Qube2 Desktop Client

While most browsers integrate search engines into the browser in some way, I ran across Qube and thought I'd give it a try. So first, what is Qube? Their site calls it "a third generation desktop client providing instant, browserless access to information from the collective index of traditional search engines." To me, that business speak for a browserless search client (I think this is a bit misleading, but more on that later) that allows you to perform one-click searches and has a built-in "previewer" (so you can view the web page…sounds kind of like a web browser to me ;))

I decided to put the search engine through it's paces. The first thing I noticed was the fact that there's auto-completion…nothing new or exciting there (see Google Suggest). The speed was pretty fast, but I don't think it's necessarily any faster than any web engine out there. With that said, let's get down the nitty-gritty.

I did a few searches…first "american colonial architecture." I got a decent number of results back, the first being a page from the Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute. I'm really more interested in Virginia colonial architecture, so I did that search. Looking over the first screen of results, I notice (incorrectly I might add) that there are only five results. The preview pane has taken over the bottom of the screen. The results are reasonable, with the first result "Virginia Colonial Vernacular Architecture in Historic Chatham."

I took a look at some of the other features. One of the cooler "gee-whiz" things was the search history. It shows you the search you performed (with permutations of the search) with the pages you visited from the search. I could see this being useful , but it sure would be nice to be able to search that history also. I next checked out the RSS Reader. Again, there's nothing really new here as it only allows you to add/remove feeds. The fact that you can't search the feeds you aggregate in an application that is a search engine is, well, lame.

While I think this is a neat little program with a couple of cool tools, I don't see this as a replacement for my tried-and-true Firefox/Thunderbird/Google combination that allows me to do everything the Qube does, but also search my RSS feeds for that one entry someone wrote a few months ago about that thing I need to do now. Anyway, this will probably get uninstalled here pretty quick.

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6 Comments on “Qube2 Desktop Client”

  1. Keith Dick Says:

    I’m using this tool for a few days too.

    Everything you said is true, it searches instantly (faster than google for me though), has spellchecker, history and RSS. Its a beta anyway, hope they rollout more features to make it a ‘nextgen’ websearch client. But it sure has potential and is better than the existing-from-donkey-years copernic.

    However, What I’m waiting for is their ‘AdRoll’ module. Qube CEO seems to have [url=http://buzzshout.com/spotlights/2006/05/25/qube/]said[/url]:

    “All I can say, for the moment, is that we’re not making ads sounds like a feature. AdRoll is unique concept still unattempted. Not link exchange, pop-up network nor a nasty prank. AdRoll aims to enable free, point-based advertising in a proactive manner. It may sound overdramatic at the moment, but we surely know what we mean when we speak of it.”

    Sounds exciting (and unbeleivable too). 😉

    – K.D

  2. lisa Says:

    Firefox/Google is going to be hard to beat

  3. Scott Beale Says:

    Well, Qube indeed provides browserless search functionality (so it doesn’t compare directly with a browser anyway). Either you’re missing “Qflyer” – the browserless part of Qube or you’re one of those (like me) who’s addicted to that little searchbox on top when in a browser.

    But still, Qube is novel concept, I’d really like to see it grow.

  4. wsgrah Says:

    I saw the stuff about AdRoll and I have to admit that I’m confused at how advertising is going to enhance my ability to search or get “good” results. I’m fine with looking at ads if it means I get free (and useful) software, I’m just unconvinced that it should be called a feature.

    For me, a good, modern piece of search software needs to do a few things. First, visualization of the information is important. I think Grokker also has some shortcomings, but it is nice to have that categorization of the content (I personally like treemaps). Second, you need to be able to select from different search engines. Depending on what I’m searching for, I need to look at different search engines (for me this really involves Google, Google Scholar, and some other customized versions of other search engines that I wrote). Third, if it’s a desktop search client, I expect it to be able to search my desktop (or at the very least, the stuff the client is collecting, like blogs).

  5. Keith Dick Says:

    wsgrah,

    Three things you want off a desktop client, are already provided by other search clients like Quintur (Visualization) and Copernic (Multipe engines and Desktop Search).

    As I see it, qube dares to be different, they mention the following in their FAQ:

    “Qube is a little more than just a search client. Prominent features include Single-click – browserless search, RSS reader, advanced history logging, dictionary, Spell Checker and more…

    We may be listed in the same category as Copernic, but we don’t see them as competitor since we don’t provide tons of advanced search features, we just want to focus on making web search more usable, faster, convenient and just plain fun. That’s it!”

    I like the change, qube is certainly “usable” compared to other search clients that required you to open their application window to search.

  6. breakoutbox Says:

    a mac version would be nice too


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