It’s always surprised me that Google has a few desktop applications (Picasa, Google Desktop Search, Google Talk, etc…), but for one reason or another they don’t have any programs that leverage some of their other big services. Having a program for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and several others would all make a lot of sense in my book.
We’ve seen programs like Mozilla’s Prism that aims to convert a website into something that feels more like a desktop program. An Adobe AIR program, called GMDesk, also falls in that same category, but the nice thing is that it rolls up several of Google’s services into one convenient program.
When you run the program for the first time it will feel just like you’re using the Google services in your web browser. One of the nice differences is that the various Google services it supports (Gmail, Calendar, Reader, Docs, Maps, and Picasa) are all assigned keyboard shortcuts in the format of Control+[1-6]. That way it’s easy to switch between them.
The program works with both regular Google accounts and Google Apps accounts, but the only thing that I wasn’t too fond of was the slightly small font that’s used in Gmail. The developer is aware of the issue though, and is trying to figure out a way to fix it.
Some things I’d like to see in future versions of this would be a notification system for some of the services, a minimize to tray option, and support for Google Notebook. Hopefully the developer will continue to work on GMDesk because I think there are a lot of people who would like to see some of Google’s services taken out of the browser.