Allow me to take a minute to complain about the idiocy gmail has suddenly taken to assuming of its users. Positive changes to programs do not include adding a feature that allows you to “go to this link” after you’ve attached it to a word in your email. I put it there myself so someone else could look at it, so why would I a) not know how to follow my own link, b) need it again? Also, previously the picture icon of a broken link in the tool bar menu told me with complete clarity how to remove a link I decided I didn’t want. Now, the “remove this link” message serves only to obscure the text I’m writing.
The most annoying added idiot feature however has little to this. Undoubtedly designed by money makers wanting you to stay around longer and click on their ads, a pop up now appears when you click to sign out of your account reading, “Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page?” Thanks for your concern gmail, but it’s not like you don’t save my drafts every two seconds (except of course, when I’m writing something long and important and you decide not to work.) I know what I’m doing.
Speaking to the larger philosophies behind Google, the initial success behind the search engine, to my mind, lay in their decision not to try and anticipate what a user might want, but rather assuming we knew best (ie no categories, and filters based the number of links to a particular website.) These new changes seem antithetical to the reasons Google became popular in the first place.
Additional note: I love that gmail is free, but it also means it offers no services when you actually need it. Given my reliance on the service, this does make me a little uncomfortable.