Monday, April 16, 2007

Widget, widget web and mobile

Nokia announced today their vision of widgets on mobile...well, at tleast the S60 platform.

Whilst various startups such as Widsets, Bluepulse, Plusmo, etc... and other players such as Opera have been building mobile clients/and or browser access for widget development and distribution in this space for a while, it's interesting to see the weight of a major handset manufacturer such as Nokia joining the fray..

The new Web Runtime (only on Feature Pack 2) is not yet integrated with native applications on the phone which would allow proper mashup type services, but understandable from a security perspective. The ecosystem needs to be built up first. .

Whilst I use widgets on the web in personalised homepage like Pageflakes, Netvibes and Google IG (and in this blog), porting the vast number available across directly to mobile may not be enough. Again, integration with native apps however opens up new opportunites - it remains to be seen if this will make the difference.

As one of the commentators on AAS says,the desktop widget engine Konfabulator in all it's shiny-goodness was dropped after the inital wow factor wore off, because the browser proves to be more flexible especially with broadband as the enabler.

All in all, it's an interesting announcement and allows another runtime beyond Java and say Flashlite for developers to get into mobile apps, but we'll have to wait and see if customers will adopt this new form of content-packaging to digest web based content on their mobiles...after all it's a compromise currently between full web browsing and richer client apps.