Yahoo Gets New Widgets

Besides news of acquistions and new blogging tools, Yahoo yesterday rolled out some new mini desktop applications to amuse and tie their users closer into the Internet portal’s various online services. Dubbed Yahoo Widget Engine 3.0, the main engine for the mini applications can be downloaded for free.

Yahoo Widget Engine 3.0, which is available for both Windows and Mac computers, offers up nine new mini desktop applications which include:

  • Yahoo! Maps Widget — integration with Yahoo! Maps makes it easy to search for addresses, and drag and scroll maps within the widget.
  • Picture Frame — updating the popular photo-display widget, the new version displays photos from Yahoo! Photos, Flickr or photos stored on users’ computer. Pictures dragged and dropped into the “photo frame” can be instantly uploaded to Yahoo! Photos or Flickr.
  • Yahoo! Search Widget — search directly from your desktop using Yahoo!’s powerful search technology to search across the Web, including Yahoo! Image Search, Video Search, Yahoo! Local, Yahoo! Shopping or Yahoo! News, all with no browser required.
  • Yahoo! Mail Widget — keeps Yahoo! Mail users informed of new messages in their Yahoo! Mail inbox, including the number of e-mails and how long it has been since they last checked.
  • Yahoo! Notepad Widget — allows users to create, edit and delete notes, acting as a sticky pad for your desktop, and is synched to Yahoo! Notepad online so that no matter where users are, they can easily get to their notes and to-dos.

The Widget Engine is also designed as an open platform to allow third party developers to build and distribute their own widgets. To date there are over 2,000 available for download. The widget technology is powered by Konfabulator, a widget engine Yahoo acquired when the company purchased Pixoria earlier this year.

“Yahoo! Widgets allow consumers to always have the information and content they want close at hand and is just one example of the ways we’re able to make Yahoo!’s services and content available to users when, where and how they want,” said Jerrell Jimerson, vice president of Connected Life products, Yahoo! Inc.

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