Google Desktop can be downloaded from http://desktop.google.com/.
Google Desktop also runs on Mac OS X, but the Mac version does not currently support Google Gadgets. Similar functionality is already available in the Mac OS through Widgets.
Google Desktop must catalog your hard drive, before it can search it. It can do so during idle time, which doesn’t seem to slow down the computer. You could also elect to get it over with quickly and have it search while the computer is still active doing other things. I didn’t notice an appreciable difference in processing speed either way, but I have a computer that’s less than a year old, so you may have different results.
Google Desktop searches for more than just file names. Google Desktop can find email messages, documents, video files, and more. Google Desktop searches through the contents of the file to find relevant keywords. It also scans metadata, so it could find all songs from the same artist, for example. You could find related files you forgot you had.
Gadgets are very similar in concept to Yahoo! Widgets. They’re mini applications that do everything from checking the weather to displaying unread Gmail messages as flowers in a flower pot. You can customize the Gadgets you’d like to use, including the same Gadgets you’d use on Google Personalized Home Page.
If you find a Google Gadget particularly useful, you can drag it away from the Sidebar and position it wherever you choose on the desktop.
The Deskbar is a search box that rests in the Taskbar. You can also use a floating Deskbar, if you’d prefer.
Google Desktop searching is amazing. It really brings missing functionality to Windows. The Google Gadgets, however, are not quite as useful. They would be better left inside Google Personalized Home Page.
- Use Google Desktop to search for specific file types.