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Google Desktop on Macs

Friday, April 6th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

Do you know anything about a Google Desktop for Macs? I’ve heard rumors, but I wasn’t sure if anything was set in stone yet. If you know anything, please share!

Well, you probably already know that since this question is posted above, I do have something to say about the topic. After all, if you know anything about this newsletter, you know I’m not just going to choose this question and then tell you, “No, I have nothing to share, but thanks for asking!” : )

So, what is going on with the Google Desktop and Mac computers? Well, it seems as if the Google Desktop phenomenon that invaded Windows is now making its way onto Macs. Yep, that’s right, all of you OS X Mac users out there can now get your very own Google Desktop. Now, that’s not even the best part of it. The beta version (yes, it’s still in beta) was released less than 24 hours ago! You can never say again that WorldStart doesn’t stay on top of things, now can you?! I was just so excited to share this information with you and I couldn’t wait any longer. Yes!

Okay, now back to what the Google Desktop can do for all you Mac people! After releasing the Windows version of Google Desktop (about two years ago), Google was able to put together a Mac team to bring the software over there as well. With your own Google Desktop, you will be able to perform searches on your whole computer’s indexes, applications, music files, photos, e-mails, chat logs and basically any other documents you have. By having this advantage, you will always have all of your important data right at your fingertips.

Now, as you know, Google likes to group their programs together and this one is no exception. With Google Desktop, you can access all of your Gmail files from Google’s servers, along with any contents that are included in your Web search history. With this, you will always be able to have a copy of that material, even if you’re not connected to the Internet at the time of your need. You can also have those options disabled if you’re not comfortable with them being so easily accessible. Google Desktop is designed to keep your important information safe and for your eyes only, so there are several options to choose from.

This Mac version of Google Desktop is a little different from the one used in Windows. So far, it only has the Quick Search feature. The toolbar and gadgets that can be found in Windows are not available as of yet. The search box is very quick though and it seems to be a lot more advanced than other programs, such as Spotlight and Quicksilver. To use the search feature, you just have to hit the Command/Apple key twice. Once it comes up on your screen, you can also change the keyboard commands if you’d like. Like I said, Google Desktop works just for you!

Once you start using the search option with your Google Desktop, it also works to learn your searching behavior. It progresses to be faster and faster as you continue to use it. For example, it pays close attention to the programs you launch and files you look at often. If you don’t want it to do that though, there is an option to see all of the normal search results, etc. You just have to change your preferences once you download the software.

Right now, Google Desktop is only compatible with Safari, Firefox and Camino on Macs. One of the Google Desktop product managers Rose Yao said that “this is one of our first big launches for the Mac platform and it’s really important to us. Google is all about universal access and we want to make it available in as many platforms and languages as possible.” Sounds good, huh?!

Now, the beta version of the Mac Google Desktop will more than likely last for at least three months, because they want to get as much user feedback as possible before making it a full release. In time, all of the features of Windows’ Google Desktop will be brought to Macs, but for right now, all you Mac users can get used to what is offered. You can install the beta version for your own computer right here and get started today. Hope you enjoy!

~ Erin

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