Apple My iTunes widgets

Apple is syndicating iTunes purchase history and user reviews as Flash widgets and Atom feeds under a new program called My iTunes Widgets. Any iTunes Music Store customer can opt-in to sharing their subscribed podcasts, purchased music, music video, TV shows, movies, and positive reviews through an account preference set in the iTunes application.

Widget data update formats

In my last post I wrote about web widget formats: the ways we render widget content within another web site. Web widgets are dynamic, living, breathing pieces of content and often need new data from external services to stay fresh and topical. In this post I’ll summarize popular methods of updating a widget’s dynamic data using remote HTML framing, plain-text, JSON, XML, and web feeds. I will detail use cases of each format, provide example data to illustrate the data, and document the appropriate request and parsing libraries in major web widget platforms.

Basic web widget formats

Web widgets vary by platform and provider but generally come in four basic flavors: JavaScript, embedded object, blog plugin, and frames. Anyone publishing widget content online should know a few basic concepts shaping their decision and choose the right mix of software and content based on their target. In this post I’ll walk through some of the basic advantages, disadvantages, and considerations for each type of widget content and bring you up-to-speed on a few current widget deployment options.

Google offers seed funding for widget startups

Google is directly investing in small companies to expand the popularity of its iGoogle product. Google Gadget Ventures grants popular Google gadgets $5,000 for further development. Popular widget businesses are eligible for $100,000 in seed capital with Google taking an equity stake in each company. Google expects to invest $700,000 or more in third-party widget development over the next year. About 9% of Google’s gadget directory would be eligible for the grant consideration based on the Google Gadget pageview analysis I last conducted in April. How it works A gadget must have at least 250,000 gadget views per week to…

Widgets on your iPhone

Steve Jobs announced the iPhone development platform at last week’s Worldwide Developer Conference to sighs of disappointments. Mac developers were anxious to develop new applications for the the most anticipated consumer electronics device in years, only to be told they should code fancy websites instead. The 9-minute iPhone development demonstration during the WWDC keynote was a bit confusing for anyone new to Apple widget development. In this post I’ll break down a few Apple widget components, transport you to the iPhone development world, and explain a few restrictions and lock-downs common in the mobile phone industry. Dashboard under the…

Windows Live Gallery partners program

Microsoft will offer three tiers of partner support for Windows Live Gallery according to a podcast with Chris Butler this week posted on LiveSide. Companies and brands may partner with Microsoft to highlight their Windows Live Gadget offerings for preferred inclusion in the personal homepage, Windows Live Spaces sidebar, and the Windows Vista sidebar. Windows Live Gallery partners receive visual differentiation in the customization listings and programmatic access to the Gallery serves to add and update new Microsoft gadget content. Microsoft plans to offer external developers three tiers of support: Gold partner A premium offering associated with an…