Google Docs Notifier is a tool which shows all unread documents in your Google Docs.
There are more and more people using Google Docs to share their documents with their friends these days, and there is a very good reason why: Users are able to upload and share their documents with their colleague and friends. Furthermore, Google Docs recently allows users to upload any type of file.
Although Google Docs is popular now, there are still a lot of improvements needed for Google Docs. One of them is notifying the user when his file is edited and updated by his friends. Currently, users will not know whether their files are updated until they log in to the Google Docs webpage to check.
There are a lot of Google Docs users looking for feature which allows them to receive notification when their documents on Google Docs are modified by other people or collaborators. Related questions, for example "Does Google Docs notify you when collaborators make changes/edit documents... when you are the creator of the document & you've shared it with other collaborators?", were asked in 2009 on the Docs Community (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Docs/thread?tid=231452b7671aa264&hl=en). Up to now, this question is still not answered by any Google staff officially.
To solve this problem, Google Docs Notifier is chosen as the project of GCL Project 2010. The goal of this project is to build a small application which notifies the user when his files are updated and shows all the recently updated files.
What Are Unread Documents?
In the latest Google Docs Notifier, only unread documents will be shown in the list. This is to allow the user to easily find out the documents that he/she needs to pay attention to.
There is a slight different between Unread Documents and Unviewed Documents. In Google Docs site, unviewed documents are those who are not yet read or already read but later marked as "unviewed" by the user.
However, in Google Docs Notifier, only those who are not yet read will be displayed. Hence, there are some documents which are marked as "viewed" in your Google Docs are still listed in the Google Docs Notifier because they are simply not yet read.
In addition, currently Google Docs Notifier is able to keep track of the files having file types originally supported by Google Docs, i.e. Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, PDF, Drawing and Form. Changes of files having other file types, such as .doc, .docx, .xls, .ppt, .jpg, .bmp, .zip and so on, will not be known by the Google Docs Notifier.
In February 2010, the Google Docs Notifier V0.0 is completed. In March 2010, the version 0.9 is available. In this latest version, the user is allowed to log in using their Google Account and gets a list of recently updated files' names. In May 2010, the fist stable version is released.
In December 2010, Google Docs Notifier is further improved. Now, the user will be able to find out his unread documents easily. In addition, user can also view the online document directly by just double clicking on the document name shown in the list.