Gmail is now serving RSS feeds and … sponsored ads … on the screen above your Gmail Inbox. You know — what Yahoo! Mail has been doing for years, the thing I hate about all other free web-based email providers, one of the top reasons I switched to Gmail, etc. Google calls the service Web Clips.
I notice that it introduces a new shade of blue to the user interface — a little bit lighter than the prevalent blue, but not white. This is a desimplification in the interface in both terms of color and clutter. What is Google thinking?
Is this the reason Google Reader still tells me “You have recently subscribed to ‘Penny Arcade.'”? Because all of Google’s RSS people have been working on Web Clips? WTF?
The great thing about Google’s mostly blank homepage is that it’s devoid of clutter — unlike Yahoo.com, MSN.com, etc. Google’s personalized homepage featured some clutter, but you have the ability to turn all of it off — and you can still just use the traditional homepage. But I’ll give this to Yahoo! and MSN — their products talk to each other. Google’s different RSS products (Reader, Desktop, Personalized Home, and Gmail) offer zero integration. It’s time to develop a unified homepage — even if it is accessible only by internal developers — simply to ensure that these products work with each other.