Google widget and integration issues- from Personalized page to Google Apps

Ever since the launch of Google Apps last year I had moved my email and documents to the Google service and also made a switch to Google Personalized page for the gadgety love. In the ensuing months Google Gadgets team has been going through number of feature releases to make the offering much more attractive. Along all these releases and upgrades few annoyances and product integration delays are getting to bother me.

Take the case of Google Talk widget introduced last week. I have been getting the below show error every now and then when I try browsing onto my personalized page. Only way out is to minimize the gadget so that it doesn’t load. Maybe it is my slow network connection or some other issue. Either way it does bring my browser to a near crash. 

 Couple of issues with the RSS gadget have also crept with the latest release of the gadget. Few of the times when I try browsing the details of a RSS post from the gadget, all I get is “Information is temporarily unavailable”. Now we know that the gadget is fetching information in the background, but that isn’t an appropriate message to display. Feels like as if the gadget or feed is broken, which is really not the case.  

Even when the RSS gadget finally gets working, the text starts overlapping with the post titles located below it in case the length of the post is bit too long. Yourminis, Netvibes had got the RSS widget sorted out to start with. I am not sure what is holding back the Google Gadgets team from implementing the perfect solution.

And all this is happening on the Google Personalized Page. If you look at the personalized page integration with Google Apps, where it’s is called “Start Page”, different set of issues crop up. Once any new gadget is introduced for the regular Personalized Page, it takes forever to reach the “Start Page”. Google Calendar Gadget has an older version at “Start Page”, Google Talk gadget does not accept the Google Apps login to name just a few cases. Even otherwise you don’t really have an option to search and browse the gadget gallery directly from your “Start Page” although you can copy the gadget URL from gadget gallery and pray it will work if it needs Google Apps specific login.

Google Gadgets aside, Google Toolbar has yet to get Google Apps specific buttons. 

From the technology perspective I understand that all these changes have very wide ranging impact when they are released especially in the Google context where thousands of users hit any new service within few hours of launch. Still why give Google Apps second hand treatment. If they have planned to launch a new feature, better go all the way and across all the platforms to get it working for everyone. In fact some of the Google Apps users are paying for the application and still have to deal with delayed product integration.

Google announces pricing for Google Apps


3 Responses to “Google widget and integration issues- from Personalized page to Google Apps”

  1. StartupSquad » Blog Archive » More widget news - Yahoo Widgets 4 launched; What is your choice? Says:

    […] With this release it gets even more difficult choice for users to choose from all the competing widget offerings that span from web to desktop – Yahoo Widgets/My Yahoo, Google Desktop/Personalized Page/Google Apps Start Page, Yourminis Web/Yourminis Desktop, Mac Dashboard, Vista Sidebar/Live, Netvibes, Pageflakes, Webwag, Protopage, Springwidgets, and Teqlo. Not a week goes by without a significant news from one from one of them. As blogger and as well as a user I find it hard to define which option is good for me or to recommend to developers and users.   […]

  2. StartupSquad » Blog Archive » Google Gadget team delivers the quick break-fix Says:

    […] It was only last week(21st Feb, Wednesday) that I had written about some of the issues I had came across with Google Gadgets. As with any other Google team, the Google Gadgets developers are all ears to what is said about them and their product in the blogosphere. So, did that work in this scenario? Yes it did! Even before I got a chance to check again one of the bug was fixed. The blog text and photographs in the RSS gadget no longer overlap with the post titles below. Great work guys. I really like the startup like response coming from a software giant. […]

  3. StartupSquad » Blog Archive » Google Calendar goes mobile Says:

    […] A quick check of the service gives a familiar story. All my events associated with my regular Google account show up, but for my Google Apps Calendar account, just a blank screen. This situation is pretty familiar with Google Apps and is something I have written about before. Still we have workaround out here as you can share your GA Calendar with your Gmail account and view all the events. […]

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