Google Desktop for Mac: worth the wait

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While it’s been available for Windows for quite some time, Mac-o-philes have never been able to use the Google Desktop–until now.

With Google Desktop, you increase the power of your searches, beyond what’s available to you with Spotlight. You can do a thorough search of your Mac’s files, while at the same time including your Gmail and browser history as part of that search. Conversely, if your are doing a Web search with Google and it turns out that you already have a relevant item on your local system–perhaps a document you downloaded just last week–it will also appear in the Google results page.

Google Desktop indexes your local files, so that it can look for relevant results when you run a search. As with the out-in-the-world version of Google, the Desktop app creates cached versions of these files. This means that if you happen to delete a document from your system and need to get it back, there is a good chance you will find it in the cache, saving you a lot of extra grief.

In much the same way that you can start local and expand to the Web, or vice versa, you can invoke Google Desktop locally, by pressing the [Command] key twice to bring up the Quick Search Box, or you can click on the Desktop link on the Google homepage.

Installing the application adds a Google Desktop preference panel to your System Preferences, configuring Google Desktop so that it will work best for you.

Google Desktop for Mac is, as with many Google tools, strictly speaking a Beta release, so you should heed standard warnings about not relying on it for mission-critical application. Google Desktop requires OS X 10.4+.

Download Google Desktop for Mac

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