Saturday, January 14, 2006

Goowy - a new widget-based virtual desktop thing

Thanks to Google Blogoscoped I discovered a new, very interesting site today (always nice). Its called, and this is what the homepage says about it:

goowy (re) is a rich experience site which helps you manage your digital lifestyle. We provide you with a fresh and powerful environment for managing your webmail, contacts, calendar, rss, widgets (search, bookmarks, photos, weather, stocks, quotes, scores, etc.), and fun flash games.
Once you've signed in (and opted to import contacts from your Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo! account), you are confronted with an entirely flash-based 'virtual desktop', with various widgets on it.

I chose some widgets to go on it, and set up some RSS feeds. I then had a pleasant surprise of noticing that they had provided me with a 2GB mail account! Again, the webmail interface turned out to be flash-based, equipped with a preview panel and some ready-set up folders.

The UI looks really nice, and works very well. When email arrives the page does not have to be reloaded. Fortunately it appears, present and correct, in the inbox.

I suppose the best comparison for this service is Google's personalised homepage, although there are significant differences, given one is flash-based, and the other is a mishmash of different techniques such as AJAX which together create a very cool effect. The fact that Goowy is flash-based does give it an advantage over the Google service, as it allows for a smarter-looking and and more swish design. However, I do like Google's relatively lightweight approach, and there is also a mobile version available, which I think is quite cool. I shall certainly give this Goowy service more than a cursory glance though in my quest to have all my information available at any computer.

PS: Microsoft has a Window's Live service which is similar to Google's, but I really don't like it at all (especially because it doesn't work properly with Firefox), which is why its not mentioned here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wat a bloody cheat...Apple introduced this first...Can't they think of something original!!!