CloudMagic offers fast, accurate searches

CloudMagic delivered speedy Gmail searches in the past, but only in the Firefox and Chrome browsers. Now the free tool is more impressive than ever, offering searches of everything from Facebook and Dropbox to Box and AOL, and in more browsers than before.

The best news is it does all of this without impacting its performance. CloudMagic still delivers the fastest, most relevant search results I've seen yet.

CloudMagic is available as a browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and as an add-on for Internet Explorer. It's also available as a mobile app for the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.

Once it's installed, CloudMagic appears as a simple search box on relevant pages; if you surf to a page that doesn't support CloudMagic, you don't see the box. You can move the search box around the page if it's in your way, and you can minimize it to a corner, too.

CloudMagic lets you search one service from within another; you can, for example, see results from Facebook and Twitter while using Gmail.

To use CloudMagic, you must sign up for a free account, and then you link the services you'd like to search; your choices are Gmail, Google Apps, Twitter, Microsoft Exchange, Facebook, Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, Evernote, Box, iCloud, AOL, Mail.com, GMX, and Google Talk.

Once access has been granted, CloudMagic then begins indexing your accounts, which can take some time if your accounts are sizable. It took several hours to index a Gmail account containing thousands of messages, but only a few minutes to index a newer Twitter account. You can begin searching right away, but waiting until the indexing process is complete will deliver more accurate results.

And those results are excellent.

In its latest version, CloudMagic has revamped its interface, which made me slightly nervous, as I loved the tabbed system that in the past used to display results. Now, you see all of your results in a column that appears below the CloudMagic search box as soon as you begin typing. Results are organized by source; if you enter a search string while on your Gmail page, you'll see results from there, but you also can scroll down to see results from your other accounts, like Facebook and twitter.

CloudMagic displays results quickly, in real-time as you type. Gmail's own built-in search has improved in recent months, but its speed still cannot compare with CloudMagic's.

The only hiccup I had with CloudMagic was when I used it with Internet Explorer. The IE add-on was slower than either the Firefox or Chrome extensions, and occasionally froze and led to browser crashes. This behavior is not unique to CloudMagic, though, as I've seen other browser add-ons bring IE to a screeching halt.

So, I stay away from Internet Explorer when I want to use CloudMagic. And I do use it, a lot, as I've yet to find another search tool that delivers the same accuracy, speed, and ease of use.

Note: The "Try it for free" button on the Product Information page will download the software to your sytem.

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