–Engage

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

Web-only office apps are not really ready for prime time

I love Google’s suite of office applications and can’t wait for their presentation software to be released, but I can’t rely on it.

Why? Well, I’m not always connected or it is not easy for me to connect.

For the foreseeable future, airplanes won’t allow internet connectivity and even when they do they are going to charge an arm or two for it. So if you fly like a lot of people do you are stuck in the air w/o being able to compose.

This problem isn’t limited to Google Docs, but also to their mobile email application which to me is even more problematic in that it is all online or nothing. For someone who lives in NYC where a lot of my mobile email composition exists underground and away from cell towers or other networking connections GMail Mobile gets really frustrating.

But what is even MORE frustrating is how contact management in GMail mobile. All the data is remote so when you want to add an address you have to load the content remotely and it streams in. It has a filtering component of just 3 letters, but every time I try to use it before all the data streams in it causes it to crash (Ok, a bug). But waiting for all my 1300 contacts (b/c it doesn’t separate “repled to” emails from contacts I added) takes way too long AND further it doesn’t allow me to ad hoc enter an email address. So if it is new (off the top of my head) I can’t just enter it.

A simple solution to this is to have a contact management system that syncs when needed, but real use takes place locally.

Now admittedly I don’t have 3G, EDGE or EVDO, so I’m a little handicapped, but when I compare the POP service of Snapper mail to the Web Service of GMail Mobile, I don’t like it. But b/c I love Gmail for now all of my accounts (4 of them now), I tolerate the Gmail Mobile application and try to only reply to messages as much as possible.

But the main point here is that “online only” data and behavior has its limits and frustrations.

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