Lack of Development on Google’s Gmail and Inbox

Google’s Gmail/Inbox is the most used mail system on earth with nearly a billion users. I’ve been using Gmail since it started. The whole time I’ve been dumbfounded by the lack of development Google has given it.

I know email systems pretty well. I worked at Novell on the GroupWise product for over a decade. Novell spent hundreds of millions of dollars on GroupWise R&D. Yet, it was a fraction of the size of Gmail. A billion users? That’s a lot of advertising dollars.

Gmail has never been given a face lift. Every once in a while they would add a new feature. But that is what it was–a new feature. No serious improvements.

Now Google has shifted Gmail users to Inbox and we are seeing the same thing. Even old functionality is missing. A key item many people use is groups. The ability to email a group. That ability is not in Inbox. Inbox has been out for almost a year. It makes no sense to me. Adding the “group” functionality should take no time at all. In fact, they shouldn’t have released Inbox without it. Thousands of people have requested it to no avail.

Another item we had in Gmail that we lost in Inbox is full screen editing of an email. Now we are confined to a small box instead of being able expand the screen. Once gain, is expanding the screen an insurmountable obstacle for Google developers or do they have no usability testing?

One final vacancy, Inbox has very limited formatting options. You can no longer change your font. YOU CAN’T CHANGE YOUR FONT! You also lost the ability to justify, change text colors, highlight, indent, etc.

Other free email programs have much more functionality. I’m just not a fan of changing email addresses.

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