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GMDesk: Desktop client for Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader, etc

GMDesk
Some of the applications I use most often aren't desktop apps, they're web apps that I access through a web browser. Gmail, Google Reader, and Google Docs, for example. GMDesk is an Adobe AIR-based client for these and other Google-based services. It's based on the idea that you shouldn't have to fire up a web browser just to check your email.

The concept is sound, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. We've seen other attempts at taking web apps away from the browser. Bubbles and Mozilla Prism are two examples. But as with those programs, GMDesk just doesn't seem to offer much functionality that you couldn't get from a browser. What's more, while Prism and Bubbles offer stripped-down browser-style windows that tend to be a little lighter on your computer's RAM usage than Firefox or Internet Explorer, GMDesk eats 100+ MB of RAM as soon as you launch it.

There are two other factors that make GMDesk a bit limiting. First, the fonts in Gmail are kind of small and awkward to read. And second, you can only have one window open at a time. So if you like to keep both Gmail and Google Reader open throughout the day, you're going to want to fire up a web browser.

That isn't to say that GMDesk is useless. If the developer can reduce the RAM usage, and/or allow you to open multiple windows or multiple tabs, it would be nice for Gmail addicts to keep a window open all day while resisting the temptation to do some web surfing when they should be working.

[via CyberNet]

Tags: bubbles, freeware, gmail, gmdesk, google-apps, google-docs, google-reader, mozilla-prism, prism

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