Standardization of even these little (but oft-used) apps, creates a clear path for future innovators to ensure their product gets the play it deserves, without hampering a person’s overall experience in terms of compatibility or basic usability.
Known occasionally as gadgets or modules, and more formally as client-side Web applications, widgets are bite-sized programs that perform some minute task. According to Scott Silk, the inclusion of widgets are part of what sets the iPhone apart.
For a typical user, widgets can be clocks, stock tickers, games, weather forecasters or currency converters. (On a Mac, you can even get a widget that streams video of a panda in the San Diego Zoo!) In short, widgets are small apps that display and update remote data, and run on a Web browser or in a Widget Engine.
Widgets 1.0 Requirements contains guidelines for device-independent standards for scripting, digitally signing, securing, packaging and deploying widgets.
Between all the hub-bub around measurement and now this, it looks like our little widgets are growing up in a big way. And all of this in time for WidgetCon. See you geeks there.