Friday, November 14, 2008

Google notification confusion: Talk, Gmail or Deskbar Gadget?

We all know Google's flagship web apps: Google Mail (Gmail) and Google Contacts, Google Reader, Blogger, YouTube, Photos, Google Apps and Google Maps. Some would include Google Groups.

Lately they've been putting more energy into iGoogle (their portal) and Google Social. I think Google Calendar is sensational. At the other extreme, Google Desktop Search is clearly toast and Sites is struggling.

That's not so bad, but the problem is figuring out what to do on the periphery.

I've given up on Google Notebook, but what about Google Talk now that Gmail hosts Google Video Conferencing? In particular, what's Google's strategy for notification of events on the desktop?

I found this post outlining 3 options for chat/communication related events: Has the Google Talk desktop client been abandoned?

It's a good review.

My take is that Google Talk is done and Gmail notifier is very stale (last update 3/2006). So there's a hole. Google needs to give us a general notification solution that plugs into an API-equipped back-end web service with user rule control.

In the meantime I'm going to see what I can do with the Google Deskbar (no GDS though) and gadget based notification.

More later.

Update 11/14/08: I didn't like Google Desktop (Deskbar). I'd chosen not to install Google Desktop Search, but it still stuck a plug-in into Outlook. Outlook is unstable enough to begin with, I don't like using add-ons or plug-ins with it. Shortly after I noticed this, Google Desktop crashed. Uninstall immediately.

I might try Gmail Notifier next.

Update 11/18/08: Google Notifier is #$! broken:
Gmail Known Issues - Help Center

... If you've enabled the 'Always use https' setting in Google Mail, you'll need to install a patch for the Notifier to work with this setting...

... If you decide you no longer want to use the https setting, you'll need to install the other file included in the download to reset the Notifier. Use the same method as above, except with 'notifier_https_undo.reg.'

This is ridiculous, I ain't installing a registy hack that requires another registry hack to reverse.

I still think Google Talk is finished, so I'm not going to install that notifier.

I'll either install 3rd party notifier (there are plenty of 'em) or wait (for eons?) until Google comes up with a notification solution.

Update 2/14/09: We're making heavy use of Google Video Chat these days, it's weird there's still no clear notifier solution.


Anonymous said...

try a good notifier on

Anonymous said...

I really rate Google Desktop (GD) (Running on XP): I have a network drive with loads of files, searching for the one you need is always a nightmare - I set-up GD to index the network drive and its speedy search, that also find terms within files, as you type is essential to my daily work now. I also find it much quicker to double tap control and start typing the name of my application than using the mouse and go through the start menu. I agree to does come with some bloat - I only use the 'double tap ctrl' search box and disable all the rest (side bars etc). I got so used to using GD to launch apps I even installed it on my home PC running Vista.