Most desktop search applications are advertised as “time savers” as they don’t require to open a browser which is not true actually because they still open a browser after you hit “search”. So that’s not the reason I’d use them. Instead, I’d take a look at other features the tools offer.
These additional features may include quicker access to search operators or combining several search engines, etc. So here’s a quick overview of desktop Google search tools that offer some extra goodies as well:
|Google desktop search tool||Cost||Accessed via||Main search options|
|Google Desktop||Free||Google Web + Google Desktop||Search field in the taskbar|
|Google-SearchTool||Free||Google services + Advanced operators||Icon in your task bar|
|Desktop Search Bar||$14.95||Google services + Other search engines||Pop-up on mouse-over|
|SearchIt in Google||Free||Google Web + Google Desktop||Icon in your task bar|
By default, Google desktop searches the web and your computer. What’s more, it:
- Shows desktop search results as you type;
- Allows to exclude any domain from your search results (think Wiki!);
- Has plenty of non-search features.
- Multiple Google services support (Web search, Google groups, Google images, Google news)
- Advanced search operators (links:, related:, cache:, info:, etc)
- Set SafeSearch filter,
- Set number of results per page
- Exact match search;
- Language preferences.
Note: by default the tool opens Internet Explorer to search. To switch to the browser you are using, you will need to enable custom browser. When you enable this option a “popup” asks a name for your custom browser. After that a Filepopup should appear, browse to the folder/directory of the custom browser and pick out the browsers startup executable.
Desktop Search Bar
(Paid with one-month trial)
A really sleek and cute desktop Google search utility allowing to use multiple search services including: Google images, Google video, Google groups, Google Trends, Google Blogs as well as a lot of non-Google search engines including Amazon, Yahoo, StumbleUpon, etc.
It also allows to customize the look and fill as well as make it transparent:
SearchIt in Google
The least feature-rich of all. All it can do:
- Access either general search or Google Desktop;
- Set up a custom shortcut to quickly access it;
Note: The tools seems to use Internet Explorer (I didn’t manage to change the browser).