New Google Desktop Beta

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

2 thoughts on “New Google Desktop Beta

  1. Dave says:

    Oh it’s not just the Mac fans that are snubbed, it’s us Linux people too!

    This is also much more like the Dashboard project which came out a while ago (read about it here). But that was (at least at the time) Linux only and was way cool. The best thing about that was that it responded to what you were doing at the type. Did you type an Instant Message about the Atlanta Braves? Well the Dashboard might just show pictures you took at the last game you were at, an e-mail concerning the team, and a post from a blog about it. Quite cool.

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