Friday, April 6, 2007

Go Go (Reader) Gadget

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Go Go (Reader) Gadget

There are many ways to get your Reader fix. You can use our full interface. You can use your cellphone. You can even "Next" your way across the web with our bookmarklet. But one of the more popular ways to check your reading list is with our Personalized Homepage gadget.

Reader Personalized Homepage Gadget

Based on the comments that the gadget is receiving at the directory, we've made quite a few improvements to it:

  • A "mark all as read" link so you can more easily catch up
  • Unread counts for your reading list and tags
  • Better support for themes
  • The ability to sort items oldest-first

If you'd like to see other features in the Reader gadget, just add another comment. And if you haven't added it to your homepage yet, you can do so with this button:

Add it now


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

[G] Desktop goes cross platform

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Inside Google Desktop: Desktop goes cross platform

Google Desktop is hitting a milestone today: we're going cross platform! Google Desktop for the Mac (beta) is now available. We know that whether you use a PC or a Mac, a significant amount of personal content lives on the web and also on your computer. We're committed to helping you search all of that information.

Like the Windows version, Google Desktop for the Mac makes searching your desktop and the web faster, easier, and more comprehensive, enhances the desktop search experience with the Quick Search Box, and leverages Google technology to deliver speed and usability. It works with both PowerPC and Intel machines with Mac OS X 10.4+ and is compatible with Safari, Firefox, and Camino browsers. For this version, we focused on searching the desktop with speed, ease of use, relevance, and comprehensiveness. It does not have sidebar and gadgets, though we do plan to make Google Gadgets available on the Mac in the future. To find out more, read this post on our Mac Blog.

We look forward to adding more features and further improving performance and usability in the near future.


Google Desktop for Mac

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Official Google Mac Blog: Google Desktop for Mac

Posted By Mike Pinkerton, Software Engineer

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).

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.

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.

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!

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. If you'd like to send us some feedback, we'd love to hear it over in our forum.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Popouts, Buttons and Slideshows

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Popouts, Buttons and Slideshows

As an engineer, one of my favorite aspects of delivering Google Talk through the web is that we can enhance it quickly. In fact, we updated the Google Talk Gadget today with a few new features:

(1) To make it easier to use Google Talk anywhere, we made it possible to pop out the Google Talk Gadget into a separate window. If you're using Google Talk on your Google Personalized Homepage, you'll find a link in right inside the gadget that lets you pop it out. You can also find the popout version of the gadget at

(2) For website owners and bloggers, we announced earlier that you can add Google Talk to your own webpage with a single line of code. To take advantage of the new pop-out functionality, we created a new way to add Google Talk to your website: a button you can add that lets your visitors launch Google Talk in a separate window.

To add the button, just copy and paste this script into your site's HTML:

(3) We also wanted to highlight a way to use the gadget that others discovered shortly after our first release. If you use Firefox, you can run the gadget in your Firefox sidebar, so it stays open when you navigate from page to page in the main frame. Just click on the link below:

Google Talk Sidebar

You can also bookmark Google Talk for your sidebar in Firefox. Right click on the link above. Select "Bookmark this Link," then "Create In: Bookmarks Toolbar." Next open the Bookmarks menu from the Firefox menu bar, right click on the Google Talk bookmark entry, and select "Properties." In the menu that opens, check the box that says: "Load this bookmark in the sidebar."

When you open the bookmark, the gadget will load in the sidebar on the left.

(4) We also added some new media viewing capability to the gadget. In addition to watching YouTube videos and Picasa Web Albums slideshows, you can now also view Flickr photo slideshows by pasting URLs from Flickr into your chats.

We look forward to adding more and more features to the gadget. And you don't need to do anything to get the updates. Each time you load the gadget you will have the latest version.

Scott Ludwig
Software Engineer