. Do you still have room for more ads?

8. Google Office Integration

Again, I hate this self-promotion campaign. I’m a fan of ZOHO office. How do I open the document then ZOHO office? I would personally prefer to download the document and view in client rather than using Google office.

9. Spam Control

Honestly, do you think Gmail controls all spam? I would not agree, I receive SPAM emails in my Inbox but not high number as I get in SPAM box. There is no service till date comes with complete control for SPAM. They are improving a lot though.

10. UNDO Feature

Sound interesting idea, but does it really work? Was this feature missing in other email providers? Very well No, this feature is available with all service. But they don’t have button to click on, you need to go find the deleted items in Trash box. This is really good point to consider in usability, but not a buying point.

Do you really have these as your buying points?

BTW, did I miss to tell you Gmail really rocks though 🙂

Disclaimer : I’m a big fan of Yahoo Mail. All my opinions are self biased. Moreover I would be positively toned on Nirmal’s view and negatively toned on Mayank’s thoughts.

If you like this post, buy me a coffee.

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  1. Ben,
    Great review! Not just because its pointing against GMail, but because of the fact that you have mentioned everything to the point. 😀
    So now its like 10 vs 10. Mayank, any thoughts?

  2. Forgot to tell. Stumbled. 😀

  3. Ah! I like it a lot!!! Its always good to have healthy competition going around!

    Now I’ll point out each and every point you said…..

    1. Agreed! People have preference and they should be given choice too!

    2. I really don’t see any point in the label and folder thing. So, I’ll not go much into this.

    3. Well, if you already know that the email you’ve received is not worth reading then you need to setup filters mate! Why will you use drag and drop ?

    4. What makes you stick to Yahoo then. They don’t offer even a single thing no pop, smtp or imap.

    5. Well, it’s one of the features they’ve given you. Use it and then you’ll notice the usability of that feature. And slowly that will make you switch completely to GMail. Trust me. Try it.

    6. Well, again a feature which has a choice, if you want to use it then you may if you don’t want to, don’t use it. But, you’ll notice that most of the people find it useful. We are talking about usability…aren’t we?

    7. They cover the right hand side with ads and that too the text ads and which are not obtrusive at all. Open Yahoo mail and you’ll see the flash ads and banner ads to welcome you! and when you open email, you get the ads at the bottom, when you send emails, ads are sent along.

    8. If you are a fan of Zoho office like me, then go ahead and download the file and open it with Zoho office. Have they imposed that you have to open it from Google office otherwise you won’t be able to open it….I guess the answer will be NO, they’ve not. You always have a choice 🙂

    9. I think most of you will agree that with GMail, you get less spam because their technology to filter spam mails is better than others. No one has seen the technology but we are experiencing it everyday.

    10. Undo feature isn’t the best feature but yes it’s there as a good feature. Don’t you love to save time ?

    I have not felt bad at all! Rather I’m happy that you thought of participating in the conversation! I feel the sense of community around our blogs 🙂

  4. Banner ads or Text ads, those doesnt make any sense to normal users. The difference comes only to blogger or rather tech saavy people. So that doesnt make any sense. Frankly for me text ads are more obtrusive than banner ads. 😀

    If you dont see any point in label and folders, thats your mistake mate. He has clearly explained it. 😀

    Well how many filters are you going to create for mails you dont read? 1000s or 10000s? For keyboard users shortcuts may be there, but tell me how many know this actually? Drag and drop a GOOD functionality missing in GMAIL. 😀

  5. Nirmal – You know what initially, I thought I’m so biased. But after getting facts out there; I don’t feel so 🙂 lol! Thanks for the stumble mate.

    Mayanak – wow. Really great explanation, but I’m gonna cover 10 by 10 again 🙂

    1. Lovely, you finally agreed with Nirmal and me.

    2. If you really don’t see any difference, I’m sorry folder is ahead of labels 🙂

    3. How do I know all scenarios? There might be situation email flow in without notice 🙂 Why don’t you agree Drag and Drop as a feature? BTW, filters are not only with gmail. I can set that up in Yahoo too 🙂

    4. Now I understand, why you’re with gmail. Dude it sounds like you never used yahoo, why don’t you take a moment to go check Options –> POP Access and Forwarding page in Yahoo! Yahoo does support and it was the first to introduce POP support with the big payers. This is for your FYI.

    5. Uhmm, I don’t understand why should I use multiple email account If I’m pretty comfortable with a single email account which I use?

    6. I’m sure; we talk about usability but that should not restrict anyone. If you think messenger integration is much required well yahoo too has it. That makes this point not a buying point to me.

    7. I will go with Nirmal points. But what I think obstructive is, say when you have an address in email; you will get an ad placed for google map. You might be thinking that is good from usability stand point. For me it is not, is that required for me to find all address I get in my email? Doesn’t that sound to be an obstructive marketing?

    8. Agreed. Choices are there! So why do you think google office integration is needed in first hand?

    9. I may agree to it if they have proven this. Personally, I get SPAMED more than my yahoo mail in Gmail. Again gmail is not even my primary account.

    10. Agreed! Good feature from usability perspective. But if you think that is a buying point then finally Gmail will end up creating shortcut buttons all around 🙂 lol

    BTW, I’m glad to see your response as well 😉

    Again, I’m with Nirmal on all the points he mentioned out there 🙂

  6. Well, there are quite few things which I can still explain to you and Nirmal. But really the thing is that will that make any difference. Will you start using GMail or probably liking it, if I get to convince you ? I think, your answer will be NO.

    You guys are comfortable with Yahoo and so, you’ll stick with it and same is the case with me. GMail is good and there is no doubt about it and the fact that it came late in the market, it’s stuck with less user base. People, really don’t like to change their email address often and that’s why they are still with Yahoo.

    I’m purposefully dragging away the conversation and I hope you understand why 😛

  7. That really depends on how well you convince us 🙂 It can be YES too.

    I may agree Gmail is good, but they don’t grantee my data 🙁 With this is mind it hard for us to move… We are with Yahoo that doesn’t necessarily mean we are stick with Yahoo! since we started initially with it.

    I understand that 🙂 Let me conclude this way, Yahoo and Gmail has it own advantage and disadvantages. People stick with either one just because of the choice they make and both service is best to each other.

    Would both of you agree?

  8. Well, I agree to you on that one 🙂

    Both the services have got advantages and disadvatages…If you want I can still do a post where I’ll say 10 things I don’t like about GMail 😀

    But, the fact is that I’ve made GMail as my choice of service and so I’ll stick with it 🙂

  9. Great, this is the same with Nirmal and Me! The likes which you have with Gmail doesn’t warrant us to make a change 🙂

  10. Ben, you are right, it can be YES also, depends on the way Mayank convinces us. 😀 But as of now, we’ll stick to Yahoo like the way you stick to GMail. 😀

  11. We will leave the rest to Mayank. Mayank, do you think you still like to convince both of us?

  12. 1. User Interface Customization – I do partially agree with this. But I definitely hate yahoo’s new bloated and buggy new interface that still doesnt work properly with Opera. You can try userjs (Opera) or Greasemonkey scripts (Fx) or Creammonkey scripts (Safari) to modify the interface.

    2. Labels instead of Folders – Dont agree with you. I am with Mayank on this.

    3. Usability – Drag and drop is nice, but first yahoo needs to make its service cross browser compatible. Which if they try wouldnt be too hard.

    4. POP / SMTP support – This is something a lot of people use and this is something most yahoo mail accounts dont have access to (I think yahoo india offers POP). Its even more useful nowadays as a lot of mobile softwares use POP to deliver email updates on mobile phones.

    5. Multiple Accounts – I use multiple accounts. One account using Gmail hosted (i.e. with my domain name) and another account with normal gmail address. I import all mails sent to gmail hosted to my normal gmail account as its convenient. Again its something that yahoo doesnt offer.

    6. Messenger Integration – How is it negative? If you dont need it disable it. I am singed out of the messenger most of the times, but sometimes IM works better than email. Btw, yahoo provides this.

    7. Advertisement – So you are telling me your yahoo mail account isnt plastered with big banner ads?

    8. Google Office Integration – You are walking on thin ice over here. You are simply taking some of the best features of Gmail and stating that you dont like it because you dont have use for it or you would rather do it in a more complicated x y z way without explaining why. How is downloading–>uploading–>viewing more convenient than simply –>view file ?

    9. Gmail anti-spam isnt 100%. But it works better than yahoo. Mainly because it gives a lot less false positives.

    10. Dont really know what to say!!

    😛 You are right gmail rocks. And its impossible to defend yahoo mail against it. Well, atleast you tried 😀

    Btw, I use gmail all the time. Even when I am not using it directly. I use an userjs called oSpell for opera (inline spell checker) that uses gmail’s spell checking engine.

  13. Pallab, I’m proud of you since you started the argument again 🙂

    My answers fall below before doing that you can very well read my post title and disclaimer 😛 lol

    1. You guys agreed gmail needs some improvement on this.! Well, i’m not a Opera fan. if you think you can tweak gmail by installing couple of hacks etc. why don’t you just switch to Firefox where everything works seamlessly with Yahoo!

    2. Well, if you read my point I agree Labels are good… but not without Folders..

    3. I’m a Firefox user. I’m not worried if Gmail works in another browser or not..

    4. I can’t agree with you on that! I hardly see people using POP/SMTP for their personal email. I don’t think Yahoo India! alone supports POP, it should be general across the countries.

    5. I said I don’t use this feature. That doesn’t mean that yahoo didn’t have this feature. I used this feature long back around say 5 yrs back with an SoftHome email account. Please take some time to check Options page and then Mail Address option. Yahoo offers this service too..

    6. Yes, you too agreed. Yahoo provided this so this can’t be a buying point for Gmail 🙂

    7. I decided not to talk about this any more. Images talk more than 1000 words. Have a look at my yahoo interface. Do you think yahoo is plastered with banners? if Yes, I’m sorry!

    8. I may agree with you 🙂 But here im not defending these features are good / bad. What I’m trying to tell here is “these points are not buying point for Gmail to make me switch over from Yahoo”

    9. Proof? just to save from some spam mails I can’t loose all emails 🙂 hope you’re aware about the gmail disaster..

    10. 🙂

    I agree Gmail rocks, but still I can defend against it with Yahoo based on my personal view and my plus points why im with Yahoo!.

    I’m not doing a Technical 1 to 1 comparison here 🙂

    It was fun defending anyway.

    BTW, if you switch to Firefox you don’t have to use a plugin for spell check 😉 hope not this becomes Firefox Vs. Opera like gmail Vs yahoo 🙂

  14. @Pallab,
    Yahoo does offer multiple accounts, and GMail is not the only service which offers that.
    Great explanation again. 😀

  15. I don’t agree with you
    Gmail is the best

  16. New Folder – Anyway, thank you for stopping by! It all depends on personal opinion.

  17. i agree with ur 2nd point, i dun like the label…i prefer folder like yahoo

  18. iCalvyn – I’m glad to find few other people like me and Nirmal 🙂 BTW, hope to see you back again.!

  19. I have to admit I’m a Gmail user. I jumped on the bandwagon years ago and never got off.

    I like Gmail just fine (haven’t used Yahoo since… well, I can’t remember) but I do miss folders. What can I say… I still use Outlook too!

  20. Joe – Well, sometime you may need to try other service! may be you will see Yahoo Mail interesting as Nirmal and Me do 🙂 We have 4 votes for folders so far 🙂 BTW, Nice to have you here.!

  21. point 1: the gmail ui can’t be customised. you got that right. however, you’re calling yahoo’s “change the colour of everything with one click” customisation. it’s not. customisation would mean changing or rearranging ui items according to your preferences. no webmail provider that i’ve seen provides that.

    point 3: usability isn’t just limited to drag and drop. gmail gives you all the buttons at the top and bottom of each mail, very useful for long mails. that’s more usable. before yahoo introduced drag and drop, how did you organise your mails?

    point 5: multiple accounts, however useless they may be, is a feature that’s missing from gmail. trivial point taken.

    rest of your points can be generalised to state that:
    “gmail does this, but yahoo does not. i don’t use the feature that gmail provides, so gmail is bad”, ignoring that you have the option of NOT using the feature.

    also, imho, yahoo is OUT of the competition until it introduces atleast an option of conversation view. it’s the only sane way to keep track of 50-200 emails in a day and around 30000 mails in my archives (yeah, i actually handle that much mail). my friends who use yahoo usually give up and hit “mark all as read” because it’s just impossible to keep track of multiple conversations over email, they way it happens over mail groups, without conversation view.

    i’d go so far as to prefer gmail over microsoft outlook 2003 (for just the email features, calendar/journal/tasks etc is much better in outlook), but i guess i’ll save that conversation up for another day.

    sorry if i sound inflammatory, i didn’t intend to. however, i find the author’s viewpoint extremely biased. the comments (atleast, as far as i read) are much more balanced.

  22. kris, Thank you for your comments! You’re right in the point about customization but unfortunately gmail doesn’t even provide a simple customization that others provide! I don’t really see it as plus point in yahoo but that is not at all a buying point for me towards gmail.

    When yahoo didn’t drag and drop feature I was using it because gmail didn’t give birth 🙂

    The rest of others I was pretty clear on my statement even if google provides that those are not buying points for me to switch.

    BTW, I have already agreed I’m biased and my statement were as said but at least not over-baised from my perspective!

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