Yahoo on Widget Architecture

I was at the local Mobile Monday event last night to learn more about Yahoo’s Blueprint development framework and soak up some of the local mobile scene. One of the presenters, sorry, didn’t catch his name, was the UI Designer and he Bill Bull, Head of Platform UED, made a very insightful comment about web development. is a website – our expectation is that it will change every day as new content is available.

Microsoft Word is an application – we expect it to work the same way every day.

Modern websites such as Facebook or the new Yahoo (Metro) home page are a collections of widgets that change and update themselves as new features get pushed out. It’s a mistake to think of widgets installed on a mobile device as applications, they need to be architected as dynamic pieces of code that can update themselves as new features become available or as new devices offer new capabilities. The update mechanism is a fundamental feature of any web-enabled widget.


Nokia’s Netbook, the N97

I was going to write a post about all the amazing phones I saw last week while I was in Japan but this morning’s announcement of the latest Nokia device trumps that. Techmeme is smothered with coverage.

Nokia N97

I’ve been watching the convergence of the smartphone and laptop computer into a single device called a netbook. While Verizon is subsidizing Dell netbooks, Japan’s EMobile will give you an Acer netbook for $100 if you sign up with them. Instead of jamming a desktop OS into a tiny form factor, Nokia is approaching it from another angle and building from the mobile device up with a collection of swappable widgets.

The difference in approach is that a tiny laptop netbook is designed to run client software while the powerful phone netbook is designed to be an extension of web services that you run out of the cloud, optimized with GPS sensors and a camera for data capture.

UPDATE : things have evolved

“A netbook is for the coffee shop or airplane or subway ride. For watching a movie, checking email, updating Twitter, fast, mobile stuff,” writes Dave Winer. For that, I think the N97 fits the bill quite nicely.