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how to search cloudWe are always searching for something. These days it’s probably less about our lives and more on the web. Well, if that’s so, then the browser extension called CloudMagic deserves at least a look-see and maybe an install. CloudMagic as the name implies, is all about the services on the cloud. The magic is that it is a super-fast way to search across multiple services – Twitter, Gmail, Google Apps Email, Google Docs, Calendar, and Contacts. Plus, CloudMagic does it all on a unified single interface.

We search with our browsers. That’s why it makes sense to have a search app on our browser of choice. CloudMagic is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. It is supported on Windows XP and above, Mac OS X 10.5+ & Linux (32- & 64-bit) kernel versions 2.4.x and above.

I am trying out CloudMagic 3.11 Beta on Firefox which is a 2.9 MB install.

Setting It Up With Your Accounts

There’s nothing much to do really. You install the browser extension and add your accounts for the respective services. CloudMagic goes to work indexing all the data in the services you have authenticated…and it’s fast. CloudMagic supports multiple accounts.

how to search cloud

That’s nice, but what’s nicer is that CloudMagic stores all log-in details and the indexed data locally. That’s a few extra points for security, privacy, and peace of mind.

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Super-Fast Instant Search…& All In One Place

Search should be at express speed. Nor arguments on that. No arguments also because CloudMagic search IS fast. As you can see that the magic all happens from the little floating box which makes an appearance when you log-in to one of your accounts.

search cloud

You can bolster the search further by playing around with the settings on view. You can open up separate search windows, replace your default search (for e.g. Gmail’s search), or click on Preferences and put a check against Enable combined search.

search cloud

Remember: As the data is indexed and kept locally, you can search through your multiple accounts even in the offline mode and also when you aren’t logged into the other registered accounts. I think that’s a pretty powerful option to have especially for your services on the cloud.

Here’s how a search appears. You can click on those orange colored highlighted keywords and open up a preview of the document that has it. You can click on the Events, Docs, Contacts, and Tweets tab to get the search hits on those apps. I find it especially useful when I want to quickly look up a contact or a document in Google Docs. That’s a plus because CloudMagic helps you search n’ work so smoothly between Gmail and Google Docs and across all your accounts registered with CloudMagic.

I am not going to get Steve Jobs in my Contacts, but definitely there are some mentions on my Twitter feed.

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Another thing you will immediately notice is that CloudMagic goes to work immediately as you start typing. That helps you to narrow down on the right kind of search by trying out partial keywords.

For Power Users – The Advanced Search Operators

how to search cloud

CloudMagic supports the same advanced search operators as Google and Twitter thus giving power users another spanner to work with. You can use it from the regular search box itself. Here’s a quick look at the page which lists them.

A Good N’ Fast Twitter Search

There’s little doubt that the default Gmail search is a speedy beast. But I can’t say the same for Twitter search always. It also has a few limitations as due to resource constraints, not every Tweet can be indexed in Twitter Search. It reaches back to only the last ten days and there’s a cap (I think) on the number of tweets indexed. It’s also not search-as-you-type like Google Instant. By indexing your Twitter timeline locally, you get to work around these limitations. And you can go offline too.

It’s All About Speed Baby!

Search is about speed and hitting the bull’s eye. CloudMagic delivers on both counts. It also delivers on the other productivity counts like giving us a single integrated interface that links all the supported accounts – offline or online.

Give CloudMagic a run and tell us if you find it to be a worthy ally in your efforts to search the cloud.

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