I received an email this morning, it simply stated "Doug, look back at 2021 with Google One - Plus, ways to make the most of your membership".
This got me to thinking, am I not already getting the most out of my membership?
The entire reason I signed up for Google One was for expanded storage space in my Google Drive. That was all I needed so I didn't look into other features it had.
So what have I been missing out on? Well it turns out not much that feels very useful.
Google One Features
- Advanced Photo Editing
- Backup by Google One (I already knew about this and use this)
- Shared my plan with my family (Already using this feature)
- Schedule security pro sessions
- 10% back in the Google Store
- Gold status in Google Play Points
- 3 month trial of Stadia Pro
- A VPN
- a new 5 TB plan (Ok this one could be useful in a year or so)
As I expected it was mainly a marketing pitch. They want me to get in on their free trials, trials if I was interested in the products they offered I would have already sought out. I mean Google is the largest advertiser on the planet right? So I am sure if I was looking for Google Play Points or a Stadia trial I would have googled them.
Thoughts on the rest
Google VPN for android. I think most of us understand that if we don't pay for a product then we are the product. I get it by using Google I am giving them a ton of information about myself that they can make money with. This Google VPN just feels like a juicy cash grab for google.
Install it on my android devices and it will keep me safe from nasty hackers on public wifi and allow me to browse and download content on a safe and secure connection; all while reducing my online tracking by hiding my IP address.... from everyone but google that is.
This is just another example of google hoovering up more information on customers while really not giving them anything.
Most websites use https so even over a public wifi address your information is probably pretty safe. Then all of that privacy it gives you applies to everyone but google.
I don't view a 3 month free trial as a real benefit... just a marketing ploy.
Gold Status in Google Points.
This will do what for me exactly? Even clicking to claim it doesn't really tell me anything. There is a Weekly prize apparently? Maybe? It just says click to claim and win something every week at the silver prize level.
Advanced Photo Editing
Usually if I want to edit photos I prefer to do it with more powerful tools on my desktop. I don't know maybe they have released some awesome tool. However, I can imagine using it I am letting google upload it to their online servers to scan. Once again, if you aren't paying for the product you are the product.
Amazon Alexa, just as bad.
I really hate using my Alexa. It is not because it is not functional, it is because no matter how simple my request Alexa always wants to suggest more ways I can use her.
I get it, Amazon wants to fully engage you with their devices. I read a news article recently that they are having trouble getting people to really engage with Alexa. As you can imagine the issue with worse with the voice ones than the ones with screens. They are losing money on Alexa and want people more fully engaged by everything Alexa can do.
The problem... I really don't need Alexa to do that much. Set a few reminders, play music, that is about it.
The problem with both of these companies is their need for more. They want to make more money so they keep trying to force feed people more and more stuff they don't really want.
These companies come up with ideas for services and then provide them at a loss so they can then monetize them in other ways, through deeper interactions and integrations.
Frankly I am sick of it. Just charge me what the service is actually worth/costs. I will gladly pay the price if it can clean up all of these shitty attempts at deeper levels of interaction.
When I ask Alexa for the weather I just want the weather, I do not want to know how to get the latest recipes. When I pay for a storage solution I just want the storage, not the 15 other products you think I will find useful if you package them in.
Do one thing and do it well
Maybe if some of these companies got back to doing one or two things and doing them really well they would not feel the need to try to be everything for everyone so they can add another billion dollars to their market cap.