1. Gmail is a channel that Google has under monetized for a decade. This is an opportunity for them to extract value from the said channel. If you're allergic to Google offering free services that use your data for advertising, go pay for email. Google isn't a charity and you aren't entitled to a Gmail of your choosing.
2. Apple is a prime example of successfully monetizing a "channel". They sell you hardware that apparently you own, but cannot run apps that haven't received Apple's blessing. Even their fucking charging port is proprietary (lighting) and to build an accessory compliant with iPhones, one has to pay an Apple tax of $7/unit that can easily be avoided with open standards such as uUSB. Never in the history of computing has your hardware required the manufacturer's blessing to run apps. Why do I mention this? Because an overwhelming majority of those foaming at the mouth at AMP are doing so on their iPhones and iPads - I hope the irony isn't lost on you folks.
3. If you find Apple's practices more abhorrent than AMP and consistently oppose both - congratulations, you're a minority whose reasoning isn't clouded by brand jingoism
At any rate you choose to buy into Apple ecosystem. A big email provider changing how email works is not the same thing. For the record I host my own email server and use mutt as my main email client. The only Apple device I own is an old pre-iphone iPod.
If Google changes the expectations of email users everywhere then it won't be long until you end up with a broken experience if you don't support AMP email out of the box. Exactly what happened with HTML email: it's not rare these days to receive a multipart/alternative email where the plain text version is simply "see HTML". If AMP mail becomes mainstream it'll be like this but worse. Soon you'll have an HTML page that will tell you to "see AMP content".
I don't know if it's completely on purpose but that's by the book "embrace, extend and extinguish" by Google there.
Why does Google routinely refuse to display text unless JS is enabled? Their developer blog does almost the same thing.
I mean, there's truth to the idea that Google have more sway when it comes to trends on the internet, but when you say that a "a big email provider changing how email works", Apple could easily be the big email provider in that sentence
Google doesn't own the email ecosystem. It's a decentralized system where thousands of actors exchange messages using standardized protocols. The last people who did what Google is doing were Microsoft. Remember winmail.dat? Remember the various hacks and options that litter open source mail clients and POP/IMAP servers to work around quirks and bugs in Outlook?
Just looking at my muttrc I find:
# MS Outlook seems to like sending emails using cp1252 but setting the
# charset to iso-8859-1
charset-hook ^iso-8859-1$ cp1252
Between that and how Google seems to want to force Chrome down everybody's throat at all costs it really seems that somebody at Alphabet found an old Microsoft "howto" from the late 90's and decided that was a good plan.
>Apple could easily be the big email provider in that sentence
I don't understand, are you saying I shouldn't criticize Google for doing something because I don't criticize Apple for not doing it? Trust me if Apple ever pushes some custom "iMail" format I'll say the same thing.
Just wanted to say that you can read HTML emails in Mutt by having a browser, like Links2 or Lynx, do the formatting.
Yes and if I don't, too bad. I just can't iMessage the rest of my family who did.
Email works pretty well between multiple different providers or even your own server. How do plans that will “accidentally” take email closer to the current state of messaging help the internet work better?
Your SMS messages will even go to their iPads and Macs.
I disagree. Gmail brought Google millions of customers. It's all about the ecosystem that they are building, which helps them retain customers. If you use Gmail, than there is higher chance that you will use Google Drive than competition. Another example of this is Google Keep. There is no reason for them to have free notes app, other than making you use more Google products.
EDIT: While not intentional, that was a bit flippant without extra arguments, my apologies. Also, this is more of a general "abstract" comment; Google operates in a real-world, concrete business context that it has to adapt to, and I am not burdened with knowing the details of that.
Google (the search engine), Gmail, and really almost everything in Google's ecosystem are essentially freemium apps since before the words "freemium" and "app" were coined, let alone combined.
You can use Google for free, but if you're trying to sell something you can use it's advertising.
You can use Gmail, and other the services the implicit Google account it gives, for free, but for the niche use cases there are things like Gmail business, or extra disk space on Google Drive once you run out of space to upload those big photos and videos from your phone, and so on.
What Google has expertly done is position itself as a public utility of the internet, despite being a private company. Whatever they are planning to do, I think that if they mess with that too much they risk a lot.
That is what I believe adamsvystun's point was: compared to most other monetisation options, ensuring that they keep this "public utility" position in the public eye is the most lucrative form of long-term monetisation for Google.
EDIT2: It gets worse the more I think about this: messing with email is especially risky, because email itself is tied very strongly to one's internet identity. It is the passport of the web. Think of all the "sign up/log in with" options: email is always the fallback option. So not messing that up is incredibly important to Google.
Apple sells hardware and is not a monopoly, so if their customers are happy with their choice then good for them.
On the other hand Google is a monopoly, so a lot of people are not ok with them abusing their position to hijack the web (that they already “own”) and email.
I provide paid email services for my clients, they can use Gmail if they want, or not. But for SEO, it's Google all the way down...
Feels as monopolish as any other monopoly i’ve seen in technology.
I've been in your position so I understand your frustration, but what you're describing is not evidence of a monopoly.
A monopoly situation would have some kind of limits enforced, correct?
I have dealt with spam issues with Gmail and solved them all. I send HTML formatted email to many Gmail accounts. I suspect you have not setup SPF, DKIM or are blacklisted on spam lists. Or if you've done all this, possibly the formats for your emails is suspect. Either way, it's solvable. At the very least, your clients could white list your domain.
Edit: I am not saying it's pleasant, but it's hardly monopolistic behavior...
No. A monopoly simply means market domination. It can arise naturally, as has been the case for Google in search in the past.
Microsoft had a monopoly on operating systems without "enforced limits".
The specific legal tests often require e.g. "over 80% of relevant market" by some measures - and I'm not sure Google mail qualifies as a monopoly under this definition.
p.s. having a monopoly isn't even illegal - abusing a monopoly position is. It feels to me that Google is, in many ways, abusing its dominant, perhaps monopoly, position in mail handling.
> I suspect you have not setup SPF, DKIM or are blacklisted on spam lists. Or if you've done all this, possibly the formats for your emails is suspect.
In what sense is this "work[ing] just fine?" "Sorry, we threw away your mail for some random reason, and we won't tell you about it" seems like poor service.
I did testing and found it was not random. Also, maybe my experience running SpamAssassin in the past helped me. Look up how SpamAssassin filters emails and it may help you with your problem.
Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo... they're all viable products that you can use to accomplish 90ish% of what Google could find, and maybe even more now that Google strips historical data (see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16153840, from a month ago).
Since you're mentioning SEO, I just checked and 15.8% of searches for my website came from non-Google search engines in the last month (in my case, Yandex and DDG are the most popular ones). Bing is also taking a huge chunk of the traffic thanks to Windows 10 using it in the start menu, whether you like it or not. And while one example isn't viable enough to make general statements, it's clear that alternatives do exist and are used extensively.
It's a product that's superior when compared to its competitors. It's not a monopoly though.
Just so everyone's clear, monopoly doesn't mean (nearly) 100% market share; it means a large enough market share to be able to manipulate the market.
So, to elaborate on your first point, I think you're saying that the ease of switching search engines means that a market share necessary to manipulate the search market would be near 100%, much higher than Google has. Am I reading you correctly?
Since search engines are all free to use, many of the criteria of a monopoly seem hard to apply, but the classic defintions I'm familiar with include things such as "no reasonable substitute" which is not the case for Google Search.
Google is dominate for sure.
I agree there are options, but they are Bing and Yandex. The others are just mashups.
Google isn't a monopoly for users, it's a monopoly for developers. You can't get users without being on Google.
Only if I can replace one company with another, at roughly equal results, can the market be considered competitive.
I can't delist my site on Google and replace those users with Bing users.
If each search engine had only 5% or 10% of the market, though, I could. And I might. That's what a competitive market looks like.
Google is, from that perspective, a monopoly.
And while Google has monopsonic power, it isn't the sole player in the market so it's not a true monopsony. Facebook, Twitter, and other channels have control as well. If you still disagree, look at how widespread Facebook's open graph standards are as proof of the market catering to these companies' purchasing power.
Or just look at the header on the article: https://i.imgur.com/XlGgTaw.png
And yet, thanks to their broken spam filters, you may have to.
Simply because if they start pushing some format, everyone must go along with them.
Your private server can afford to not be inter operable with Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL, but not Google.
And you can rest assured that email you send, anywhere, will eventually be forwarded to someone on a Google server. If not directly, than via Google Apps.
But in literal terms as well:
It happens all the time that I ask for someone's email, and they respond with the username and assume the "@gmail.com".
An awful lot of big players won’t host their email on someone else’s service, so gmail is just not an option. If you deal with any business using primarily windows, there will also be a huge probability it’s running a Microsoft stack in full, from account management, email to file hosting.
Seems we are not living on the same planet.
Citation needed. This is the opposite of much of the world of work, where emails often both originate and terminate in Exchange Servers, not touching gmail servers.
1. You knew the trade-off when you purchased an Apple device.
2. This is an unexpected change on a service your digital identity is tied to.
That's why the equivalence the OP is making here is absurd.
Shooting heroin is a choice, but it isn't wise, just as choosing to institute the manufacturer as an app gatekeeper, nay UNIVERSAL overlord of the hardware, software, services & content - something unprecedented in history.
And you're making me defend Google though I do not want to, but for accuracy's sake, they are neither a monopoly in email nor are they forcing other providers to choose AMP within their email. Just download all your Gmail data via IMAP and siphon it off to Apple's email client/server. And pray hard that Apple will CHOOSE to let you read emails tjhat weren't originally received/sent via their server/hardware/asshole
No, you'll get down voted for the way you are saying it. There's a difference, and it's an important one.
While the idea of having standards for mobile and slow connection might be a noble one, forcing everyone into it by using mobile search results as ransom is an evil practice.
Especially since it's a google run, if it was set up as a non profit foundation with people on the board from different major players as a collaborative project then, yes It might be different.
I do, however, like to come to HN because it tends to be a very civil space in which to share opinions, not a vehicle for attention seekers to spout whatever false equivalences their brain just come up with.
As far as I'm concerned everyone here is entitled to their opinion and I have never seen anyone's voice silenced in this forum. But when you start a message with "I know I'm going to get down voted but..." you are hedging on the value of your own opinion. You know it's unpopular but at the same time you are so concerned with the public validation of it that need to present yourself as a victim and the rest of us as some kind of oppressors.
I don't see the contradiction here.
I interpret these kind of phrases as: "I don't like to be rude, and normally I'm not, but in this case I need to make an exception."
Frankly, not everybody actually meant to say that, but this interpretation still helps to deal with those situations in a civil, non-escalating way.
Sometimes it really is the content.
Voting for the shape instead of the content is superficial.
When Google made the move to Inbox, I switched because I wanted to be using their newest interface. Over time I came to absolutely hate it and that drove me away from Gmail.
My wife still uses it so I occasionally find myself in the Inbox app on our tablet. Just a few days ago, actually, I read something in her inbox and for the life of me I could not figure out to mark it as unread from the inbox list. Maybe I was just missing something obvious, but it was very frustrating to not have such a simple action easily available.
Gmail's interface is very limiting, actually. It's pretty good for a web app, and probably better than Outlook/Exchange, but when the competition is so poor it's easy to seem good.
Chiming in with a "both" - I tried switching away from Inbox for a bit but I love me them bundles. I don't want to switch between a bunch of folders, I just want mail in those folders to appear grouped in my inbox
Edit: and Snooze. I don't think I'll ever like using a client that can't snooze an email anymore
It works really well as a 'TODO' list for email, plus with niceties for travel and what not.
FastMail does this incredibly easy since you can set up an inbox to allow any alias, so you don't have to create them up front. I just type it in and whenever an email comes in it'll be routed properly. Gmail has this too I believe, but only with the + syntax (e.g. email@example.com) but unfortunately too many places have broken email validation routines that doesn't know how to deal with + signs.
... and don't ever write emails to anyone who uses GMail. And tell all your friends who use GMail they shouldn't write emails to you.
Yes, email is such an important tool that it would make sense for all of us to pay for it. That said, the big internet companies trained millions of users to expect everything for free on the internet (intentionally or not). Many people seriously think "if it is on the internet, it should be free - I am paying for my internet connection, aren't I?". If you don't believe me, try talking to a non-HN, non-tech-savvy person about it.
The fault is on these companies as much as the users. It would take a big change in mindset to make non-advertising models work in consumer world
Me, I’m happy to pay, because it means that I know I’m a customer, not a product.
The only concern I have with them raising prices or disappearing entirely is the service interruption of moving my DNS to some other email provider.
This is part of the reason for why I've always used a vanity domain for e-mail that uses Gmail as a backend. I've used Gmail since beta invites were scarse, but there are a variety of reasons for why I won't trust any given e-mail provider permanently. The fact that most of them are free is just one, albeit an important one.
FWIW, I agree entirely with your point, but I think Youtube is the secret sauce that makes it work.
I'm quite a bit uneasy with Google lately but it's not feasible for me to move to another e-mail provider because my user account on many other websites is tied to my Gmail account and not all websites support e-mail changing.
At this point, I would argue that Gmail reached a public infrastructure status and it's not acceptable of Google to take actions without public consent.
It is perfectly acceptable if Google decides to charge for de services as it will happen with any public infrastructure that has running costs but it's not acceptable for Google to force people into situations or engineer their behavior just because provides the service free of charge.
For example, in my country, the electricity is generated by private for-profit corporations. However it would not be acceptable if these corporations start changing the voltage of the frequency of the electricity and force people to use devices designed specifically for that electricity network.
I don't remember Google forcing me into using Gmail but I also don't remember anyone forcing Google to provide an e-mail service. They did a great job, it revolutionized e-mail but they did it to compete with Microsoft and Yahoo, thus for profit(back in the day everyone was using Hotmail or Yahoo).
Yes and no. GMail does support IMAP access (Go here to enable it: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#settings/fwdandpop). IMAP is a standard that allows you to access an inbox remotely.
OTOH, as long as you are using @gmail.com in your address, you are at their mercy. Go to https://www.gandi.net and purchase a domain name, it'll cost you <$10/year and you will own it. Make it nice and professional (yourlastname.net for example). firstname.lastname@example.org is the sort of email address you'll own your entire life.
FastMail is a paid alternative to gmail which people consistently recommend here. I am happy with GSuite personally as I really like the GMail interface, but you can look here if you want an alternative: https://www.fastmail.com/ (~$5/month plan for custom domain)
GSuite is the paid version of Google's services (~$5/month); as you said, it is perfectly fine for Google to charge for services. And as it happens, you can use your own domain on GSuite, so you could use your new email there. https://gsuite.google.com/together/
PS: If anyone is having trouble and needs help setting this up, shoot me an email (profile).
I don't really want to move to some other service - what I want is the assurance that Google is not going to do something funny with my account or service and unfortunately if they do I will have no recourse.
When I got my Gmail account in 2004 Google was this amazing website that will give away free services and their motto was "Don't Be Evil", at least that was my impression. I still like most of their services, just don't like the "free" deals anymore.
I've been switched for over a year now, and I check Gmail once every couple weeks now, instead of daily, like I did when I first switched. (I also have a Gmail vacation responder set up to automatically email literally anyone who emails it to tell them I don't check it often and what my new address is.) Yes, I'll probably keep the address forever, but it certainly isn't used much anymore.
Ironically, I had issues with my Gmail address long before I wanted to change providers: My main Google account address has my old last name, and Google's archaic infrastructure for identity provides no way to change it. I had a newer Gmail address forwarding mail to it, because I didn't have a way to move all of my purchases like Android apps and the like, over to my new address' account.
Microsoft has no issue with your account having multiple Microsoft-owned and/or third party email addresses and letting you change the primary one. There's some wonkiness with different services not recognizing your primary email has changed, but largely speaking, this is manageable. I have the same Microsoft account as I had years ago, everything carried over, but now identified by my current email address.
Zoho's webmail is currently much better than RunBox but the latter is undergoing a beta test of a new modern interface.
The only thing really bothering me is that you can't seem to set a default email app in iOS so mailto: links won't open the FastMail client. This is a super annoying client issue, but the service works incredibly well, no complaints here.
N.B. I have no affiliation with FastMail or Gandi whatsoever, just a very happy customer.
What I did was to sign up for Fastmail with my own custom domain and forward stuff to my @gmail.com address. This way I continue using Gmail but with my own domain.
I could do this with GSuite (and in fact I did for a couple of years) but GSuite accounts often have limitations compared to regular Gmail accounts and I didn't want to deal with that.
Google has been a lot better about this lately, but it still happens.
Yes, forward them to your new email, preferably using your own domain name. Start giving out your new email to people, reply to your gmail email from your new email. It takes time but after a few years you can ditch the gmail completely.
I did not know we were a uniform, homogeneous crowd...
But _publishers_ are pressured to support AMP because Google, the most popular search engine by far, prioritizes AMP results. If they do anything with AMP they can likely have their way. And the same will likely apply for email.
Yay! I won something on the internet today!
2. I use an iPhone, but it's only because I believe that Apple respects my privacy more than Google does with Android. I don't really like using an Apple device, because some of the reasons you mentioned. But I value my privacy over those things.
3. I consistenly opposes both and I really hope that I am not in the minority.
4. Yes. Thank you.
The problem is that Gmail is the most prominent e-mail provider and at the
same time they make it difficult for other e-mail providers to operate,
especially small ones. Gmail's spam detection is totally opaque and you can't
do much if your mail lands in junk folder. For this single reason Google is no
longer in a position when you can cut them some slack for anything related to
Regardless, many of the disagreements with you seem to have stopped reading at (2). I am completely aware of the irony of my using Google devices while simultaneously criticizing them for their shitty practices. If you were to point that out to me I'd agree with you. Pointing that out to me isn't a personal attack, it's a statement of the facts of human nature: we are all hypocrites.
I can honestly see why AMP is a clever idea from a technical standpoint. Heck, if Google made the switch while keeping the same look and feel (minus the dynamic content), I doubt most people would notice beyond "Gmail somehow got faster."
Just as a reminder for everyone (and I appreciate that the parent comment does not directly claim that this is the case), Google claims not scan or read your emails in Gmail to show you ads, nor to sell your information to advertisers.
Just thought I'd point that out before the FUD/tin-foil kicks in too much :)
That being said, I think it's probably true that they've stopped doing so.
Which is true. It's equally true that people can point out if changes Google make are problematic for users.
No hypocrisy required.
Except for every game console that has existed since the early 80s.
I’m pretty okay with google substituting ssl/dns/content even for their cash flow, I don’t care until they turn my browser into common-standards web crap. It turns safari into chrome, which I tested on an expensive sony sevice and couldn’t stand any more than two days.
Edit: I know that my “don’t care” is not popular among hn users, but it resembles regular non-tech folks thinking — amp is that thing on some sites that annoys you when you scroll and share links. 98% of us really don’t care and notice inconvenience only.
It somehow ends hiding the address bar and replacing it with the AMP one once I've started to scroll down, and the only solution is to scroll all the way to the top again.
I have the address bar set to never hide, which makes this even more annoting.
>I'll get down voted for saying this
Well don't mind if I do. (read the guidelines friend, this kind of crap is specifically frowned upon).
> Google isn't a charity and you aren't entitled to a Gmail of your choosing.
This is a pet peeve of mine. What does this mean? That you can't force to charge their ways? Yeah, maybe you can't. Doesn't mean you're not allowed to make criticism? If course not. The argument "they're a private company therefore they do what they please" is a facile but invalid way to shut down criticism.
>You can't complain about Google because Apple does other unrelated bad stuff.
Well and you can't complain about Apple because Monsanto does even worse stuff and I don't see you mentioning then. Classic whataboutism.
In other words, if you really wanted to do constructive criticism you would have (1) presented your arguments clearly instead of playing the victim in your very first sentence, and (2) you would have limited yourself to the facts of the matter and not to external stuff (which you only kinda did in your 4th point).
Not because they're all nice and charitable.
But because Google sometimes sucks at monetizing things.