Nokia Gives Widgets Superpowers - InformationWeek

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4/24/2008
03:05 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Nokia Gives Widgets Superpowers

Nokia made some changes to its Web Run-Time offering that will provide S60 widgets with the brains to predict what you want and the power to have it available instantly. Sort of. The new Web Run-Time elements make it so widgets will be contextually aware. They won't quite think on their own, but close enough.

Nokia made some changes to its Web Run-Time offering that will provide S60 widgets with the brains to predict what you want and the power to have it available instantly. Sort of. The new Web Run-Time elements make it so widgets will be contextually aware. They won't quite think on their own, but close enough.I've downloaded and installed Widsets for Nokia's S60 platform. I have to say, I have not been overly impressed with them so far. There's far too much "pull" involved, and I often find it can be faster to fire up your Web browser and locate some of the information yourself. This tends to negate the entire reason for using widgets, if you ask me.

The new powers-to-come for S60 widgets will make the mobile widget a truly useful tool. Basically, Nokia is giving widgets the power to scour user and device data and mash it together with what it finds on the Internet. What does this mean?

Nokia explains in a press release, "For example, a weather widget can now access the user's current location via the built-in GPS and in just a moment display the latest weather forecasts for that location." This means you won't have to update your phone to let it know where you are before getting the right weather report. After all, if you've just landed in San Francisco, the weather report for New York City isn't going to help you out very much.

"The flight tracker widget fetches the user's itinerary from the airline's Web site, saves it to the mobile device's calendar, and sets a reminder," said Nokia. "A few hours prior to the travel time, the widget automatically checks for the flight status by getting the flight details from the calendar."

I think you get the idea. The widgets will be able to access S60's numerous applications and services, such as calendar, contacts, GPS, messaging, audio, and video. As long as developers have the wherewithal to write good widgets, our phones will become even more powerful than ever.

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