The newest Google Desktop Beta is out in the wild todayand is PC only (Sorry Mac fans). I used the Alpha, so I’ll use the Beta.
Here’s my rundown of the new features.
- Tighter integration with Outlook, including a search bar.
- Sidebar application that mimicks the news feed section of AIM or MSN messenger
- Indexing of Gmail email accounts
- “Web Clips” feature that’s basically an RSS reader
- Search now supports all file types, with an emphasis on documents, email and photos
- Built-in notepad application
- Launch applications you’ve used recently or that you use most often with the Quick View
- Find out “What’s Hot” online via Google. Auto-generated, but it seems cool.
Overall, this is a big leap from the run-in-browser virtual Google search that was the Alpha version. I’m pleasantly surprised and since I’m already a Google-head (even though my brother-in-law works for Yahoo!), I’ll probably stick with it.
I don’t know how useful the Web Clips will be, since I already use, love and evangelize Bloglines, but I bet the move will help speed adoption of RSS. I think the Photo app is cool, but since I mainly use my work laptop, it’s not that useful. I also really dig the Scratch Pad for writing quick notes.
Plus, the sidebar has the old stand-bys News, Weather and Stocks. I get my weather via The Weather Channel’s ForecastFox for Firefox, so that’s not the killer app for me. Plus, my news is Bloglines and I own no stock. Still interesting to note, though.
Official Google blog post here.