A while back I noted the superiority of Yahoo over Google for mapping Japan. Nowadays, I find that I have to keep both Google and Yahoo Japan as home pages because there are a lot of things that Google hasn’t yet figured out how to do. For instance:
- Very few of Google’s products interface well with Japanese mobile phones. Take Google Calendar. It can only send alerts to Gmail, or to a U.S. mobile phone by SMS. Yahoo, on the other hand, can send alerts to any e-mail address, including my phone’s (both the English and Japanese versions of Yahoo are capable of this). Yes, Google Calendar is shinier-looking, and the ability to automatically pull events from e-mails is pretty cool, but how hard can it be to broaden the e-mail alert function?
- Also, maybe it’s just my phone, but Gmail and other mobile Google sites almost never display properly on it–they either get moji-baked or they fail to load entirely.
- I keep Tokyo weather on my Google home page, and half of the time, it’s totally wrong–i.e., the system doesn’t know whether it’s day or night, or thinks that it’s 100°F outside when it’s really 80°.
- Google Finance, Google News, etc. are incapable of telling me how the Nikkei is doing. Granted, this is a two-way problem, as I can’t see the Dow on Yahoo Japan either–in fact, the only website I know that can seamlessly provide both is good ol’ Bloomberg. (Love you guys!)
I know Google is busy saving the world and all that, but can’t they save the world for people outside the U.S., too? Sheesh, guys, get off your high hammocks and get with the picture.