Google debuts ‘Google X’ with Apple Mac OS X-like Dock

Google Labs has debuted “Google X” which adds an animated Mac OS X-style Dock above Google’s search box. Chikai Ohazama, Google Software Engineer, has blogged the following:

Today is an amazing day: A small idea – a fun late-night coding jaunt to help me learn Javascript & DHTML – has just launched on Google Labs. I never expected it to make it as far as it has when I wrote it a month ago, especially since my “real” job is working on Keyhole, where I’m having the time of my life taking our cool 3D mapping application and putting the power of Google behind it. It’s fulfilling to have the opportunity to reach the audience we always dreamed of when we started Keyhole five years ago, and that by itself is absolute coolness.

And now there’s Google X, which came about because I wanted a quick fun way to access all of Google’s services. I gave it to a few friends in the company, who gave it to their friends, some posted it on their blogs, others sent it around on mailing lists, and it eventually made its way to Marissa Mayer, who liked it enough to say, when do you want to put it up on Labs? So after some spit and polish from some enthusiastic Googlers and the keen eye of the UI team, Google X is here. I hope all of you enjoy it – especially Mac users, who I’m sure will appreciate its lineage.

See “Google X” here.

MacDailyNews Take: Too bad you can’t turn off the animation; Dock Magnification is one of the first things we disable on our Macs. Why? It’s far easier and quicker to hit a stationary target than a slippery moving one. Let’s face it, the animated Dock icons aren’t very useful. So, because Apple has included text rollovers on Dock icons, turning off the Magnification and minimizing the Dock to its smallest possible size works best for us.

Kudos to Google, though, for minimizing the Magnification animation and providing a familiar place for Mac OS X users, right down to the quote (and link to Apple’s Mac OS X page) at the bottom of the page, “Roses are red. Violets are blue. OS X rocks. Homage to you.”

[UPDATE, 10:31am ET: AcidSearch is a search enhancement for Safari. It adds unlimited “Search Channels” to the Google search field. Channels can be customized, so you can add Google X. AcidSearch is free software, and will always be free, according to developer pozytron. More info and download link here.]

[UPDATE, 7:00pm ET: Google X is no longer currently available. See related article below.]

Related MacDailyNews articles:
‘Google X’ goes missing – March 16, 2005
How to run a Mac OS X PowerBook or iBook; no shut downs, restarts, or quitting applications – March 16, 2005


  1. This is great.
    “Roses are red. Violets are blue. OS X rocks. Homage to you.”

    I think it is good for Apple when they receive this sort of flattery. The best part about it is Google recognizing that they “borrowed” the idea from Apple.

  2. Actually I love the magnification feature in the dock. I prefer hiding the dock and then when I need an application it magnifies. When I see the title above the ap, it’s one click and your in. It has to be the coolest feature of the desktop. Turn off magnification…no way. It sure beats the heck out of moving windows out of the way in order to get to shortcuts (like on a pc).

    My wife however, turns it off on her Powerbook.

  3. MDN, you’re missing a trick. Don’t turn off magnification, just have it a tiny bit bigger than the normal size and you get valuable visual feedback as you mouse over the dock.

    It’s great, but needs to be used with subtlety.

  4. Dock magnification gives me something to do when I am bored.
    It always puts a smile on my face ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />
    When I first installed OS X…I think I ran the cursor over the dock 100 times a day..

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”gulp” style=”border:0;” />

  5. I disagree w/MDN’s take on the magnification of the icons in the dock. I actually find the magnification (set correctly) really does help focus on the app you want to load, especially when you have many apps in the dock and the icons get rather small.

    All IMHO, of course…


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