As promised in Mac For A Week post, I have tried to look at one of the Windows solutions that emulates the Mac OS X Dock named AquaDock.  Looks great doesn’t it? I thought so too – at first.



The short and (not so) sweet version of the review is that I am uninstalling AquaDock right now. First of all, the things that are done right:

  • Look – AquaDock looks and feels exactly like the OS X Dock. From the bouncing icons when you are opening a program to the different zooming options. This part I like.
  • Basic Principles – they have the right idea, the dock acts like a combination launcher / taskbar. It puts the little black triangle / arrow beneat the applications that are already open, and if you click one of these it re-opens the existing window (usually).

However, there were a couple of bad issues I have that break any usefulness it would have for me.

  • Doesn’t Always Restore Window! – this happened to me with Firefox. If you have a Firefox window already open, it puts the proper triangle beneath the icon. However, instead of actually restoring the window, it opens a new Firefox window when you click it! I didn’t run across another application that it did this for, but Firefox is my primary application, so that’s enough to annoy me.
  • Not a true taskbar – if open up new programs that don’t have icons on the AquaDock, then it doesn’t create a temporary icon and list it there like the real Dock does.
  • Not Primary Taskbar – I don’t really blame the AquaDock programmers for this one, I don’t know of any decent way to get around it since it is just the way Windows itself is built, but I can’t actually close any windows, since closing them actually exits the application. The closest I can get the Mac-effect is to minimize the window. And when it’s minimized it is still being listed in the Windows taskbar. Even though I can hide the Windows taskbar, this kind of aggravates me too.
  • Deleting Outlook Express – the dock comes with Outlook Express listed in it by default as your mail client (despite the fact that my windows default mail client is Thunderbird) but if I right click the Outlook Express icon to try and delete it, it gives me error messages and refuses to remove it!

Overall Rating: 3 (it works, it has the right idea, but it misses on some important points)