What sucks in all Google products - user interface. What sets Apple apart from its competitors - user interface. Why Mac OSX is considered better than Windows - user interface. What makes lot of open source products suck - user interface. What caused the demise of MySpace - the user interface sucked. What caused facebook to succeed over myspace - total control of its user interface.
One thing that Apple understands that Google does not is that user interface or design or user experience, whatever you my call it, is not to be crowd sourced. Facebook I guess understands the same. The approach of Google is to make everything generic, scalable, customizable. But they lack the understanding of lack of appreciation of these features by most users. Take the example of igoogle. The installable themes did more harm to this product than anything else. Once users installed certain fancy looking themes, that became their user experience of that product. Same seems to be happening with google chrome. Apple on the other hand guards their user experience to the tee. That I think is what is setting it apart.
Being in tech, one thing we like to do is make everything generic, customizable, scalable. The mistake is when we take it to the design and user experience level. That is one thing we need to guard against.