26 September 2013

A rare Google UI failure

A Google UI employee contemplating how to make
Larry and Sergei some money
I updated my Google Chrome mostly because I trust Google in terms of UI. In the past they've always released updates that make things faster or easier to reach (while perhaps adding new extra functions).

Why am I so disappointed? Well now when you open a new tab you're confronted with a Google search bar and your most visited sites. This most probably sounds like a good thing. BUT... your tab is in the omnibar which is the same as a Google search if you don't specify a valid URL. So to make use of the default Google search requires you to tab or click into the box.

More annoyingly you can't choose to have your installed apps show instead of a Google search box and an acknowledgement that they track your browsing activity and share that with the American spy agency. So instead of hitting CTRL-T and clicking feedly I have to face NSA surveillance by Google showing me they're tracking me, click on the top left to open apps, then click Feedly. Why? Because for some reason Google thinks it is more important for me to have no option but to use their search engine and that I am incapable of deciding to use applications instead of sites I visit regularly.

Do I support American spy surveillance? Not really. This nation has invaded a foreign nation every decade for the past 60 years. They're the only nation to have ever used nuclear WMD on civilian targets. They routinely hack and spy on neutral foreign nations. I trust the American government a great deal less than I trust Google.

Nonetheless, lets assume for the moment that using an American Internet product is somehow "safe".

You can't choose which search engine is default. Google says "Don't be evil" .... really? As soon as you have a majority browser share you enforce your search engine as a mandatory non-changeable option? And you require me to click into it? Fuck off Larry and Sergei.... you click (since you charge people for clicks ).

And now instead of pressing CTRL-T and hitting an app (like RescueTime or my REST interface or my news browser) I have to move my mouse to the top left? How is this beneficial to me, Larry or Sergei? It really reduces the usefulness of Chrome as a developer browser. What benefit is there for Chrome to load your Google default search into my app tabs when your omnibar works the same? Are you fucking retarded? Don't you see you're stopping me from hitting my apps quickly?

Fork Chromium and get a sensible community version.