Gmail just disappointed me

I used to be a great fan of Google! Google Books, Google Finance, Google Maps, Google News, Google Search, Google Chrome, even the Google Groups Usenet archive — what’s not to love?

One-by-one the Google services have disappointed me. Google News annoyed by insisting on using the Buddhist calendar(*), as do most of the Google services lately, but I’ve no idea how News behaves now. When someone (at SDMB?) recommended theoldgnews.com I immediately changed my bookmark and haven’t looked back.

    • I tell Google I prefer English every chance I get, but it doesn’t listen. I use the special incantations to set the special cookies when someone divulges the magic. Nope: still Buddhist calendar. Yes, I know subtracting 543 gives me Anno Domini, but I still find it annoying. No, I don’t forbid Google’s cookie setting. And I certainly will never clear Google’s cookies again — that was a total disaster when I accidentally did that several years ago.

Google Finance used to be 20 times as good as any other free stock news/charting on the web, but it barely exists now. (Anybody know the best replacement? Or should I log in to my broker every time I want to look at a stock graph?)

Google Maps was wonderful in the beginning but got worse and worse. I switched to mappingsupport.com, better than Google Maps ever was, but it went away. What’s the best mapper now? (Can’t blame Google for putting mappingsupport out of business. It was taking Google’s free data and presenting it in a friendly way!)

But through all these annoyances, I still loved my Google Gmail!

Today I needed to click a business URL in an email someone had forwarded me nine months ago. It was a dead-end — it led to a Google URL “shortcut” which seemed to have expired. No mention of the original URL of the business I needed to contact.

Now, who could ever blame Google for repacing the URL’s in my email with URL’s that point to Google instead? Why, if they can’t easily see which websites I’m going to besides their own, how could they compete with Facebook or the NSA? (For all I know, these Google URLs don’t just transfer, but stick themselves in as middleman so they can monitor my passwords, billing info, what I’m buying.) Gmail is free; I’d be ungrateful if I weren’t happy to unknowingly share secrets with them.

And I’d have never known Google had been doing this … except that the old e-mail I retrieved was amnost a year old and the Google transfer URL had apparently expired. (Fortunately ‘View Original Message’ did actually show the original message, so I was able to find the original URL that way.)

BTW, I use Gmail’s Basic View. Does everyone else use Standard View? Can you even get to Basic View if you wanted to? When the mandatory shift to Standard was instituted several years ago, I needed weird gyrations to get back to Basic.

I suppose one of the hyperlibertarians will be along to proclaim the virtues of hypercapitalism and say that if enough people agreed with me, a start-up named Froogle or such would be along to give us what we want. Wrong again; Google has so much infrastructure and power now, it’s a monopoly the likes of which the world has never seen.

ETA: Google Search also suddenly got much worse several weeks ago. Googling single words used to present definition or the Wiki page for that word. But now, if that word maps to any commercial product, the first page is all ads etc. for that product. Did everyone notice?

I hate the new Gmail. Someone asked me to lunch and Gmail “suggests” hitting one of three buttons for canned responses… Sure, Love To, What Time?, Can’t Make It (making these up but close). These obtrusive buttons are in the body of the return email.

I can’t figure out how to get rid of them or, even better, get back to Gmail “Classic.” Come on, are your customers really that thick that they can’t compose their own replies?

I switched to the new version the other day, and it hasn’t grown on me yet. After reading jaycat’s post, I clicked on the “Settings” icon (gear in the top right corner) and the first option was “Go back to Gmail Classic.” Clicked that and now I’m back.

Not thick, lazy. Why type 20 characters when you can click on a button that approximates what you mean? And of course this becomes absolutely imperative if you are doing your email on a phone.

I’ll be interested to see if anyone has suggestions for maps (I never used any of the other services mentioned). For directions in a car I understand that Waze is really good, although I had a little trouble getting it to work for me. Google Maps hasn’t been bad enough for me to actively seek anything better, but I’m always interested in alternatives to Google.

By the way, I still get definitions when I search on a single word, but the ones I search tend to be rather obscure and so unlikely to have commercial associations.

Sorry to say, you’re doomed to the new version sooner or later.

When it first was inflicted on me (complete with the dopey Suggested Responses to incoming emails), I clicked on Settings and restored the “classic” version. Gmail kept nagging me to switch to the new format either Now or In A Week and I ignored the Nag Box (which was partially blocking new outgoing emails). So Gmail installed the new format anyway and now Settings doesn’t contain the option to go back to the “classic” version.

An ingenious form of bait-and-switch. :dubious:

If by basic view you mean HTML-only mode, it’s always an option every time Google loads up. I only use it when I’m on a slow connection, because I like my wood grain background.

I’ve never had a link in a Gmail turned into a Google link. Was it perhaps a goo.gl link? Those would be made by the company itself. It would likely be in order to have the URL be shorter. There is a limit on how big an email can be and still be displayed in Gmail, so URL shortening is sometimes useful.

If the site moved after that goo.gl link was made, that would be a problem. Especially since Google is phasing out and soon you won’t be able to edit them.

As for looking up the definition of the word: the only way to do that reliably has always been to include the word define in your search. Googling define faze worked just fine for me, when I was making sure I used the right homonym.

THANK you. Bookmarked it immediately. I’m sure that sooner or later it will become inoperable, but at least for awhile I’ll have news in an easier-to-read format.

Yeah, this. Bastids.

Does your Gmail have a place (in the upper right?) to click and go to “Standard View” ? If not, I don’t think you’re in “Basic View.”

(In the following I’ve replaced some digits with ‘9’ and some letters with ‘z’ to preserve secrecy.) If I View Source, at the link in question I see
[noparse]
<a href="#m_9104669999999999998_AdminPanel" rel=“noreferrer”>
When I click on the link I get the URL
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/7xzd9zzzzz99/#m_-7480999999999999993_AdminPanel
and I am presented with … the main Gmail Inbox page.
If I view source, I see the original link was
<a href=3D"#AdminPanel">
Perhaps the replacement links worked OK for the original recipient, but not after it was forwarded to me?
[/noparse]

I know I can improve results with “define”, etc.

Testing it just now, I see Google has changed some of its Search behavior back to the way it used to be.

One specific example I remember was the search for “invidious” (I get tired of writing “invidious and/or insidious — I can’t remember which is which”) so I wanted the Invidious definition. All I got was hits for films named Invidious. I needed to add “definition” or such to get the definition.

But now, even without “definition” it is the definitions that come up on the first search results page; I need to add “film” to see the other results. (Perhaps I’d been searching for films the other day, and Google took it for granted that was what I wanted? :rolleyes: )

Click the gear icon in the top right, click settings, then turn Smart Replies off.
I have mixed feelings about the new Gmail. I don’t like how everything takes up more room, but I like the snooze feature pretty well. No reason they couldn’t have done that in the old Gmail. I also think I can do things like Mark as Unread in fewer clicks now. I think I’ll get used to it but not loving it.

There is something called “Smart Compose”. I clicked “Writing Suggestions Off” and that turned off “writing suggestions as I type.” I don’t see anything called “Smart Replies,” however.

I don’t see this in mine either; I click the gear, go to Settings, and am presented with the following menus:

General
Labels
Inbox
Accounts and Import
Filters and Blocked Addresses
Forwarding and POP/IMAP
Add-ons
Chat
Advanced
Offline
Themes

and none of those seem to contain anything about Smart Replies, or maybe I’m overlooking it.

And to the OPs point, Google Finance used to be great, yes, and I still use it because I can’t find anything better. I’m not sure what Google is trying to accomplish except dumbing everything down and trying to overpersonalize everything - that’s what these “Smart Replies” are, and Google Finance is too busy trying to guess what I’m interested in than just listening to what I’m interested in.

Gmail -> Gear at the top right - > Settings -> General tab

Scroll down to find Smart Compose and toggle off. Then scroll down further to find Smart Reply and toggle off. They don’t make it obvious but it’s in there on mine.

Thanks - found it right where you said. Eyes just glossed over it before.

This is why I use Outlook for all my email including my Gmail and Yahoo accounts.

The new interface is wretchedly ugly. Life is stressful enough already without having shit like this. Do they not realize how what they’ve done affects millions of people? Every day we have to worry about our work, our personal lives, our taxes, our health, our bills, and all the other realities of adult life…is it so much to ask that the system that we have to use every day to check our emails NOT be a fucking eyesore?

Ah. It seems the link in the source is just completely broken. Maybe it got corrupted with the forwarding. Maybe the original email wasn’t valid. But, whatever the issue, the source code of the email does not contain a valid URL.

It wouldn’t work properly even if you weren’t using Gmail.

Oops. I meant to respond to this as well. Yes, if I click on the “Load basic HTML” link in the bottom right while the new fancy Gmail interface is loading, I get back to what you call “Basic View.”

At the top of the page after doing this, I am offered the ability to switch back to “Standard” or make the basic HTML version my default.

I really don’t foresee Google removing this feature. I do, however, suspect that the old fancy version will eventually be deleted. Google will only maintain a new fancy version and the old basic version for slow connections.

I totally agree that the new Gmail sucks, but I’ve resigned myself to it. No matter how many tens of thousands of people scream bloody murder about it online (and they are), Google is not going to listen and change anything back. So we may as well get used to it.

The one thing that is annoying me enough to want to change it is the little arrow that is placed next to the person’s name in the inbox, after I’ve replied to a message. I neither need nor want this, and it’s distracting. I can’t find anything in the settings to get rid of it, and I can’t find anything about it online. Is it possible?

What is the problem with Google Maps? I still use it constantly, and haven’t seen a system I like better… :confused: