Widget

Google adds weather 'widget' to search

When searching for weather on Google with your iPhone, you will now be greeted with a beautiful widget-like interface above your search results.

Google weather search displays the current weather conditions including temperature, humidity, wind speed, and chance for precipitation. Also, the forecast for the next four days is displayed and a slider to see the conditions predicted over the next 12 hours. As you slide the slider, not only are the conditions updated, but the background darkens or lightens to reflect the time of day. Underneath, you will find links to The Weather Channel, Weather Underground, and AccuWeather.

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Why Apple may be removing desktop/dashboard/widget apps from the App Store

Since the iPad launch on April 3, TiPb's been getting tips about desktop/dashboard/widget-style apps being removed first from the iPad App Store, then from the iPhone App Store as well. There are a number of examples, some well known by now, some relatively unknown. The commonality between all of them is that they've tried to somehow make the iPad or iPhone into a Mac- or PC-like screen filled with mini-apps like browsers, email clients, calculators, weather, etc.

Some look almost exactly like Apple's Mac Dashboard, other like Windows of various flavors. Others don't look like desktops at all but rather place widgets on top of photos or other, more specific backgrounds.

Devs have worked around this by using a much more restricted metaphor, like a double tiled display, or by going the Jailbreak route, or they haven't worked through it and just gotten frustrated at the opacity of the App Store review process and not known how to proceed.

I can't claim any special insight or information on this, but my best guess is that Apple is removing (or advising they will be removing since not all of them have been pulled yet) the apps for the same reason they originally didn't include cursor (arrow) keys on the Mac. It's a pretty well known story and one that's been used a few times in different commentaries on the iPhone and iPad and Apple's direction thereof, but it bears repeating.

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Could Missing iPad Apps Reappear as Dashboard Widgets?

Are you checking out the iPad's big, mostly empty Home Screen and wondering where the iPhone's Weather, Stocks, Clock, and Calculator apps have all gone? Are they missing in action, simply unfinished for now, or like Kevin Fox of Fury.com seems to think, could Apple be planning on turning them into Dashboard-style Widgets?

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The Week In Links

While I was gone at CTIA, there's been a bunch of things that have happened that I didn't get time to properly write about. So today, we'll have a bit of an iPhone news smörgåsbord. There's been a fair amount of news, a fair amount of not-news, and some of the things that I've been reading are just plain wrong.

Apple Dealing with Film-Makers Directly for iTunes
Apple has sidestepped some of the major studios for some films, opting instead to deal directly with film-makers. This could be a sign of things to come -- it would be great to not have to report every major film-studio or TV channel contract tiff.

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Excellent Discussions on SDK


figure 1: John Gruber

John Gruber of Daring Fireball has posted an excellent discussion on the various subtleties of the language used in Steve Jobs' iPhone SDK letter. He talks of HTML widgets vs. the stripped-down Cocoa API, the security of the current iPhone, the hidden compliment-slash-dig on Nokia and their recent "open to anything" marketing slogan, signed apps, the iTunes App store, and with his usual attention to detail and insight. Well worth the read there, like any long Gruber post.

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More Rumors of a SDK

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Jobs' Reality Distortion Field is Failing?

The New York Times has a neat article on third party applications and how the iPhone is currently the only device on AT&T's network that doesn't support them. The article has some good things to say about Palm too, which I always welcome. The big gist of it is how Jobs' quote from a January Newsweek interview doesn't jive with reality:

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iPhone: Widgets in January

Ars Technica has sources that indicate that Apple is prepping Mobile Safari to run applications and web pages offline. You know, widgets. These widgets will use the same technologies as the AJAX web apps that are out there now -- HTML, CSS, asynchronous Javascript and XML, cookies, etc., but with the added bonus of a little extra local storage. Maybe some javascript functions that allow you to access the actual API of the phone for contact / calendar integration and the like will make it as well.

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