I’ve gone native. (Or - Google’s UI and I are parting ways)

Today Google announced that they were releasing a new Composer for GMail.

It’s awful.  They made the window small, and right justified it.  I feel like I have to crane my neck at an unnatural angle in order to see what I’m writing, and worse yet, they’ve turned my good old message composition interface into something akin to a web forum or chat window.

This is NOT what I’m looking for in my email user experience.

A few months back, Google also did a full on revamp of the GMail UI that utterly convinced me they have an unrelenting hatred of the visually impaired. The entire screen looked as if it had been bleached of color and life, and the contrast was so low I could literally barely read it at all.

After squeals of protect from a large chunk of their user base, they relented and produced a ‘high contrast’ setting, which was better.

In short, I can’t keep feeling like I’m being punched full in the face by Google every few months. I respect their right to innovate their products in whatever way they see fit, but thankfully I don’t have to choose between liking it or hitting the road.

I’ve switched to Apple’s Mail.app and iCal. They work great, aren’t actively hostile to the visually impaired, and allow me to keep using the Google back end so I can keep my old email addresses and contact info.

Apple may be many things, but one thing they are great about is providing accessibility features for the handicapped. It’s not like I have any illusions about being a minority - most people can probably read the ghostly low contrast color theme just fine, and probably like the fact that their email now looks more like IM .

More power to them I say :)

Update:  Can’t lie, it’s been a rough go.  Gmail’s IMAP access throttles throughput beyond a certain point, and Apple Mail can’t handle the large mailboxes I have even with having given them a serious slim down.  I really wish there were a solution to this problem.

Update Update: I’ve essentially given up on this :( Mail.app just plain stinks.  It might be fine for folks with a single account or maybe very light usage on multiple accounts, but with two Gmail accounts and lots of labels, it’s downright abysmal.  It takes 15-20 minutes to get everything in sync, and then often takes another 20 minutes just to exit the app! * This is not my idea of an enterprise class  eMail application.  I’m disappointed in you Apple!*

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