Google Introduces Sidebar Plug-ins

    August 23, 2005

It seems as if Internet companies, especially search engines, are releasing utilities that allow users to “mod” them (develop 3rd party add-on widgets) by using software development kits (SDK) and application programming interfaces (API).

Google and Yahoo are quite notorious for releasing APIs and SDKs for new programs when they launch, allowing users to develop tools and plug-ins they think the program is missing. One such API that’s been getting a great deal of publicity is the Google Maps API. A number of useful add-ons have been developed for the Google Maps because of the API.

Knowing their audiences desire to add their own modifications, it would be surprising if Google released any software, from now on, without the appropriate API. Not only that, but Google also supports these communities by providing web space for the developers to showcase their new applications. Such is the case with the newly launched Google Desktop program.

Although Google Desktop launched yesterday, there is already a plug-ins page, and it already features a number of these user-developed 3rd party applications. This includes plug-ins for the much-hyped sidebar as well as Google Desktop’s indexing function. Some of the available plug-ins were developed by Google, while others were done by third-party coders. Keep in mind the Google Desktop release is not even 2 days old and yet there are already a number of useful plug-ins available:

Current Sidebar Plug-ins:

Manage your to-do tasks

System Monitor
Monitor your system resources

Time Warp
A clock that tells the time with a twist

Adsense Status
View earnings information from your Google Adsense account in the Google Desktop sidebar.

Control the iTunes music player from the Google Desktop sidebar.

View all available plug-ins.

One wonders just how many plug-ins will there be when the utility is a year old? Probably more than you can shake a stick at, but therein lies the beauty of embracing third-party enhancements. Hat-tip to Brad Hill for pointing this out.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.