A gadget is a small technological object that has a particular function, but is often thought of as a novelty. Gadgets are invariably considered to be more unusually or cleverly designed than normal technological objects at the time of their invention. Gadgets are sometimes also referred to as gizmos.

       Google Gadgets are dynamic web content that can be embedded on a web page.They can be added to and interact strongly with Google's iGoogle personalized home page and the Google Desktop application, as well as Google Wave.Webmasters can add and customize a gadget to their own business or personal web site, a process called "syndication."Gadgets are developed by Google and third-party developers using the Google Gadgets API, using basic web technologies such as XML and JavaScript.

     Here is an example of a Hello World program written using Google Gadget technology.

            Hello, world!

     Google offers a programming interface for building custom gadgets that can be embedded and used in your website.  Gadgets are commonly used to provide content to your iGoogle home page, and Google Sites uses them to include content (code) that is otherwise prohibited.
    When using gadgets with Google Sites, one of the things that needs to be considered is where the gadget will be hosted.  There are essentially two options:

  1.   Create the gadget in the editor of your choice, save is as an XML file and host it as an attachment somewhere on your site, or with another online hosting service.
  1.   RECOMMENDED  Build, host and manage the gadget using the Google Gadget Editor (GGE).

      Microsoft Gadgets are lightweight single-purpose applications, or software widgets, that can sit on a Microsoft Windows user's computer desktop, or are hosted on a web page. According to Microsoft, it will be possible for the different types of gadgets to run on different environments without modification, but this is currently not the case.

     Types of Microsoft's gadgets:
  •   Web gadgets - run on a web site, such as Bing.com or Spaces.
  •    Sidebar gadgets - run on the desktop or be docked onto, run on the Windows Sidebar.
  •         SideShow gadgets - run on auxiliary external displays, such as on the outside of a laptop or even on an LCD panel in a keyboard, and potentially mobile phones and other devices.

      Web gadgets run on Web sites such as Live.com and Windows Live Spaces.
     Live.com lets users add RSS feeds in order to view news at a glance. Building off Microsoft's start.com experimental page, Live.com can be customized with Web Gadgets, mini-applications that can serve almost any purpose (e.g. mail readers, weather reports, slide shows, search, games, etc.). Some gadgets integrate with other Windows Live services, including Mail, Search, and Favorites.

Users can create multiple site tabs and customize each with different feeds, gadgets, layouts, and color schemes.
      Desktop gadgets are desktop widgets; small specialized applications that are generally designed to do simple tasks, such as clocks, calendars, RSS notifiers or search tools. They can also be used to control external applications such as Windows Media Center.
      A panel, or sidebar, is found on either the right side (default) or the left side of the Windows desktop in the Windows Vista operating system. Gadgets can be placed on this sidebar, and they are automatically aligned on it. Gadgets can also be placed elsewhere on the screen, which generally causes them to expand and display more information. In Windows 7, the sidebar is removed, although gadgets can somewhat similarly be aligned on any side of the screen. Gadgets are toggled between the two sizes via a button in Windows 7.

     Windows SideShow is a new technology that lets Windows Vista drive auxiliary, small displays of various form-factors where ready-access to bite-size bits of information could be represented. These include displays embedded on the outside of a laptop lid or on a detachable device, enabling access to information and media even when the main system is in a standby mode. Data can also be displayed on cell phones and other network-connected devices via Bluetooth and other connectivity options.
      The display can be updated with a number of different kinds of information, such as contacts, maps, calendar, and email. This can then be consulted while the mobile PC is otherwise powered down. Since the underlying platform is so power-efficient, it can run for hundreds of hours without draining a notebook battery, while still providing always-on access to data and multimedia content.


The Public URL for this WebQuest:
WebQuest Hits: 9,354
Save WebQuest as PDF

Ready to go?

Select "Logout" below if you are ready
to end your current session.