3 of 11Image
Web users kicked off big-style when Google announced that news aggregator and RSS viewer Google Reader would change its design and remove crucial features. There were blog posts a plenty, and the technology world went off the deep end, as though someone had accidentally tripped over the plug to the Internet.
Some decided to remain "tepidly agnostic" over the changes, whereas others simply jumped ship at the thought that even on the face of it a subtle change may affect their worlds. It was something Google found difficult to do, no doubt, but has for some time wanted to revamp its user interfaces. Nevertheless, many were angry and frustrated that a free product could suddenly change without that much warning.
While Google was preparing a similar redesign and feature adding update for its popular free email service, little did the company know that others were undoing the hard work and secrecy of the relaunch.
Google only went and accidentally released what its Gmail update would look like shortly before it allowed first-adopters in. But how did they pull it? By filing a copyright claim against itself to force the video to disappear. Sloppy move, chaps and lasses.
Granted, it wasn't as though they declared war on France, or was overheard slagging off the Israeli prime minister, but nevertheless it could be seen that it was the catalyst of much worse to come.
Nearly two weeks after the leak, the company released the brand new interface, sporting a very similar look to Google Reader. At least this time around people were not so resilient to the changes.
Privacy campaigners and organisations jumped, almost without hesitance, at the thought that Google's controversial 360-degree Street View venture could be heading indoors. Though Google did not publicly respond to the privacy claims, the search giant attracted even more negative attention for its past indiscretions over public privacy and data protection.
Though "privacy will be central" to the new project, and faces will continue to be blurred out, some are still sceptical over the extension to the street-level mapping service. At least the service is opt-in only, rather than Google bursting down the doors, armed with photographers and panoramic photo kits.