Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Google's Mac desktop: a bit scary

The exciting news is that Google has delivered another major OS X product. The bad news is it tries to replace Spotlight and has a fairly ugly installation routine. DF has the story ...
Daring Fireball: A Quick, Possibly Incomplete Guide to What Gets Installed by the Google Desktop Installer

... One of the nice features of Apple’s installer is the Show Files command in the File menu, which gives you a nice listing of everything the installer is going to install, before it happens...

...Today, Google released Google Desktop for Mac, which, in a nutshell, is more or less a competitor to Spotlight. I’ve only had time to give it a cursory examination, but it’s clearly a deep and complex set of software. I say “set” because Google Desktop is not just one piece of software, it’s a system with numerous components. A simple drag-and-drop installation wouldn’t work.

But Google doesn’t use Apple’s standard installer, either. Google Desktop is delivered using another new Google app, called Google Updater. This app is a meta installer for various Google Mac apps, including, as of today, Google Desktop, Earth, Notifier, and Picasa Uploader. It doesn’t contain the software for any of these apps, instead, it downloads the latest version when you choose to install or update them. It also provides a simple one-button interface for uninstalling these apps...
I won't be installing this one for a while. Spotlight isn't perfect, but it's pretty darned good (especially with non-Apple front ends). I know Google is into search, but really I wish they'd focused on other value props for their Mac client. I also heartily dislike installations that break 'good conduct' rules, and it appears Google Desktop for Mac is quite a bad actor.

I hope Google will respond and address some of these issues. I'd like to see an installation that omitted the search function.

No comments:

Post a Comment