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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Google On The Desktop, And Then Some...


I'm sure most of you have already seen or heard of Google Desktop, but wait until you see the latest iteration. On Monday Google announced Google Desktop 2 (beta). The most significant, and noticeable upgrade, is the new Sidebar.

The Sidebar feature list is as follows:
  • Email
  • News
  • Weather
  • Photos
  • Stocks
  • Web Clips
  • Scratch Pad
  • Quick View
  • and, of course, a search box

All of the different panels can be turned on or off, and Google has even made available a developers API so people can make their own. All kinds of cool screenshots can be found here.

So far, I have only been able to find a couple of things I'm not too crazy about. For example, if you wanted the sidebar to only take up half of the screen vertically, your out of luck(it's all or nothing). Another example is the email panel lumps all of your email together. I have multiple accounts in Outlook and a gmail account, so in the email panel they are all jumbled together. I would like to see some sort of separation in future releases.

Another cool new feature is called Quick Find. Quick Find is kinda like the auto complete feature on steroids. As you start typing in the search bar, some of the more common results will appear. This makes even opening applications easy and efficient.

The last new feature I find very useful is the Outlook Toolbar. This is a special search bar right inside of Outlook. As you may have guessed, this is can be used to search threw all of your Outlook email specifically. While I'm not yet sure how it compares to Outlook 2003's search implementation, it seems like a good idea.

As for the core features of Google Desktop, most seem relatively unchanged.

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