Yahoo Widget Engine 3.0
- Literally thousands of features to choose from, works well, looks nice, free!
- Lack of Australian coverage, greedy with system resources
A useful little program that makes accessing information a whole lot easier
One nice feature of Apple's latest incarnation of Mac OS X is dashboard, a plethora of little "widgets" designed to sit on your desktop and do useful things. These useful things might be keeping tabs on the stock market, showing the week's weather forecast or planning events on a calendar. While this may seem a tad gimmicky, it's a neat little feature that Windows users won't get until the launch of Vista later in the year. If you can't wait that long then the Yahoo! Widget Engine is just what you need.
You may be wondering exactly what a "widget" is. It's basically a small file that opens a floating application on your desktop. To use the widgets it's first necessary to download the Widget Engine. This controls all your widgets and allows them to be configured as you please. Widgets can be placed anywhere you want and customised to appear exactly how you'd like on the screen. They can be always on top, hidden beneath your other applications or set to appear when you press a hotkey. They can be different sizes, different colours and even different opacities. The Widget Engine makes everything very easy to use, once you've got it looking as you'd like, the settings are saved and the widgets pop up each time you boot your computer.
Yahoo! has included twenty widgets to play with as default. These include a calendar, weather forecast, stock ticker, various clocks and many more. As Yahoo! is primarily a search engine company it's no surprise to see a desktop search bar included also. The day planner widget can synchronise with Microsoft Outlook to give a visible reminder of all your daily tasks. If you have a Yahoo! mail account the Widget Engine can notify of you any new messages without the need to use a web browser. The twenty default widgets have varying degrees of usefulness. Some such as the digital clock seem a waste of space; others such as the moon phase monitor are obviously just for fun.
The real beauty of the program is that you can download other widgets from Yahoo!'s website, over two thousand of them, all for free. Many just have novelty value, such as the Harry Potter quote conjurer or the chicken that clucks each time you click it. Other more useful widgets include a desktop dictionary and a nice array of world clocks.
We especially liked the traffic monitors, these set up a direct link to transport authority road cameras, letting the user view conditions on a variety of busy roads. Most major Australian cities are covered. Other Aussie-specific widgets include keeping track of fuel prices (though it's only for Perth) and listening to Australian radio stations. The Australian coverage is lacking in a few areas - Yahoo!'s default mapping widget lacks any Australian maps for instance. The search function also includes Yellow Pages style functionality, but again this doesn't work for Australia.
One problem with Yahoo! Widget Engine is its demand for resources. Each widget uses a sizeable chunk of system RAM, so we only recommend using the program if you have a sufficiently powerful computer. You'll also need an internet connection to get the most out of the program as the majority of widgets cannot function without this. The program can also be a little buggy at times, crashing for no particular reason, but this seems to be rare. As the majority of available widgets are created by the public there is also no guarantee they will work either. But this is a free program, we can't expect miracles.. You can download widgets directly from Yahoo!
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft fleshes out seismic change to Windows patching
- Where's the bottom for Microsoft's Internet Explorer?
- ICANN transition moves forward, despite last-minute attempt to block it
- PSA: Windows 10's Anniversary Update reactivates ads you've already disabled
- Analysts laud and lance new Microsoft browser armor
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCImplementation ManagerVIC
- FTAgile Tools and Methods AnalystVIC
- FTTechnical Services Engineer - Spanish speakingNSW
- CCFull Stack Java DevelopersNSW
- TPEDRMS Project ManagerVIC
- TPSenior Data AnalystVIC
- CCSenior / Lead UX DesignerNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCBI Program Director/ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Frontend Developer (Angular or React or Ember)NSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (12-month renewable Contract)Asia
- CCSystem AdministratorNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Manufacturing ConsultantVIC
- TPProject Coordinator - IT projectsVIC
- FTAndroid Technical Lead (Work From Home 2-3 Days)NSW
- CCMicrosoft AX Support AnalystsQLD
- CCData Warehousing /Business Intelligence DeveloperACT
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Wealth/Super backgroundNSW
- CCBackup ConsultantWA
- FTSoftware DeveloperWA
- CCDefence Opportunities - Baseline, NV1 or NV2SA
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Capital TradingNSW
- TPICT Security SpecialistQLD
- FTLevel 2 Application SupportVIC
- FTProfessional Learning Facilitator - Information ManagementVIC