Plenty of Room to Improve Google 411, Checkout and Presentation

Last week I threw in my 2 cents on Google News, Reader and Transit. This week I’ve played with some other new G apps, with disappointing results.

We learned today that Google 411 is being featured on billboards, perhaps in rural areas in particular. I used Goog 411 twice this weekend, the first time was successful, the second time not so much. I called looking for the closest branch of a national store, the number I was given brought me to a home answering machine; the address Google gave us wrong. fBatting .500 is grand in baseball, but not in directory assistance- -I would have been better off paying my $1.50 to get an accurate result from 411.

I did some preventive shopping for winter gear last week and was happy to activate Google Checkout to pay for it. Who do I trust more, the one site (well, not quite) that I use several times a day, or some store with which I have no prior relationship? I was so comfortable that I was happy to use my gmail account instead of the spam mail I use for other purchases. I did so only after clicking noting that I did not want Google sharing my email address with the store. So what happened? Within 24 hours I had spam sent to me from the store. In the course of complaining to the store, I was kindly told that “placing an order through Google checkout can be rather ?tricky?.” I’m not sure what that means, but it doesn’t increase my trust in Checkout.

Lastly, I was excited to finally get to touch Google’s ppt app Presentation. It looks fun, and the templates sure beat those in PowerPoint, but it didn’t quite handle an importation of a ppt document, cutting off the bottom of some slides. A shame, I would have like to have used it for a presentation this week.

I’ll keep experimenting with all three apps, but this 0 for 3 by Google dampens my enthusiasm for the rumored 3G Google phone.

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