Who wants to go to all the trouble of opening a browser window just to search for something? Not me, that’s for sure. Luckily I don’t have to anymore thanks to Google Quick Search Box. The open source app was released today as a developer preview, announced via the official Google Mac Blog. This version of the search box is described as less stable than the Google Mobile App, though it contains clues as to what’s to come from the app in the future.
Among those features not yet active, but to be explored in future iterations are contextual search, actions, and extensibility. In fact, you can see immediately that the search box takes many of its cues from its mobile cousin, and will probably develop along the same lines.
I headed over to the Google Code site for the project and got my hands on the disk image available there so that I could take the search box for a test drive. The app is a light 8.4 MB installed, so my worries that it would be a secret resource hog like Google Desktop seem to be unfounded.
The UI is attractively Simple and Mac-friendly. By default, the app searches your computer and the web, including folders and your address book. You can choose to include/exclude specific locations from within the app’s preferences. Typing a search term generates live results, and displays the icon for the top hit on the search bar itself. Selecting a “Search Google” option immediately brings opens Google in your default browser, and you can choose to add website suggestions to your search box results, an option which is disabled by default.
You might notice some similarities to the now seemingly dormant Quicksilver. The similarities are no coincidence, however, as Quicksilver’s developer, Nicholas Jitkoff, is one of the core developers of Quick Search Box.
All in all, I’m very impressed with Google Quick Search Box, and can’t wait to see what’s in store in future versions. Might I suggest voice activation, as in the Mobile App?