I started using Gmail around 2004, when it was invite only. I remember the UX being insanely fast (it was hard to believe it was just a web app!).
At some point in that decade, Google introduced Apps, free to everyone. It allowed you to use Gmail along with your custom domain. (Wow!)
At the time, I was a student, and loved everything Google. So immediately jumped in.
Years passed by, things happened…
- Google Buzz was integrated into everyone’s gmail
- Since Buzz failed, we were forced into Google Plus
- Google Wave was killed
- Google Reader was also murdered
- Google Hangouts was also introduced, and integrated into Gmail
- * Hangouts triggers my CPU’s fan, instantaneously.
- Google Inbox was sadly retired
On January 2021, Google announced that the free Google Apps tier would no longer be free, and users would be forced to either buy a subscription, or loose access.
Shortly after, the tone was lowered, and alternate options were announced.
I am thankful for having enjoyed at least a decade of service, for free. I sincerely am.
Maintaining a service has a real life cost: engineers / infrastructure. And I’m more than willing to pay for it.
But not to Google.
I’m done with cluttered interfaces, and I’m done of being forced into products I don’t want or need.
I’m just done with Google.
As of now, I’ve fully migrated my mail provider over to iCloud+ Mail (which now supports custom domains), and I just regret not having done this switch, long, long ago.