Archive for August, 2009

FEWidgets Ultimate

August 22nd, 2009

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Sure, Samsung TouchWIZ is now a platform open for third party developers. But for over half a year before that. The Windows Mobile prodigal hackers of Xda-Developer got their own version of that named FEWidgets.

FEWidgets Ultimate is the update and ongoing project for that. The original works for Windows Mobile 5,6 and 6.1 but requires both Compact .NET and Flash installed for it to work.  Ultimate that is the new version is Native to the device but this comes to a price and only Windows Mobile 6.1  and 6.5 will be able to use it. So if you got a Windows Mobile 5 or 6 device i recommend you to still go and install the original FEWidgets since there are dozens of widgets available and it is a good way to add something to refresh your old device.

FEWidgets Ultimate Two         

Ultimate just like its predecessor is to be used in your Today screen. in the case of 6.1 that is straight forward, in the case of 6.5 you may end up having it into a new panel in your device.

Here are the highlights of FEWidgets Ultimate

  • Haptic feedback
  • Multiple Layouts/Pages support (up to 4)
  • Multiple Windows for each page with 0 loading time
  • Support for Landscape/Portrait modes
  • Skinnable though XML files (or just modifying the images)
  • Scriptable through javascript
  • Extensible though C++ plugins

Some of the widgets included with FEWidgets are:

  • Operator Name
  • RSS Feed Reader
  • Appointments
  • Tasks
  • Contact widget
  • Battery/Phone signal Strength indicator
  • Background Image Changer
  • Quick Dial
  • Calendar (when tapped will link to \Windows\Calendar.lnk)
  • Weather. Shows you the weather for today. Current temperature and forecasted Min/Max for today.
For Windows Mobile 6.1 i think this is the best choice if you don’t have a TouchWIZ ( a Samsung WM Phone). In the case of Windows Mobile 6.5 its use is more a matter of taste since  WM 6.5 will come with its own Mobile Widget Engine.
 
 
 

Samsung TouchWIZ Widget Engine Now A Open Platform

August 22nd, 2009

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I have been following on TouchWIZ and its evolution since it started and now after almost 18 months since that happened, Samsing is now opening TouchWIZ for third party developers via a SDK. The SDK could be seen similar to the palm pre WebOS that is limited to web tech like HTML, JS, CSS and the like but at the same times that makes it quite easy for everyone that wants to get into to just do so if they are already familiar with web development.

The hook is that TouchWIZ is not only a Widget UI-UX that is used in Samsung own in-house OS but also works in Symbian and in Windows Mobile. Given the uniformity of how its works in such different Mobile OSes is quite sure that if Samsung want to use it in Android and Maemo. TouchWIZ will work in these mobiles OSes Too. So that is quite a hook to lure in  widget developers. Being able to have widgets running in almost all of the top Mobile OSes with ease.

TouchWIZ widget engine should be considered as the best and more pervasive widget engine in mobiles right simple because its influence on LG and most of Korean manufacturers in this space copying from it. It has now been is many phones and the first big mover advantage (with this kind of design) they had made many to think about competitors offerings in TouchWIZ or even calling it that without knowing it is not actually TouchWIZ.

So having a SDK will be very interesting as it is very likely that LG and others will follow suit.

Go to the Samsung site for the full details.

Samsung Mobile Innovator

via MobileCrunch

Widgets On Apple Are Rotten Seeds

August 22nd, 2009

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That is pretty much what Ross Rubin is saying in one of its “Switched On” posts. I happen to agree.in the case of Apple i think it is because just like it wrongly depended too much from Google for the first iPhone, it also did so from Yahoo and this is way more evident in Mac OS X Dashboard. The whole wait of it being kept fresh relies mostly on Yahoo making his stuff available to it. It is one of those features that almost look like Apple didn’t wanted to have.

Switched On: Apple wanes in the widget wars

To be fair is something i also see in Windows but that i something i will like to dedicate a whole post to. in the meantime Ross Rubin post makes for a good read.

iGoogle Social Gadgets

August 22nd, 2009

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Google truly surprises me with their widget/gadget strategy that seems to encompass everything.

The last big thing was of course Google Web Elements. Not really a new-new thing, just a big update to what before was limited and known as Google Gadgets for Web.

Then they quickly finally added the final touches and retouches to the whole shareable, collaborative aspect of iGoogle and its Gadgets.  Something that actually started over a year ago.

Now they are announcing it with the benefit of finally not only have ended the work on that front but also with the added plus of a lot of third party iGoogle Gadgets making use of this.

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What is truly different is that they now got Google Friend Connect so they are now also going to be doing a activity based friend update stream just like in Facebook and Windows Live but directly connected to the iGoogle Gadgets. This change is a clear sign of Google wanting a share of the pie of what Facebook and Windows Live does while doing it in their own way. the result is admirable and well executed. but considering it was over a year in the making and based on a foundation that got several years already in place. It had to be. I think it maybe time for a new not so quick look to Google and its Gadget Strategy.

iGoogle Social

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