John Gruber on his blog Daring Fireball went so far as to say:
Their old logo was goofy. This new one is simply garbage. Just right for a company with no taste.
Gruber is much more in the Apple camp, as anyone who reads his blog will know. As someone who uses products from both companies, I don’t think there’s only one way to have taste. Certainly, Apple makes nice hardware. Yet even Steve Jobs, supposed master of taste, committed atrocities (IMHO) like having the appearance or ripped paper at the top of the calendar application, to make it look like someone hard torn pages out of a physical calendar.
Apple’s sense of taste is rooted in physical things– computers, phones, virtual representations of physical calendars, and so on.
Google’s sense of taste, which I would actually argue is quite good, is entirely virtual. The sparse, lightning-fast Google search page shows wonderful taste, with the kind of minimal, functional aesthetic that is Apple’s design call sign. Google’s restraint on its most important page (the most important page of the internet?) is like Apple’s restraint in not having its logo on the front the iPhone. (Microsoft even made fun of their own lack of restraint.)
Back to the logo, people are making fun of the childishness of it, which is really the whole point. It’s supposed to look friendly and playful. “Don’t be evil”, rather than “we know almost as much about you as the NSA, but we can actually use this data to sell ads.” (It also looks better on small screens and provides a more coherent look in its smallest form, with the multicolor ‘G’.)