The elephant in the room with every one of the Google announcements is that they've drained their coffers of trust/goodwill with the early adopter crowd, which is precisely the group you need to kick these things off.
Until Larry Page makes a clear, official public comment about this, I'm left wondering what is considered core product and what isn't. Is this? Is it an experiment? I get that this integrates with Drive, which is core product (it is, right?). Not the point. Using a new tool is me spending time and effort to learn/use/integrate into a workflow.
Until I know that I'm not going to be backtracking on this territory in two years when Google has another epiphany about strategy, I'm left feeling genuinely skeptical.
Does this show a lack of foresight in maintaining products, a lack of dedication to making them successful, or what? There's clearly a problem here.
Google has the same duplication problem all over the place -- constantly recreating projects that they've previously shut down, or running several redundant projects simultaneously. Google Chrome and the AOSP Browser, Buzz/Orkut/G+, Sites and Blogger (and whatever they had before). Reader and Currents, What is going on here? Rather than improving a project, they seem to have this epidemic problem of creating a whole new one and letting the old one get lost in the fray.
That said there's a Google clone for every single popular web product of the past five years that they dogfood constantly. That's all they kind of do these days, hire smart kids into trendy things. Whether pulling the trigger to launch them publicly, maintaining them publicly, or even as much as supporting them...
Well, if it doesn't make a buck selling ads and contribute to keeping that $50B/yr consolidated revenues growing year-over-year then it's just corporate charity work.
Making billions and billions of dollars while beholden to shareholders? That's a good evil problem to have.
Now with every new Google that gets released the first question that goes through my brain is "Will this be here in 2 years". That can't be a good thing.
Clearly Google saw that it was flinging spaghetti at the wall just to see what stuck and decided
1) be really careful about big public announcements, people get excited, the product doesn't deliver and we look bad then
2) refocus (even if I don't like the strategy, at least they have one, so this is good, assuming they really are focused)
The problem is that they are now gun shy about saying anything clearly, apparently.
It's like a teenager that buys a new outfit they really like and mentions it only casually because if they get rebuffed by the peers for wearing it, they can always claim they didn't like it that much.
Sometimes you have to just define your own style and wear the outfit, man. Be proud.
That's what Google is missing.
Yes, it was "opened" and the code persists, to some extent.
I think a lot of people here on HN may nonetheless be pissed that, in the process, they absorbed and then destroyed the official, supported version of EtherPad.
Maybe EtherPad as company / commercialized product wouldn't have made it... But, maybe it would have. Regardless, Google burned a lot of good will with that one, too.
And, as numerous commenters have pointed out with respect to Keep: Google Notebook.
P.S. In my opinion, what killed Wave was not the technology (or, "concept"), but in part a batshit heavy and obscure UI. One of the early signs of Google's trend towards a "design ueber alles" failing.
Having spent many years in corporate environments, I saw Wave (as technology/"concept") as a real solution to a number of longstanding, pernicious problems I'd encountered with electronic communication, and its effect upon work, in those environments.
I never used Reader much (signed up and subscribed to the same feeds I already followed, but a local reader was quicker and easier for me). But I gather from many comments that its key, distinguishing features were not the straightforward feed processing but the "social" aspect of the product. The "network" and "meta" that Reader enabled.
For a company that (Google+, etc.) seems particularly interested at present in focusing on "network", this seems to be a particularly boneheaded move.
I also agree with the philosophy of "don't piss off the alpha nerds... although I don't particularly like the descriptor "alpha". They have a canny knack of revealing the interesting (and "interesting" is what sells, online). And of being good hires, for creating same.
As you noted Drive is actually acknowledged to be under someone's management (Apps) and not an afterthought kept on life support, so there's that.
And worst case scenario you can export your data and stick it in any number of similar services out three, it took me all of 3 seconds with Reader.
How is the concern over first-adapter respect at all deserving of the dripping-with-sarcasm snark of your comment? Why is it so terrible that someone brings up the fact that Google now has a reputation for simply deadpooling products they no longer wish to support but that others have begun to rely on?
Why, on earth, should I trust a product that is meant to keep a record for me, when I can no longer trust the long-term support of said product.
But such concerns, to you, are pointless to discuss, because if this eventually gets deadpooled, all we'll have to do is take 3 seconds to pull out our data and move to a different product.
You could buy more Drive storage to put your mind at ease (free v paid and all that), but keep in mind that the chances of whatever you're using getting bankrupt or "acqui-hired" away are just as likely.
Switching is not just: [1. download GR OPML -> 2. upload to some Feed_Service_XYZ -> 3. Bingo!].
Not for a person who had curated his feeds over the years. Starred, tagged and have been using GR's sync services almost everywhere. He might be using it subscribe to new feeds on the web. Share. Etcetera.
But you might be knowing better(I mean about your comment).
I love the irony.
Google took a zombie out back and double-tapped it. You can download your data. You have plenty of alternatives eager for your business. Move on.
But tfa clearly says, "Your notes are safely stored in Google Drive and synced to all your devices so you can always have them at hand." - So, I dunno.
EDIT: dammit, down at the bottom - last line - " in the coming weeks you'll be able to do the same[view,edit,etc.] directly from Google Drive."
I do hope that Drive will contain Keep notes, though, as that would seem like an optimal solution.
But it appears that they are targeting a light weight evernote replacement. A killer feature for me on this would be a command line binary which calls up my $EDITOR and allows me to write a note immediately and have them synced immediately. This, with the power of lighter production of notes on mobile devices could find a place into my workflow.
if that sounds offensive, just look at the number of reader users - and it got axed. google doesn't aim at tens of thousands, it aims at millions.
I think that is a bit simplistic in terms of why they shut Reader down. Reader was in conflict with their G+ strategy, distracting millions of highly influential people out of G+ and into a cannibalising product and technology (RSS) with no clear G+ integration path. Google wants those people using G+. Even if only 10% of them convert to G+ thats better than 100% of them using Reader and living outside the G+ bubble. I suspect Reader was in the awkward situation of being too small for Google to devote a major product / engineering effort to migrate it's features into the G+ world but too big for them ignore and just leave running as a side project.
I will happily write said script. Google aim's at the thousands but I feel they are in danger of neglecting the fact that people who want features like this make services like this popular i.e the tech community are early adopters and they generally recommend tools (especially tools like this) to their less tech savvy friends. Cater in a small way (you still need your swanky android apps and colors) for the hardcore tech, and you add users.
Maybe they're just fishing to see how much marketshare they can take away from Evernote? If it's enough they'll keep it and improve it. But if it doesn't capture enough marketshare, I expect to see it culled in a few years as well.
However it would be a thousand times better with time / date / calendar integration. A large percentage of my random notes to myself are reminders to do something by a particular time "pay electricity bill by thursday". Even their example video shows this. Right now I use an app (Voice Calendar) which puts an event in my calendar. However these aren't really events and it pollutes my real calendar with all kinds of junk. I find it weird that despite having awesome email and awesome calendar, Google has really not done a good job of integrating their ecosystem into an exchange-like competitor yet.
Not quite prime time ready? Or am I the only one?
(I wish there was a way to filter out all the comments referring to Reader. Most people including me don't care that they discontinued it so please stop spamming about it everywhere.)
Regardless of what your personal relationship to the Reader issue is, you might consider the possibility that THIS product is axed after a few years when you are used to it.
I don't think it's very likely. And even if it is I would just export my data and go to another service. "But I'm used to it" is no argument since we're so adaptable.
I'm getting it, too.
Anyone know if they did a post-mortem post explaining the Google Drive outage from a couple of days ago?
The post quickly disappeared off the HN front page despite having a lot of upvotes, perhaps due to flagging.