Last year, after five years or so, I made the move from iOS toan Android phone, namely from my perma-failing iPhone 5 to a Nexus 4. The transition was bumpy, what with Google’s phones not being quite as good as Apple’s, and the differences in the OS being a fairly steep learning curve (I still don’t fully understand the “Phone” application on Android to be honest), it has been a very good move. Since I jumped Apple have gone an updated iOS too and turned it into an OS that I seriously don’t know how to use anymore. Without a back button, like my Nexus has, I honestly have no idea how to navigate around the new look iOS which amuses my wife a lot.
Speaking of Connie, she still has her iPhone 5, and it’s doing very well. Not plagued with any of the faults my five iPhones did, she is more than happy with the phone, and until week, so was I. That was until Google implemented a dreadful change, one that has broken her phone and made me very angry.
You see, Google has a wide range of services – that includes email, maps, cloud storage, and Google Music. I use them all and have multiple accounts across all the services. I have seven email address, I have a Youtube account, I listen to my music from Google daily. Connie too has her own email account, which makes sense, but she doesn’t have her own music account. Why? Well, we have a shared library of music. Her/my music is my/her music. The problem is that Google recently added a new “feature” to their apps – single sign-in across iOS.
What this means is that you sign in once in Gmail and you’re logged into Drive, Maps, Music, etc. If you log in to Music your account is added to Gmail. What this means is that to listen to our music on her phone, Connie must be signed in as me – fair enough. But that also signs her in to my emails, my Drive, my Youtube, my maps, my everything. I do not want this to happen. She doesn't want this to happen either.
The fact that they’ve implemented this is absolutely mental – does no one at Google have multiple accounts? I have read forums on line with people confused – their personal email accounts, accessed on work phones, now link that to their youtube accounts and map accounts that were once anonymous, and it doesn’t even tell you it is doing it!
This is a serious affront to privacy and removes any semblance of security my Google account has – I have two-step authentication on my account, and it’s needed as I base my entire online presence on Google’s services. Now it’s negated as I sign in once to my music to listen to it on Con’s phone and suddenly everything is opened up to her – and anyone else who opens my account on that phone. It’s batshit crazy, and a dreadful misstep.
Google, who are constantly asking me to use my gmail account for Youtube (no, never), sign up for Google+ to review things on the Play Store (fuck that) and even sign up for Google+ just to syn certain application files on my phone (no thanks, I’ll use Dropbox) are slowly turning into the worst company for this. And the fact that they’ve managed to do it on a system that was always in my mind quite powerful at keeping applications separate is astounding – so far my Android phone is letting me have different unlinked accounts, but I imagine it won’t be long.
This is so bad it must be a mistake, and I have no idea why it’s not getting more coverage.