Google releases Google Desktop for Mac beta

Apple Store“People have been asking me since I started at Google what I’ve been working on, and until today, I’ve been unable to say. Now is the time to change all that and introduce the newest product from the Google MacEng team: Google Desktop for Mac (beta),” Mike Pinkerton, Google Software Engineer, writes in the Official Google Mac Blog.

“Google Desktop for Mac takes many of the features from the Windows product, such as indexing Gmail and web history, integration, finding content in past file revisions and deleted files, and fast application launching. But we know that simply ‘porting’ to the Mac is not a good idea. So we took the time to develop a product that deeply integrates into Mac OS X and maintains its high standards of usability. This is a Mac product through and through, from the bezel on our search box down to correctly (and securely) handling multiple users and FileVault,” Pinkerton writes.

Pinkerton writes, “Our primary goal was to make desktop search as fast as web search. When people think Google, they think speed, and our Google Desktop product is no different. The search box makes launching documents and applications lightning fast and provides quick access to your files, folders, email, and webpages. Better still, with a convenient shortcut key (command + command) it’s always right at your fingertips.”

Pinkerton writes, “The next goal was to make Google Desktop as easy to use as a web search. In your web browser, Google Desktop looks and behaves like our web search, seamlessly blending the two experiences. When you do a search we’ll also display interesting results from your Mac that are related to your search. Getting to Google Desktop is easy, whether you use the search box’s shortcut key or click the “Desktop” tab on Google Desktop additionally searches your Gmail and web history (from Safari, Camino, and Firefox) without you having to lift a finger, and can even find that important outline you deleted by accident!

“As part of Google Desktop, you also get the new Google Updater. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything special: installing Google Desktop gets you Google Updater for free. It is designed to allow you to easily install, update, and uninstall all the Google software for Mac OS X. In addition to managing the products you have installed, Updater allows you to explore and discover other Google software, including Google Earth, Notifier, and Picasa Web Uploader, and learn a little about each of them. Best of all, Google Updater is always up to date with our full product line, and can even notify you about new software releases from Google,” Pinkerton writes.

Pinkerton writes, “Over the coming months, we’ll continue to improve the product and innovate in the area of search, as well as find other ways to integrate into Mac OS X. As tech lead, I’m incredibly proud of the work my team has done, and I hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor.”

More info and download link here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bev M.” for the heads up.]


  1. “Keep your Google crap. Not going to clutter things up with yet more useless Google software.”

    Yes, because Google Earth is such a piece of shit.

    Honestly, why be negative. You don’t have to use this.

  2. I don’t get it. We have spotlight. Why did they spend all this time making GoogleDesktop Search when we have spotlight? Do they think we are going to want redundant search indexes being built on our machines? Seriously, I think it is FANTASTIC that they are paying attention to Mac users, but I think their efforts were misdirected here. Now, when Mac users do not download and install this by the millions, they’ll think – “Gee, guess Mac uses don’t want our software. Let’s stop making it for them.”

    Make something Mac users need. We already have desktop search built in that will search even documents that are new and unsaved on the screen. Spotlight is plenty fast enough too.

  3. At work, I have to have this wintel box hanging around, although I access it through my Mac…- but, I tried Google Desktop on it, and got rid of it fairly quickly, as it was ugly and annoying, well, uglier than windoze, which is saying alot, you know. Can’t see how it would improve the Mac experience in the least.

  4. Yeah, what’s the deal with the negativity? Believe me, there are plenty of people not satisfied with Spotlight. Leopard may have improved it greatly, but shouldn’t development for Mac be encouraged without blind loyalty to Apple for its offerings?


  5. Spotlight is “slow”? I’ve never noticed that.

    Anyway … “Google Desktop for Mac takes many of the features from the Windows product, such as indexing Gmail and web history, integration, finding content in past file revisions and deleted files, and fast application launching.”
    This is NOT simply about getting a Google Search on your desktop. Some of this is going to be available to most in Leopard, some (indexing GMail) only to those with the Google Desktop. If this isn’t important to you, forget it. If it is, GET it. Fighting about a personal choice is too juvenile to bother with. Do what works for you and be civil when discussing “why”.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  6. Ok so it finally finished indexing my machine. What a honk of rubbish. If I click to see all the results it displays it in a google like browser window in Safari. That gets added to my history too! Some might find that useful but it just doesn’t match up to spotlights ability – especially smart folders.

    I typed ‘hello’ and it found loads of results but wasn’t quicker than spotlight. Then I uninstalled it. What’s the point in having this when you have spotlight? I suppose you can search your gmail from it, but I use Mac OS X Mail which is far superior.

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