After my recent Toolbox post, I was looking into freshening things up a little bit. I started digging around a bit with Google Documents and email uploading. It wasn’t entirely reliable, but since I use Gmail anyway, I can always open any attachments I tried to send directly into Google Docs.
That led to me discovering Google Docs Mobile, which was really welcome. But they didn’t stop there, no. Google Notebook also has a mobile version where users can post notes and review existing notebooks. Between those two, almost all of Backpack is easily replaced for me, so I downgraded that last night. The home page (for tracking next actions) and reminders are still handy; Google Calendar isn’t really a reminder service.
So let’s review what they’ve got so far:
- Gmail has long been great on mobiles, either via browsers or apps that live on the phone.
- Google Maps was recently updated and is really indispensable on phones.
- Reader is what occupies a huge chunk of my “down time” when in waiting rooms and such.
- Google Calendar needs some more mobile love (it’s pretty much a static view right now), but it’s getting the job done when you text to GVENT.
- Picasa Web isn’t bad at all for viewing photos.
Now, Microsoft can’t figure out why they’re doing all this. To me, it’s pretty clear and fits in with their mission: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
And with all the tools they’ve already got out there, this is a pretty big start. The mobile web is the first step to ubiquitous computing, and Google clearly intends to play a big role in that. Maybe they’ll even end up trying to play a role in a transhumanist future… getting ahead of myself there.