Google is Mac Friendly... Sort of

by Derrick Story

I just finished setting up my iChat 3.0.1 client for Google Talk. Mac folks don't have the Google client available, but Tiger users can take advantage of the Jabber capability in iChat3 to log into the Google server. We can also use Adium, GAIM, and Psi.

I'm sure you've read plenty about Google Desktop, but you won't be able to experience it unless you're running Windows XP or Windows 2000 SP 3+. Of course Tiger provides you with much of that same muscle. So maybe it isn't a big deal.

If you go to the Google Earth download page, you'll discover that "Apple Macintosh computers are not supported at this time (but we are working on it)." Yeah, OK thanks for that. Want to give Picasa a spin? Oops, it's a .exe download. Sorry.

The feeling I get isn't that Google is anti-Mac, they just don't seem to care that much. My Gmail account works fine in Safari, and I think that Google Talk will be serviceable with iChat. But that seems about it for now.

The odd thing is, in the beginning I felt a kinship with Google. They were the alternative who thought outside of the box. For some weird reason, I always thought that Google would be Mac friendly. In a way, I guess they are... sort of.


2005-08-25 11:06:22
Safari and Gmail?
No, they don't! I mean you can read and write emails but don't you miss the
Rich formatting
link? Perhaps you give firefox a try.
2005-08-25 11:53:15
The Mac side of Google
To google Mac-ly:
2005-08-25 12:04:52
good enough
My general impression is that Google considers Apple's solutions 'good enough', so they don't spend much time writing Mac versions of their software. Picasa, Google Desktop, and Google Talk client would be some examples of this. As for Google Earth, I hope they get around to porting that soon, because there *is* no free equivalent to that on Mac OS X.

Peter @

2005-08-25 12:06:03
I don't understand this kinship that people feel towards Google. They're one of the largest (perhaps the largest) brokers of information in the world. Yet everyone seems to believe they're a bunch of goodhearted kids that do things to further technology and help mankind.

Meanwhile, they're sweeping up companies, broadening their scope, and becoming larger and larger with no overt strategy except to be involved with more and more information flow on the internet. First it was a simple search web page. Now it's web search, email, chat, maps, shopping, blogs, and whatever else.

I use their search, but I certainly don't trust them anymore than I trust any other large company that controls that much information. I think it's time that people start viewing Google with a bit more skepticism. They're not just a couple of kids from Stanford anymore.

2005-08-25 12:40:43
RE: Kinship
That's a very fair statement. For me, the kinship is a remnant from Google's start up days. Their approach to technology was something that I admired. But, oh my, how things have evolved. Now we hear many of the same types of comments about Google that we've heard about Microsoft. I think how Google handles its business in the near future will have much to do with our ultimate perception about them.
2005-08-25 12:42:48
RE: good enough
I definitely second the motion on Google Earth, but would like to play with Picasa too...
2005-08-25 22:19:03
Safari and Gmail?
The thing everybody who says "why don't you use Firefox?" is missing is that Firefox just blows. I mean, seriously. It's just terrible.
2005-08-26 01:02:00
Google / Keyzer Soze
"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist".

Not quite as good a trick as Google still appearing so cuddly.

2005-08-26 06:00:36
Safari and Gmail?
Perhaps the questions should be, why don't you use Camino? I don't feel quite as strongly against Firefox, but I'll bet we could agree that it features a very un-Mac like interface (form controls are downright ugly). Camino, on the other hand, gives you a Mozilla-based browser with a more Mac-like interface.

Safari is still my preferred browser, but for some sites where I might have had to use Firefox (for example, Gmail if I wanted the rich formatting options), I use Camino instead. Firefox is installed, but rarely, if ever, used.

2005-09-03 18:39:52
you've got to be kidding!

Firefox blows? are you crazy? Of course it's not as stylish and slick as Safari. Don't expect anyone to beat Apple at its own game. (It's not quite as ugly on Windows, though. Perhaps this is because we have so much lower expectations of programs running on an ugly operating system.) But Firefox has PLUG-INS galore, which allow you to do just about anything you could want a browser to do. That's where it beats Safari, and probably the only place. If you do development, Firefox is the best browser to use for development because of all the useful tools it offers developers. (Web Developer plugin, DOM explorer, or whatever it's called, ability to modify CSS for a loaded page on the fly and see changes instantly, etc etc.) Also, Firefox is generally STANDARDS COMPLIANT, so you can do things the right way first and then change your code to work around all the bugs in IE, but that's easier than trying to do it the other way with IE as your standard and trying to retrofit your code with band-aids to make it work in Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape/Camino

If you don't do development, but you really want an awesome browser and don't mind dropping a few bucks for it, use OmniWeb. It beats Safari soundly on features, and is pretty close behind in slickness. To me the greatest feature is that you can save your browsing session, or even have it autosave. So if you need to reboot (after upgrading the OS, for example) or if your browser crashes, you haven't lost your place. All of your dozens of open pages open up again when you re-launch the browser. Besides that you can rearrange the 'tabs', which you can't do in Safari (though they're actually a little different from tabs, offering the option of being graphic thumbnails of the pages) and you can even move a tab from one page to another.

If you don't do development, and don't use Windows (where Firefox is easily the best browser), and don't care about adding new and cool and useful plugins, then forget about Firefox. And if you additionally aren't willing to pay money for a browser, then forget about OmniWeb. Safari really is an awesome browser, and if this describes you then you'll probably be very happy with it.

2005-10-11 19:22:23
The Mac side of Google
Is this a joke? I tried to visit "Google Mac-ly" and there was nothing but a link back to the main page