You Know What Grinds My Google Gears?

June 22nd, 2010 by Search Influence Alumni

“Google Gears – Improving Your Web Browser”

Google Gears Does Work with Chrome? You don't say!

Google Gears Does Work with Chrome? You don't say!

That is Google’s tagline for their open source project that stores data locally for web applications and runs Javascripts in the background. But as anyone who has used Gears will tell you, it’s buggy, especially when being used with Google applications.

For instance, Google Chrome comes pre-installed with Google Gears, however out of all the browsers that currently support Gears, it crashes the most. I’ve used Firefox and Internet Explorer with Gears and even though I still experience time-outs when downloading web app data and frequent Javascript slow downs, with Chrome I just get the “Aw, Snap! Something went wrong…” message practically every time I do anything Gears related.

"Aw, Snap!"

"Aw, Snap!"

I find Google Gears especially painful to use with Google Adwords’ local storage feature.

I understand why Google decided to integrate Gears with the Adwords dashboard- instead of loading data from Google’s servers several times a day and eating up their bandwidth, it allows faster use of Adwords and saves Google’s a couple of nickels (which will most likely go into yet another failed Google Labs project). The problem is Gears crashes 9 out of the 10 times I’ve tried to use it.

I thought Google Gears would be improving my web applications, but unfortunately that has never been the case. It stalls, it freezes, and it crashes Google Chrome every chance it gets (In fact as I was in the middle of typing this very paragraph Google Gears crashed Google Chrome. Ironic?).

I may come off as a hater, but that simply isn’t the case. I love Google. My first job out of college was as a creative writer for the first Google Adwords reseller and since that day I have faithfully (blindly?) downloaded, purchased, and used every Google product that was applicable to my life. However, as technology grows and other companies are finding ways to make their technologies more user-friendly (I’m looking at you Apple and Microsoft), Google seems to be just developing technology and hoping they work with existing Google apps. It confuses me that they waste resources on failed social media tech, like Google Wave and Google Buzz, while ignoring glaring problems with their flagships.

I know for a business to grow it needs to make changes and take risks but if those changes are negativity effecting your loyal users, aren’t you just hurting your bottom line? #kanyeshrug

Thanks to Sam Harrelson for the first image.