Konfabulator 3.0 Goodness

There’s a new version of Konfabulator, now called Yahoo! Widgets, available at widgets.yahoo.com. Since Konfabulator became part of Yahoo! in August, we’ve seen some pretty amazing usage numbers (all of it organic – there has been no promotion or marketing):

  • 1.5 million downloads of Konfabulator/Yahoo! Widget Engine (not surprisingly, almost 90% of that is on Windows, the rest on Mac)
  • 10 million widgets downloaded from the Widget Gallery (widgets.yahoo.com/gallery)
  • 50-100 widgets submitted by developers to the gallery every week (there are over 2,000 widgets in the gallery now!)

And here are the goodies in the latest version of Yahoo! Widgets:

5 new widgets from Yahoo:

  • Search widget (see above): this brand new widget is a search box that sits on your desktop (nice and small when you don’t need it), let’s you search the web, images, news, videos, etc and maximizes and minimizes beautifully to show you the results. I think I’ll be using this a lot as a way to do quick searches without opening a browser window.
  • Maps widget: the Maps widget gives you fast access to Yahoo Maps right from the desktop, like the Search widget it stays out of the way when you don’t need it and opens up to reveal more functionality when it springs into action. Very pretty and useful. I’m impressed by how quickly the maps load and scroll around when you drag them.
  • Notepad widget: this one is funny and it will be interesting to see how many people use it: you can jot down notes and they get saved to your online Yahoo Notepad (so you can get to your notes from any PC/browser), you can also blast/blog the notes to your 360 blog. I wonder if developers will find some cool ways to use the underlying functionality of storing and retrieving little bits of text for a user.
  • Contacts widget: quick access to your Yahoo address book from the desktop. Perfect for looking up a quick address or birthday.
  • Mail Checker: a simple little widget that tells you when new mail arrives in your Yahoo Mail account.

4 improved widgets from Yahoo:

  • Picture frame: my favorite widget (along with the weather widget) got even better: in addition to viewing photos from my desktop I can now see photos from Flickr and Yahoo Photos, the widget also acts as an upload tool for Flickr/Y Photos and lets me edit tags and other data in my online photos.
  • Day planner: fka PIM overview, I have not spent a ton of time with this guy but it’s basically a calendar widget that can now talk to/synch with Yahoo Calendar, Outlook or iCal.
  • Weather and stock ticker: a few little tweaks to these widgets to make them easier to use (for example the dialog to add a new stock symbol is a lot more slick now).

New features for widget developers:

  • Yahoo login: you can now build widgets that use Yahoo login and tap into a user’s photo albums, calendar, notepad, etc
  • Frames/subviews and scrollbars: widgets can now have subviews with scroll bars to show data that doesn’t all fit on the surface of the widget (the new Yahoo Search widget pictured above uses this feature)
  • XML parsing/DOM Level 1 support with XPath 1.0, plus support for XMLHttpRequest – yay!
  • Lots of other stuff like text area focus improvements, asynchronous image fetching, and as always lots of bug fixes

Also new:

  • Security: users are now asked to confirm that they want to run a widget the first time they start it up (this goes for any widget that did not come directly from Yahoo and is designed to prevent widgets from running without the user’s knowledge or consent)

Enjoy!

PS: Now that widgets can access personal user data such as Yahoo photo albums, calendars and address books it is possible for any developer to look at our new widgets and figure out how to tap into that data as well. However, please note that the calendar/address book/etc APIs that we’re using in these new widgets are not officially supported through the Yahoo Developer Network, so proceed at your own risk (or wait for the official APIs to come out).

Published by

Toni Schneider

Partner at True Ventures. Team lead at Automattic. Advisor at Atipica, Bandcamp, Handshake, Hatch Baby, Madefire, Renovo Motors, and Tend.ai.

7 thoughts on “Konfabulator 3.0 Goodness”

  1. The new Yahoo! Widgets are almost reason enough to start using My Yahoo! again. …almost.

    I really hope Yahoo! decides to spend some time improving the calendar, especially by supporting iCal import/export/subscribe/etc.

    Dare to dream.

  2. Yes – but HOW DO YOU PUT THE WIDGETS ON YOUR BLOG???

    Have been searching all night and can't find out how.

    The site called "The Leaky Cauldron" has one up, so I know it can be done… but HOW???

    – M

  3. Widgets are cool! I am seriously thinking of moving to MyYahoo now and also as a developer learn more about the SDK. It could even be a good development platform for business applications I think.

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