I am not talking at all about end user products like GMail, Android or any other Google product.
I am talking about their developer products, the horrendous lack of support and the shoddy state they are shipped in. I don't talk about IBM, because frankly their developer support is absolutely stellar. Actually in my brief exposure to Yahoo's developer support it was incredibly good too, although I only worked with their UI toolkit and BOSS search engine technology, but both were exceedingly well documented and packaged in a way that made it extremely easy to get up an running. I have dealt with Amazon as a developer, working with their S3 and EC2 technologies and though the experience wasn't amazing ( it has improved ), it was vastly superior to any time I have dealt with Google products. It at least had timely, thorough and accurate documentation, which is the baseline of what I expect.
I use Google as my primary search engine, I am typing this in Chrome, my phone is an Xperia X10 ( not that I am happy about it over all ) and I own a Asus Transformer. I have no particular hate over Google products, but their developer support is absolutely and overwhelmingly shit.
Ah, youth :-)
I'm going to do my best not to turn this into a "kids these days" rant, but... damn.
I'll be blunt here. I remember a time - not all that long ago, on a cosmic scale - when Microsoft was known for subpar development tools. Yes, you read that right. Ever used Microsoft C/C++? It was horrid. Everyone with sense used Borland or Watcom. That's how you got real work done. Ever used Visual C++ 1.52? It was awful. Visual C++ 4.0 wasn't much better. Visual Studio 97 (aka the 5.0 release) was vaguely decent. 6.0 was when the Microsoft developer product line really hit its stride, and Visual Studio has been a dominant player in IDEs ever since.
You know what the irony is here? Visual Studio 6.0 was released in 1998. Microsoft was founded in 1975. It took them twenty three years
to reach a point where their development tools were market-dominant, and that's from a company that was - quite literally - founded as a development tools company. Look up their history; programming systems have been Microsoft's bread and butter since day one, and they have retained their market leadership solely through understanding that capturing the loyalty of programmers is the route to success in computer applications.
It took Microsoft 23 years to start producing good development tools, and that's their core competency.
Now, let's look back at Google for a minute. They have never been, and never will be, a development tools company. They are a focused advertising company who happened to land on the map by being good at web search, and they have been attempting to diversify and expand - as is natural for a large company - ever since. Their intent is to maximize their potential for delivering targeted advertisements. Getting developers to use their platforms is a secondary goal; it's a way to expand the market for their advertising revenue. Seriously - look at the products they ship and how they monetize them.
A tertiary plan for Google is to encourage brand development and recognition by embracing certain communities; witness Google Code, the Google AI Challenge, et. al. This is a simple ploy to get people to attach notions of developer benevolence with the Google brand. But at no time is their intent to be a development tools company; they are an advertising company who recognizes the need to build a strong brand
Google was incorporated in 1998. The same year, coincidentally, as Visual Studio 6.0 was released. They've had 13 years to get good at their business. And guess what? They've done it! They've been remarkably good at search and focused advertising, so much so that the very concept of searching is now intimately associated with their brand name
So the comparison between, say, Microsoft's developer experience and Google's is, frankly, hardly fair. Now, let's consider (briefly) the other players mentioned: Yahoo, Amazon, hell, IBM.
Yahoo has known for years that it failed at being the dominant web search platform, so they diversified into general internet technology platforms. They've had a decade of playing second fiddle to Google to learn how to do this. Ditto for Amazon; Bezos realized ages ago that book sales was a dead end and that Amazon needed to become a platforms company. They've also had plenty of time to get it right, and it is their core focus now
IBM has managed to survive as a development tools provider through sheer inertia, and because they have enough smart people who realize the importance of nurturing a developer community. Think of it as a microcosm of Microsoft sensibility surviving within the political morass of IBM as a whole.
We can do this for pretty much any other tech company under the sun ;-)
The bottom line for me is that expectations are just not reasonable. Google is not a developer tools company; never has been, never will be. They're not even a platforms company. They're also relatively young for a large business, and still going through a lot of growing pains and identity issues. This is totally normal. Again, I cite the recent cutbacks in product lines; they know they're over-committed, and they're pulling back.
All the specific complaints in the OP are easy enough to resolve with a simple explanation: since Google is not a developer tools company, they are specifically not
designing tools for mass consumption. They're designing stuff for themselves, and/or stuff they think is cool, and coincidentally sharing that stuff with the outside world. If you approach them as a development tools company, of course you're going to be disappointed; of course it feels like they didn't design this stuff to work with your particular use case.
Because they didn't.
And they didn't intend to, because that's not their business.
 Oh, if you want to talk about companies who actually do
have truly shit developer support, PM me. I have some horror stories that'll make you kiss the sweet ground that Google's devkits walk on ;-)