Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Google Desktop 2 Leaves Beta

Google Desktop version 2 is officially leaving Beta phase, and there’s some new features as well. Desktop is not just a search app for your PC. It’s pretty much everything Google came up with to put on your computer. (It somewhat reminds me of a gadget I installed during the “Push” hype in the 1990s, and also, of the Mac OS X Dashboard.)

If you enable Desktop in the “Sidebar” mode (this seems to be the most powerful mode), you can view the Personalized Maps panel. On this Mihai Ionescu of the offical Desktop blog writes, “As you browse the web, this panel will display maps information related to the pages you’re visiting, it can show you interesting places around the world, or you can directly navigate to your favorite spots.” (I’m not exactly sure how Google decides which locations to show; I received maps from Australia and USA while surfing... maybe it would help if Google told us details about the connection between the map and the web page.)

Other Sidebar panels (think of them as information widgets) include Google News, Gmail, Google Talk and so on. I like the “What’s Hot” panel; it shows hot items circulating on the web this moments. (I could find Technorati and BlogPulse being used as sources... it seems Google polls the “top articles” pages of these services.)

Google is showing off more panels (written by many different authors outside of Google) on their plug-ins list. Mihai says:

“[I]f you’re a sidebar plug-in developer, good news: we’ve heard you. And we’ve added support for script plug-ins. We even provided you with an automatic plug-in installer. Just use your favorite scripting language (such as JavaScript or VBScript)”

Mihai also points to Desktop plug-in samples and a guide for developers.

Note while Desktop may be the swiss army knife for information junkies, it also slowed down my system a bit (I had the Sidebar running, and the slow-downs weren’t so bad they made me worry, but the lags were certainly noticeable).


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!