Just this morning Google has unveiled their answer to Yahoo’s Widget Engine (formerly Konfabulator). Google has included an API to their personalized homepage, allowing users to create and add content to the personalized page.
Now Google’s approach is a little different then Yahoo’s. Yahoo’s widgets live on the desktop while Google’s widgets will only be on their personalized page. Now I have been a fan of Konfabulator since Yahoo acquired them and made the program free. However, I’m starting to wonder if Google’s solution is the better one. Yahoo’s widget’s require their Widget Engine to be running in the background constantly, which eats up RAM and CPU usage for each Widget you have open. Since Google’s widget’s are web-based nothing resides on my computer.
Now my widget usage usually consists of me glancing over my weather widget and my Mint stats before I open my browser or other application. Since browser usage is my main task on a computer, with Google’s solution I would still have that opportunity to glance over my widgets before getting involved in my next task. Google also brings to the table the ability to have that same configuration anywhere. So for example if I’m using Portable Firefox at school, when I open my browser all my widgets will be there just as I’ve left them.
Now currently the major downfall of Google’s widgets is the number of them. There are currently only five, while Yahoo has more than I can count. As Google’s widgets grow in numbers I’m sure I’ll eventually take a look at them again, but until that happens I’m sticking with Yahoo’s Widget engine. It may not be technically superior, but it has the widgets I want.