Google has just announced that, beginning next month, its popular apps will no longer permit users to check a single “select all” box. This means, for instance, that if you want to delete a long list of email or phone messages, you need to check the box for each one of them; there will no longer be an option at the top of the list to select the whole lot.
“We don’t want users to make general decisions about their important data,” said a Google spokesperson, who asked not to be identified. “It’s too easy to select the box at the top, delete, and then lose something you’ll regret later. We want the user to stop and think about each individual item.”
There is speculation that Google’s decision was influenced by similar thinking on the part of election officials.