5 other improvements Google Collections can make


In early 2021, I wrote a ton about Google’s Super Secret Collections feature and how it might one day replace bookmarks in Chrome. In fact, content curation has intentionally remained a utility tool in Chrome and pretty much all browsers for years, as people don’t like it when you play around with their bookmarks. All efforts to spruce up bookmarks in Chrome in the past have been met with vehement disgust, and I can see why. However, I stay true to the idea that item gathering needs to have more intentionality and automation built in so that we don’t all just store static links with little to no purpose.

Since writing my first post outlining five improvements Google Collections could make in order to compete with Pinterest, including the hope that the company would add collaboration to their static content, several things have been implemented including more ‘AI and machine learning for Cookbooks, Google The integration of shopping, a completely redesigned interface on mobile, and yes, even the collaborative tools I dreamed of.

However, there are still a few things about collections that frustrate me, and until those things are fixed, I really don’t see a lot of people using them on a daily basis. It’s sad because I believe the tool has a future, but if Google continues to leave these things hanging and then move on to “sunset” collections, I think this will be a largely missed opportunity to move the web forward. . So, without further ado, let’s take a look at five more improvements Google Collections can make in the future!

Add collaborative sharing to the desktop

I would say you won’t believe it, but since it’s Google we’re talking about here, you probably will. Collections on the web and on mobile act very differently from each other. On mobile, I noticed that when I wanted to move certain items from one of my Google accounts to another where I felt they would be stored more appropriately, I couldn’t! Wait what? Why would that be?

Initially, I thought that collections that were read-only before the collaborative update (meaning all those that were created before the collaborative update) could not have collaborators. However, I quickly discovered that only the creator of a Collection can add collaborators. Okay, that makes sense – no big deal. However, that brings me to my next annoyance – you can only do this on mobile! It’s true, trying to add a collaborator from the web is impossible. Instead, you only come across a read-only link to share with others when you open the sharing settings.

This means that whenever you want to add someone to your collections to allow them to add cool pictures or recipes to it, you have to open your phone. You can’t do this from your desktop or Chromebook, and that’s just plain stupid. In addition, each time you add a collaborator, they must accept a link from you by email or other means. While that’s pretty standard, this next bit isn’t: you can’t see existing collaborators when you open a collection’s sharing settings. Instead of working like Google Drive or any other Google service, it’s really simple. Why the hell would Google half make it, you know what? It does not matter.

Transfer ownership of collections

To continue, I want to clarify that you cannot transfer ownership of a collection at all. This really disappointed me as I am trying to clean up a Google account for my game studio since I am now paying for Google Workspace to have a custom email address and a Google account for everything related to my business. For this reason, I wanted to transfer all of my custom collections to the new account so that I could be inspired by the scifi and fantasy images I saved from Google image search.

Without the ability to simply transfer ownership of these collections, I have two options. First of all, I can add my new account as a collaborator (on mobile… not on the web) to always lock myself in the need to keep the old Google account as an appendix strangely attached to my digital life instead to phase it out over the next few years. Second, I can manually browse through each collection I want to transfer, open each item on the web, and re-register it to the new account. Obviously this second one is downright ridiculous, but that’s all we have to work with here since Google hasn’t even thought about adding ownership transfers for data that doesn’t even belong to a specific Google account. – these are literally just items that you are linking to from the Google side!

Add AI to Custom Collections

I’ve noticed that several of my Google created collections in the Google Search app on my Android phone had several new features lately. On my shopping collections, videos, links, recently viewed articles and a lot more had popped up, and I thought this was a fantastic use case for the feature. Increasing the user’s sense of discovery with data is exactly what I expected from static text and the link-based nature of traditional bookmarks. I would love to see these tools added to bespoke collections using AI and machine learning!

A shiny new logo for your shortcut!

Did you know? Google Collections recently added a custom icon to the web service! This means you can add it to your Chromebook for quick access instead of being stuck with a generic Google logo like you were before. Soft!

While writing this, I just noticed that a new collection of reading lists has appeared in my collection list, featuring books recently added to favorites or “wishlists” from the Play Books app, as well as books. “What to read” suggestions and related book searches! That’s what I’m talking about! So far that’s been shopping, books, movies and TV shows, and a cookbook. Check out more of these great collections in a future update, Google.

Link articles and bookmarks saved on Google News to collections

The fact that there is now a “Reading List” collection gives me hope for a future integration of Google News and the Chrome Reading List! Right now, the new Chrome Browser Reading List feature remains separate from Collections, and when you save an article for later, it gets thrown into a disorganized list in Google News where you’ll probably never read it. In my humble opinion, literally all of these areas should go straight into Google Collections, especially with Assistant Memory on the horizon! For now, this is not only my hope but also my prediction.

I also think that while most people using regular bookmarks probably wouldn’t want to be forced into collections as a new system, I personally would very much like my bookmarks to be moved into the service. If Google made them show up in Collections, but also left them out as traditional bookmarks for anyone who didn’t like change, I think it might appease all parties – food for thought.

Increase mobile loading speeds

In closing, I’ll note how slow Google Collections has gotten on mobile through the Google Search app since the company added smarter features and recommendations from the last update. Not only does it take a while to load, but going back to a previous page often leads to an unresponsive white screen and you are forced to exit the app completely. Going back and opening the search app usually fixes it, but it’s extremely annoying!

If Google’s Collections feature made these improvements, I think it would be used by more people on a daily basis, even those who are reluctant about the feature in the first place. Microsoft Edge and other browser giants are also implementing Collection style features in addition to bookmarking, and hopefully Google will take the edge off the competition. Let me know in the comments if you use Collections, or if you would give them a try if they were simpler!


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