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Unbundling Google Apps

There’s a whole new generation of apps which are one-by-one picking off parts of the Google Apps roster in that classic Craigslist unbundling sense.

I find this collection really interesting - they share some common DNA both in terms of similarities across them, and their very deliberate efforts to offer something distinct from the incumbents they’re trying to compete with, including the Google Apps suite. They all feel both more playful and more powerful, and of course being much more focussed on a single proposition, they’re all able to go much deeper in their functionality than what a suite of apps with a shared infrastructure and design language can easily do.

It’s interesting to think back to when Google Docs and Gmail in particular were introduced, they were a tonic to the staid, antiquated Microsoft products they replaced, and whilst Google hasn’t fallen behind in quite the same way as MS did back then, one does wonder what the Google Apps suite will look like ten years from now - will it be more focussed on the parts which aren’t in that end-consumer product space like Cloud Search and Endpoint, or will they catch back up with this new generation. One thing that is for sure, Google authentication is to these products what Amazon is for their infrastructure, and perhaps that speaks to the role future google plays in a space which develops and evolves quicker than it competes.

These apps are all worth a look, even if just for a bit of design inspiration.

Google App Competitor
Google Meet Around
Google Docs/Apps Script Coda
Google Docs Craft
Google Docs/Sheets Notion
Google Jamboard Figjam by Figma
Google Slides Pitch
Google Forms Typeform
Google Sites Webflow
Google Mail Hey
Google Chat Quill
Google Calendar Daybridge
Google Chrome thebrowser.company

Published on 5 May 2021 – SoftwareGoogleTech

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Stuart Frisby, 2015-top