Google Desktop 4

I finally got so frustrated (again) with Google Desktop returning broken results (because I move files around a lot, and apparently it doesn’t track that) that I uninstalled and wiped the indexes yesterday. When I went to download and reinstall I found that they’ve once again silently posted a major upgrade. Version 4 has some neat new features (notably gadgets, which I’m not going to touch with a ten-foot pole after my Google homepage experience), but most importantly it was able to index 550,000 searchable items across three hard drives (~400 gigs) on my desktop system over night (as opposed to a 7-day, 100% utilization ordeal with version 3).

Some other cool new features:

  • Browse Timeline – like browser History, but includes files you open too
  • Search inside zip files (this, you may recall, was what killed Windows built-in search, a bug Microsoft has never fixed)

The bad news:

  • It doesn’t seem to know when it’s done indexing–it says it’s done, results look complete, but I’m pretty sure more indexing is happening when my system is idle
  • Recently indexed items actually show up in the “Browse Timeline” as if you had opened them (when, I think, it’s the indexer that’s opened them)

I don’t know. I suppose it wouldn’t be the new Google if it wasn’t all a little half-cooked, primitive and scary.

Update (5/12): Remember how I said it doesn’t know when it’s done indexing? This morning I’m up to 750,000 indexed items, and counting. If I had to guess, I’d say the “indexing complete” indicator trips when your c: drive is done. Most of my files are on other drives.

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