Monday, February 06, 2006

What's Wrong With Google Desktop

Okay, I like Google Desktop. A lot. Finding files fast is obviously its biggest benefit. It will beat Windows Search every single time in terms of speed. And simplicity. By default, Google Desktop searches for file names, folder names, and text inside files - without having to check any boxes.

 

The other big benefit is, believe it or not, as an application launcher. When I want to launch notepad, I don't have to worry about going to start/program files/accessories/notepad. I just type 'notepad' into the handy little box on my taskbar and it comes up. Huge time-saver.

 

But there's one thing that really drives me crazy about it. Google Desktop keeps serving me dead search results - on my own desktop! In other words, it points me to files that have been deleted or moved, and tells me that it can't find them when I try to open them.

 

Why? When you search with GD, you're basically just searching the index of your files that GD has created. The index seems to monitor new files that are created, but doesn't update when you delete a file, or move it to another location. What's worse, even when I click a search result, and it says it can't find it, it still doesn't remove that result for the next time I search! Does that make any sense? This is supposed to be first-class software from a first-class company.

 

There's a simple solution to this, obviously, and I seriously hope they're working on it for the next version. First off, when you find that a link is dead, remove it from the search index. That seems like really easy and intuitive code right there. Secondly, update the index when I'm not using the computer. GD does this when you first install it - scanning and indexing your hard drive when your computer's inactive. But then it stops, content that it's finished and done a great job. So all it's got to do is go through that index and check it against what's actually on my hard drive, and then index that. Google Web Search does this for the entire Web - why can't it do it for my desktop?

1 comment:

Jamel Toms said...

I agree 100%, but my Google Desktop doesn't do so great with finding folders. It's very annoying. I also find that it slows down my computer so I removed it.