Besides search, I can’t figure out what Google is doing with it’s gazillions of dollars, other than making nifty stuff. For Windows.
Finally, Google does Mac with three “official” Widgets. One is good, one is boring, one is bad.
We don’t normally poke much at software development, especially if it’s free and works. I’ll make an exception here, because Google is big enough to take a little ribbing.
Of course, I don’t want to poke so much at Google that they stop making Widgets altogether, or ignore the Mac completely.
So, that said, Google’s three free Widgets are a mixed bag.
Staying close to form (cute and sassy), Google starts off Mac users with a little teaser. Three questions about Macs.
Have you ever seen a similar quiz about Windows, or Bill Gates, before someone dumps free software on you? Me neither.
There’s an implied assumption that because we’re Mac users, we know everything there is to know about Macs. Well, not everyone does. Or cares. Hmmm.
Tera knows and cares but she’s older than Noah’s ark, so it’s to be expected, plus she throws in a ‘senior moment’ whenever she forgets something, like it’s still not her fault.
Google’s as much a tease as Bambi at dinner. Seriously. Who knows this stuff, besides Star Trek Conventioneers?
Question: Which fruit was not an iMac color? My favorite was Flower Power and it’s not even on the list.
Question: Which phrase is not originally from Steve? OK, we admire the guy, but we don’t listen and record every word. Google this (sign language), Google.
Question: Where did the famous 1984 TV commercial air? Aha! That one I know but only because Tera told me.
Most folks who think they know will say the original Apple Mac commercial aired on the Super Bowl in 1984. Wrong.
It actually aired in 1983 on a TV station in Twin Falls, Idaho so it would qualify for 1983’s advertising awards. I’m sure the folks in Idaho caught the symbolism in Riddley Scott’s Mac commercial.
OK, so I knew two of the three answers. Google releases three Widgets for the Mac and has a similar record. One is good, one is boring, one is ugly.
This is the good one so I’m actually saving you the excrutiating pain of reading any more of my Friday Freebie drivel.
Of the three-pack, Gmail is the best deal. It checks your Gmail account. Unfortunately, the Gmail Widget does not let you compose within the Widget, instead sending you direct to a Gmail web page in Safari.
I’m not fully convinced that a Widget that does mail is any more efficient than doing mail in a browser window, or just letting Apple’s Mail do the checking for you, but, hey, Gmail is free.
Google appreciates Mac users so much they built a Dashboard Widget that searches Google.
Again, I’m back to that whole browser vs. Widget efficiency thing again. At this point, the browser wins, but, if you’re messing around in the Widgets, as I’m prone to do (six weeks to go before mommyhood, so “prone” anything looks inviting), maybe it’s faster to search in a Widget. Or not.
So, this Widget gets a boring rating but at least it works OK.
This is where Google had a chance to do something cool and didn’t.
It may surprise Google, but not everyone has a Blogger account (Blogger is owned by Google). If you don’t have a Blogger account, don’t feel bad. You’re in the majority.
The minority, though, those who have a Blogger account (it makes blogging easy and free), are not likely to be impressed with Google’s Blogger Widget.
Why? It’s free, right? It let’s you type and save both headline and body text into your Blogger account instead of using that messy browser window.
What’s wrong with that? No scrolling. Once you’ve done a few paragraphs, the Blogger Widget falls off the bottom of the screen and obscures the Publish button.
Now you won’t be able to read the latest from TeraTalks in her Blogger account.
Three Dashboard Widgets from Google are available when you Click Here.
Got a favorite Dashboard Widget that you can’t live without? Me neither. But I have some I like. What about you?