Google is undisputedly one of the best providers of free technological resources and applications on the planet. Though they tend to favor PCs with earlier releases of new software, eventually they get around to throwing Mac users some great apps as well.
Below is a huge list of both official Google and third party Mac applications, desktop widgets and plugins. Most are free downloads but there are a few that you’ll have to purchase. These usually stay within the $10-$20 range.
The Major Google Apps
Just to be thorough, let’s start out the list with the official Google apps that you’re probably already familiar with. All of these applications are free, ready to download, and possess the high quality you’d expect from Google.
Google’s new web browser has made a huge splash in the browser wars. Have you tried it yet?
Now that Quicksilver is out of development, GQSB is one of your best bets for a free replacement launcher. It’s plugin system isn’t as robust as that of QuickSilver, but it’s a great start. Rumor has it the guy behind Quicksilver is even on the development team. Check out our review here.
“Picasa is free photo editing software from Google that makes your pictures look great. Sharing your best photos with friends and family is as easy as pressing a button!”
“The Google Notifier is an application that shows you alerts in your menu bar, so you can see when you have new Gmail messages or upcoming Google Calendar events without having to open a web browser.”
“Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others.”
Google SketchUp is software that you can use to create 3D models of anything you like. Build models and add them to Google Earth. Check out our review here.
Picasa Web Album Uploader makes it super easy to upload picture to Picasa from your Mac. You can use the standalone application or export directly from iPhoto.
Now that we’ve covered the major apps, we’ll move on to applications, plugins and dashboard widgets from both straight from Google and from third party developers.
An earlier Google Mac launcher/search experiment very similar to GQSB above.
“Google Book Downloader is a tool for downloading digital books from books.google.com. Give it the URL or ID of a Google Book and it will create a PDF of that book.”
“GMDesk is an application that lets you run Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Maps as a stand-alone application to do all your mail handling, calendar event reading etc with. No need to open it up in a web browser, or have it clutter your workspace.”
“TinyCal is a menubar calendar with Google Calendar integration. It can show multiple months, use custom calendars, and show holidays and personal calendars. Use TinyCal to keep track of birthdays or appointments, or as a desktop calendar reference.”
“Waveboard for Mac is the perfect client software for Google Wave. It adds missing features to the service like notifications about changes as you are used to from email, printing and saving waves, common Mac keystrokes and many more.”
“One thing we noticed is that people keep closing their Web browser, or navigating away from the Google Voice Web site. When that happens they miss messages, don’t use Google Voice when they could for outgoing calls and text messages, and generally don’t use it much. To help keep Google Voice open on the desktop we created this application. We used Adobe AIR so the same application could be used on Windows, Mac and Linux computers.”
“Spanning Sync 3 is the one app that syncs both iCal with Google Calendar and Address Book with Google Contacts. It gives you even better control over how your information syncs, and is now up to 10x faster!”
“Gruml allows you to view and manage your feed subscriptions of your Google Reader account on Mac OS X. Read your newsfeeds, manage them in folders, tag them, and much more – all in sync with your Google Reader account.”
“GDocsUploader is a little utility to help you upload documents to Google Docs. Once you’ve logged in, uploading is as simple as dragging and dropping files onto the GDocsUploader icon. The new Adobe Air version runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux, but you will need to install Adobe Air onto your system first.”
“Gmail Studio is the must have Gmail integration for the OSX desktop. Gmail Studio gives you unobtrusive desktop access to your Gmail and Gmail for Google Apps accounts. Gmail Studio allows you to check unlimited number of Gmail accounts. You can also view messages right on your desktop, in addition to archiving messages so you can process your emails without even logging into Gmail.”
“AdWords Editor is a free Google application for managing your ad campaigns. Use it to download your account, update your campaigns with powerful editing tools, then upload your changes to AdWords.”
“eMaps is a application for Mac OS X that allows users to interact with Google Maps mapping service. eMaps provides maps, satellite and street view imagery, driving directions, traffic info, local search for many countries around the world. Features include reverse geocoding service, the ability to create and export customized maps and save a default location view. Since version 2 eMaps allows you to save your favorite places in a dedicated menu.”
“Gmote turns Android into a remote control for a computer, allowing users to run movies and music at a distance. It supports all of the standard remote control features such as play, pause, rewind, volume controls etc. It also has a built-in file browser that lets you select what to play.”
“gDisk is a software that turns your GMail account into a portable hard drive so you can always have your important files accessible accross the Internet.”
“GmailStatus is a Gmail notifier for Apple Macintosh users. It installs itself in the OS X menubar and shows the number of unread messages in the inbox.”
A basic gmail desktop client. Possibly too simple for your needs, but certainly worth taking a look at.
“Now you don’t need to keep compulsively reloading Google Reader — gRead will keep an eye on your account and let you know when there’s something to get stuck into, through its built-in Growl support and on your Dashboard. And all it takes is a click to get you there!”
“BusyCal is a desktop calendar that provides seamless calendar sharing and enhanced productivity tools for workgroups and individuals. Sync with Google Calendar — Sync with Google Calendar for online access to your calendar from any computer, anywhere.”
“The most productive way to use Gmail on your Mac” Read our review here.
“Keep an eye on today’s events on your desktop. With this dashboard widget, you don’t need to logon to Google Calendar in a dedicated browser window. Clicking on an event takes you directly to the event in Google Calendar, ready for you to edit.”
“How much meters is in a mile? How big 1 spoon is? What is the speed of light? 153 * 179? Google knows. Now you can get the same results from Google in this small handy Goolge Calc widget – zGoogleCalc.”
“What does it do? The Google Apps Dashboard widget allows to to acces various Google Web-based applications right from your Dashboard, by using a Mac OS X Dock-like setting. Included in the widget are: Gmail, Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets, Notebook, Page Creator, Picassa Web Albums, Blogger & Google Reader”
“Are you looking for an easy way to call or send SMS messages to your contacts using your Google Voice number right from your fingertips? GV Connect is your answer: a Google Voice Mac client in the form of a widget which allows you make calls and send SMS messages from your Google Voice number to your Address Book and Google contacts right from the Dashboard”
“AnalyticsWidget is a free dashboard widget for OS X that displays Google Analytics data. There are 3 types of reports : Content Overview, Visitors Overview and Traffic Sources Overview , each of these also has 3 views: a graphical main view, a table of small graphs, and a textual view.”
“Translates any text between different 41 different languages using Googles language translation service. It can even detect the source language.”
Plugins & Miscellaneous
“A collection of source from different Google projects that may be of use to developers working other Mac projects. Also includes the Google Developer Spotlight Importers.”
“So you have Google Notifier and you’re unhappy with that “new message pop-up” window announcing your new mail or calendar events. How do you change it? Simple: you install Google+Growl (a plugin for Google Notifier).”
“iPhotoToGoogleEarth 2.0 is a plugin for iPhoto ‘08 (part of iLife ‘08) that will export photos for viewing in Google Earth. To make the most of iPhotoToGoogleEarth you’ll need to have GPS infomation stored in the Exif tags. If you don’t know what that means this plugin probably isn’t for you.”
“This is a SIMBL plugin for Safari 4. It lets you access your Google Bookmarks from main menu.”
“The Google Maps Plugin is the easiest way to find your Address Book contacts using Google Maps and Google Earth.”
“Gears is an open source project that enables more powerful web applications, by adding new features to your web browser:”
Google-related applications is among the the larger sub-categories of Mac apps that I’ve ever come across. This list is therefore admittedly limited and non-exhaustive as there simply seems to be almost no end to the developers writing software to interface with various Google products.
Use the comments below to tell us about any other great Google-related apps that you’ve found and what you thought of them. Also let us know what you think of any of the apps above that you may have used.