Feeds

Yahoo! joins rush to get widgets onto mobile phones

There will be platform independence, this time

Application security programs and practises

Yahoo! has announced its intention to support third-party widgets on its mobile platform, promising platform independence and rapid development. The announcement came in a presentation at the CES event, currently taking place in Las Vegas.

Widgets are small applications, generally written in JavaScript or similar, which provide a single function such as displaying a stock price, or local weather conditions. Already popular on Apple Mac computers the concept is coming to mobile, and AJAX offers a measure of platform independence, or at least rapid porting.

But two things prevent the wide-scale adoption of mobile widgets: the availability of a widget-hosting environment, and the truly unlimited data plans which such communication-intensive applications require.

Yahoo! would like to solve the first of those problems by opening up its mobile-web portal, and their "Yahoo! Go" Java client, to third-party widgets. But these approaches require the user to launch the application or load the website to view their widgets, which is never going to be as compelling as having them always available and running.

Nokia have developed a widget-hosting environment for their S60 platform, though that's still only available as an emulation. Their Java-based Widsets is much closer to what Yahoo! is planning, but the limited recognition of that (free) application demonstrates the importance of widgets being native to the handset rather than hosted within another application.

But even if Yahoo! can solve the memory-resident problem, and present widgets seamlessly integrated into the phone experience, they're still going to have to address the lack of properly unlimited data plans - at least in Europe, before mobile widgets have the chance to demonstrate if they really are what people want. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.