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Archive for the ‘Opera Widgets’ Category

Ask your questions to the people behind Opera Widgets on mobile phones

mobile-widget.jpgA few months ago Opera announced that the upcoming edition of Opera Mobile, based on the Opera 9 browser, will support Opera Widgets.

These Opera Widgets are small web applications that run outside of the browser and will be instantly accessible on the phone without having to launch the Web browser.

Opera Widgets are based on the same technologies used to create webpages – HTML, CSS, SVG, JavaScript (and AJAX) – so you could easily create a weather, traffic, news or email widget that gets its data by using AJAX, for example. No longer do you need to program your mobile applications in JME, etc – now, it’s as simple as developing webpage.

Opera Widgets is certainly an exciting technology platform for developers to build applications for mobile phones. There are far more developers that are able to program using web technologies than any other development technology for mobile. In addition, this will allow for user-generated mobile widgets to be easily developed and deployed.

I thought it would be beneficial for you guys and gals to get more information about widgets on mobile phones. I’ve invited a couple of Product Managers at Opera Software working on the mobile side to answer the questions you may have on mobile widgets.

Post your questions about Opera Widgets support on mobile phones to the comments. I’ll post the answers here on Opera Watch in the coming weeks.

Got any questions about Opera Widgets on mobile phones? Ask.

9 Coolest Opera Widgets

March 22, 2007 9 comments

opera-widgets.pngI got an email from a tipster the other day telling me about a blog post listing the 9 coolest Opera Widgets.

There are two Opera Widgets that I use all the time, in fact they load automatically at startup using an Opera session. I like having the Calendar and Weather widgets on my desktop for quick reference. There are more than 1,000 user generated Opera Widgets available for download.

In addition to the regular Opera Widgets, you could easily make a widget out of your blog posts, Flickr or My.Opera photos, and YouTube videos using the Opera Widget Generator. There are a slew of designs to choose from.

When I visited Opera’s headquarters a few weeks ago, I spoke with some of those building the Opera Widgets platform. Opera Widgets run on the desktop browser, mobile phones, and even devices running the Opera browser. They’re working on some pretty interesting stuff. I’m looking forward to the time when Opera Widgets become a more powerful a web applications platform.

Categories: Opera Widgets

1,000 Opera Widgets uploaded to widgets.opera.com in 8 months

February 22, 2007 Comments off

1001widgets.pngIt’s been a short 8 months since Opera added support for widgets in the browser, and today Opera passed the 1,000th mark of user-created widgets uploaded to widgets.opera.com.

Widgets are still a touchy subject for many hardcore Opera users. Many still don’t see the need or even benefit of including it in the browser. There was even a short discussion about this last week in the comments to one of my previous posts.

As Lawrence pointed out, the focus of Opera Widgets has always been to provide cross-platform capabilities and convenience for end users. The same Opera Widget that runs on your desktop will also run on this wall pad and many other Opera-powered devices. Opera Widgets should work wherever there’s an Opera browser. Recently Opera announced that the Opera Mobile browser will also support widgets.

There are a couple widgets that I usually have floating around on my desktop, the calendar and weather forecast widgets. I find them useful.

Categories: Opera Widgets

The Opera browser on a chip

January 16, 2007 Comments off

3DLabs has successfully ported the Opera browser onto a multimedia chip.

The chip uses Opera 9 (for devices), which means it can run Opera Widgets, and thus allow developers and manufactures to create small programs (I.e. Opera Widgets) to run on the chip. In other words, this chip can be used with a device that has a screen, so instead of creating the screen menu, etc. in the traditional computer code, it can be written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as an Opera Widget. Pretty cool. The Opera browser is truly everywhere.

How to get a free Nintendo Wii?

December 19, 2006 2 comments

Want the super cool Nintendo Wii? Opera is giving some away free!

Opera is running a couple competitions now; both have the Wii as the grand prize.

The first competition is with Opera Mini, where you use Opera Mini’s built-in photo blogging feature (video demo here) to tell a story using about 10-20 pictures. More details are available here.

The other competition involves Opera Widgets, and is geared toward widget developers (if you know HTML, CSS, and some JavaScript, you could make an Opera Widget). The one to upload the best Opera Widget to widgets.opera.com over the next few weeks will receive a Nintendo Wii. More info here.

AccuWeather.com adds link to Opera Widget on their website

November 30, 2006 12 comments

The popular weather site (at least in the United States) AccuWeather.com recently added a link to an Opera Widget that displays the 5-day weather forecast (See screenshot on the right).

Features of the weather widget include: global coverage, real-time updates, satellite photos, local time display, moon phases, grass pollen count, UV index, humidity levels, space-saving ‘mini mode’, forecasts for up to 5 days, US or metric units.

This widget, called “TouchTheSky”, has been one of the more popular Opera Widgets since widget support was added in the Opera browser, with close to 400,000 downloads.

Opera Widgets work wherever there’s a full Opera browser. The same widget should be able to work across all devices, be it the desktop browser, mobile phone browsers, or even your TV. Widgets make perfect sense for devices where bandwidth is limited, such as mobile phones, since only the actual data is updated each time, unlike a standard webpage where the data and page style details (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) are download every time.

Links: Opera Widgets Homepage :: Weather Widget

Categories: Opera Widgets

One week left for the Opera Widgets competition

November 6, 2006 2 comments

We’re coming down to the final week of the Opera Widget World Cup competition.

You have one week left to submit your widgets under your country’s name, as well as download your favorite country’s widgets. Each of the top-downloaded widgets per country will receive from Opera 1,000 Euros. (See the list of countries and their standings).

The winners of each country will be announced on November 16th. Each country winner will then go on to the final step of the competition for the grand prize.

Why does Opera care about widgets in the browser?
The truth is, Opera Widgets were first intended to run on devices and mobile phones (using the Opera Platform), not the desktop browser. The decision to add support for widgets on the desktop browser came later.

Widgets are an excellent way to create programs and applications on mobile devices, without the need to write extensive programming code. It’s much easier and cheaper to make a widget than to make the traditional application for devices.

Since Opera Widgets are based on open standards, they can run anywhere. The widgets you make for the desktop browser will run on Opera Mobile phones and other devices, such as your TV.

Opera’s founder and CEO, Jon von Tetzchner, discussed these very points about widgets and its importance to Opera in an interview that was published a few months ago.

Categories: Opera Widgets