Today, The Gazette is launching a real 21st-century widget. I’ve tried it and am prepared to endorse it as “cool.” Not to mention convenient and helpful.
Those are the words of my boss, Gazette Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Alan Allnutt, welcoming the new Gazette widget for PC and Mac. And you know if he finds it cool, then …
It’s essentially a branded, customized RSS widget similar to what Cyberpresse launched a year ago. It just launched, so the features are very light – all you can do is choose which categories you want and then select between 1 and 4 headlines for each.
I’ll leave the reviews to people not currently employed by the paper: would you use this regularly?
I installed it because, well, why not. The only thing that annoys me is that each time a new headline is posted, a “tock” sound is heard and there’s no way to disable it. Well, that’s beta software for you.
Answer: no, simply because I hate widgets. I hate having an app running in background monopolizing my precious CPU resources. So. Ya. But no.
Is there an iPhone app in the works, though?
Interesting how these are spreading. I never use dashboard because it, y’know, wraps over the rest of the interface? It’s so intrusive I’d rather use a RSS reader (or reload the page).
A more promising avenue IMHO is the NYT Skimmer. Not perfect yet, but coming along nicely.
Cool! I wish the iPhone-designed webpage had the same design.
Also, the FAQs for the Mac widget are wrong: http://www.montrealgazette.com/widget/faqs.html (see “How do I exit the application?” and “How do I uninstall The Gazette Widget”). I guess it *is* a beta!
1. The terms of service prohibit using this widget on a “non-PC device”, specifically including mobile devices, for no good reason.
2. No way to turn off sound (!!!)
3. No control over the font size of the headlines
4. Stories show as having photos but say “no photo available”
5. The Facebook, Twitter, etc. buttons at the bottom just promote the widget itself, and don’t allow people to share the actual stories with friends.
6. Even if I tell it not to show me business headlines, I get a business tab.
7. Limited categories – in sports I only get Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact. No tennis, golf, Olympics, basketball, baseball, etc.
8. No way to show entire headline beyond 4-5 words.
For a simple headline-grabbing widget, I rate this a FAIL!
Hmm, no thank you. Although I would have liked a widget for my personalized google page.
I’m still having a chuckle with the explanation: “it is called a widget..” (nooooo!, really? wow)..”and it is the latest way to get news updates” ..Latest?? I thought I saw that widget thingy about 3 years ago somewhere on the “interwebs”. Again, if the gazette says it’s the latest, then maybe I’m wrong. After all, I’m just an internet programming geek girl. What do I know?!
Anyway, back to work now.