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Google Desktop: Beta Release Arrives for Mac OS X

Published April 5th, 2007
Google Desktop Download Google Desktop Search FreewareOriginally downloaded April 4, 2007. Ah yes, Google Desktop is here. Naturally, I can't resist downloading and trying it out, but frankly, better desktop search isn't one of my primary needs at the moment. It's understandable why Google Desktop was celebrated so much when it arrived for Windows 2 years ago, just before Apple released Mac OS X 10.4 ("Tiger") and its new Spotlight system search tool. Even now, most Windows users have no idea what having a good system search tool can do for you, since very few have upgraded to Vista yet. I must say, though, that I'm impressed with Google Desktop's install process... it went smoothly all the way through and was very Mac-like, ending by leaving the user in a System Preferences pane where you configure the search tool. Google Desktop adds nice touches such as giving users the choice between accessing the tool through the Dock or through the system menubar. And it also honors your Spotlight privacy settings. Right now, I hear the indexer crunching away on my hard drives, and I'm left wondering how my system can possibly bear up under the load of three heavy-duty indexing tools going at it periodically:Spotlight, Quicksilver, and now Google Desktop. Ultimately, unless Google Desktop provides some serious performance gains over an extended trial, I just don't want that much churning going on in the background, and I'll have to drop one of these. Since Quicksilver is much more than a search tool, it'll have to be either Google Desktop or Spotlight. And since Spotlight also powers Apple Mail, the Finder, and many other Mac OS X apps, I doubt that I'll be inclined to turn it off. We'll see. For now, I'll just wait for the indexing to stop: 20,897 and counting...

Version as tested: 1.0.0.

Update 9/5/12.

Forgot to update this last year... I removed Google Desktop and all of its many components from my Mac last year after getting tired of it showing up all the time even though I wasn't using it. After initial testing, I saw no reason to run Google Desktop, but that didn't stop the software from running itself now and then. Highly invasive... to be avoided unless you really want to get mired in the entire Google ecosystem.

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