Nokia Offers Widsets for Java Phones

The world’s largest handset maker Nokia is looking to put “Web 2.0″—whatever that might be—onto Java-capable mobile phones via Widsets, a new service which lets phone users tap into RSS feeds, blogs, photo sites, and more, independent of Web browsing software.

“Immediate access to information is expected by people today, thus we wanted to make it easy for everybody, from an individual blogger to a web service provider, to automatically have mobile access to website content,” said Dieter May, Nokia VP and Head of Nokia Emerging Business Unit, in a release. “We also believe WidSets will be attractive to new users who are not so familiar with Web 2.0.”

Once signed up, the Widsets serve sends the Widsets application to the user’s mobile phone via a text message. Once installed, the user can connect to the Widsets service to select interesting widgets, build their own personal Content Library, and update it with new content. Currently in beta, Widsets is free, although users will be responsible for data transfer charges under the terms of their phone service agreement. For the moment, Widsets is ad-free, although Nokia says it may eventually investigate ads or selling premium content through the service. The Widsets site uses community filtering to provide well-rated suggestions for widget users might not otherwise know about.

“We wanted WidSets to be fun to use, so we based the user interface on great-looking and dynamic mini-applications called widgets that automatically receive updates from websites that people normally visit several times a day,” continued May. “Whenever the information on a community, blog, or news service is updated, the widget notifies the user about it, so that the information can be viewed right away, regardless of where the user is located. And if users can’t find their favorite internet service on WidSets, they can easily create and publish widgets themselves, and share the content with others.”

Widsets currently offers widgets for a number of popular sites and services, including Gmail, Flickr, innumerable blogs and forums, travel and weather information, games, news sources, and Internet search sites. Want to know if your phone can be used with Widsets? A list of popular compatible devices is available.