Google desktop has been customising users desktops for years, with the latest widgets enabling XP users to create Vista-esque sidebars, with clocks, docks and apps. However, after countless requests, Google has finally announced the release of a Gmail desktop widget.
The new gadget will offer more to users than just the ability to check your new mail, it also allows you to read, search and compose messages without having to open a browser window. Google has also added starring, keyboard shortcuts and auto-contact features to recreate the Inbox on your desktop.
It doesn’t take up much space in your sidebar or desktop, and you can also resize it to show as few or as many messages as you’d like. When I’m at work, I keep two instances of the gadget open: one logged into my personal Gmail account and the other set to my Google Apps account for work related stuff. Instead of getting lost in a sea of tabs or browser windows, I can bring up the gadgets in an instant (hint: pressing the shift key twice brings up all your hidden Desktop gadgets).
The gadget works with the latest version of Google Desktop and can be found and installed from the Gmail Desktop Gadget page.
This could be a great little tool for those who would rather not keep a browser tab open specifically for their Inbox and like having an app open. However, from the looks of the comments on the download page, the next request could be improved with a sound notification option for new mail – although some busy email users might be happy for that.
Since it is Windows only and I haven’t ventured into the world of Google Desktop just yet I can’t offer a full review of the app, however, maybe the nice readers of Just Google It will below in our comments…