Google Pack is another useful idea from those nearly ubiquitous, ever-industrious Google folks. The Pack takes a bunch of disparate but essential programs, tosses in the entirety of the Google desktop suite, then loads and automatically updates all of them as future changes are made. A pre-installation checklist lets users opt in or out, and the program is flexible enough to allow users to change their choices easily after installation.
The latest version adds options to download Google's browser, Chrome, in addition to or instead of Mozilla's Firefox with Google Toolbar. From Google's repertoire come Earth, Desktop, Talk, Picasa, Photo Screensavers, and the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. There's also Skype, RealPlayer, Adobe Reader, Spyware Doctor Starter Edition, and a six-month subscription to Norton's Security Scan. StarOffice, a suite of word processing and spreadsheet tools, and Ad-Aware have been nixed from previous versions.
It's encouraging to see a range of programs being offered, though it would be nice to see Google Pack, which is a not-so-subtle Googlification of the Microsoft Windows Updater, cover a wider range of applications. Shockwave and Flash would be good places to start, as would QuickTime or a good, freeware FTP program.
Google Pack is a free collection of software from Google and other companies. The software in the Google Pack helps you browse the Web faster, remove spyware and viruses, or organize your photos.
Google Pack also takes the hassle out of downloading, installing, and updating software. You can download and install the entire Google Pack in just a few clicks. And the included Google Updater helps you discover new programs and keep your current software up to date. The latest version of Google Pack adds the Google Chrome Web Browser.
December 27, 2009
Version: Google Pack beta beta
Cramming a bunch of essential programs into one pack is a decent enough idea, I suppose, since it will save some time hopping from website to website to acquire them.
Real Player and Adobe Acrobat. I do not understand why Google would pimp these awful, bloated, garbage programs when there are superior, lightweight versions available. Perhaps Google should make their own lightweight .pdf reader and media player.
Google's unofficial slogan may be "don't be evil", but that apparently does not prevent them from rendezvousing with evil companies. Perhaps if Google would implement some third-party quality standards or require these companies clean up their act first.