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Google Desktop Sidebar!

on Tue May 18, 2010 10:06 pm
During lunch break today, I was browsing through google's apps, when I found the Google Desktop Sidebar. It sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a shot and downloaded it. It took me about 15 minutes to figure out how to use it and to set it up. Here's my summary:

At a first glance, it seems a little bit strange compared to a normal program. To keep it from riding as a sidebar on top of all your other windows, you need to press the down arrow at the top of the sidebar and uncheck "always on top" and check "sidebar." Also, the GDS does not run as a program, and to restore it when minimized, click the full screen button to the right of the google search tab in your taskbar. After you figure out these small details and get a feel for the way it works, the fun can begin. Hit the '+' button at the top of the sidebar to open the gadgets box. From here, you can place and organize numerous gadgets and tools for your use on your desktop and in the sidebar. Click a gadget to open it, or use the collapse/enable function to interact with your apps. The available gadgets include clocks and time keeping devices, a google searchbar, a gmail box, a google docs box, a google box, a google talk box, the weather of a location of your choice, a wikipedia search box, games, tools and tons more!

1. Accessibility is not as easy as it should be.
2. When not minimized, the sidebar will use some CPU's, so keep it minimized when running high priority/CPU consuming programs.
3. Getting started with the GDS and using the interface is not as simple as it could be, and you need to be relatively tech-savvy to figure it out easily.

But hey, it's another awesome google program and it's still in its beta stage, so for what it is, the GDS is amazing.

See the screenshot in the spoiler:


*Note that I signed out of all my personal accounts and also blurred part of the weather gadget (my town). The left window is the gadget shelf, where hundreds of free gadgets are available.
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