Pokki Brings Smartphone-Style Apps To The Windows 7 Toolbar
<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/pokki-icon.png”>Add simple, productive apps to your Windows 7 taskbar. Pokki provides relevant information in a single click, then get back to your workflow. This program, which integrates into the Windows 7 taskbar, gives you just that for Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and more.
It’s the essence of the smartphone app brought to the desktop. Real-time notifications means you always know how many emails, messages or news items you need to read. To read them, simply click the icon. Perhaps best of all, these apps can be added and removed in a single click once you’ve installed Pokki.
Getting started with Pokki couldn’t be simpler; just head to the Pokki homepage and click “download” beside any “Pokkie” (read:app) that interests you. For example, I clicked Gmail:
Note that, as of this writing, only Windows 7 is supported. Versions for Mac and earlier versions of Windows are coming soon; no word on a Linux version yet.
Once installation is complete you’ll notice your installed apps between the Start button and your currently running applications:
As you can see, I’ve installed four apps: Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and RSS. The number on the Gmail icon represents how many unread messages await me.
Clicking the icons brings up the “app”, which is a compact version of a given website. Here’s what Facebook looks like:
I can browse my current news feed as well as messages and notifications. It’s all quick to navigate, and loads much faster than Facebook itself does.
Every app works pretty much like that. There currently aren’t many apps, but the list is growing and third-party coders are starting to contribute. Current highlights include Gmail. The interface is lacking features in the full-blown Gmail interface, including priority inbox . That’s part of the point: this app is meant to quickly give you access to your email so you can get back to what you were doing before.
Another well-done app is the Twitter app Tweeki:
Again, this is simple but that’s the point. Like the other apps, the emphasis is on fast.
Clicking the acorn icon allows you to install more applications:
The list of potential apps is low now, but growing.
This isn’t a completely new idea, of course. There have long beeen widgets available for a variety of platforms, similar to apps in many ways. Heck, many of Chrome’s extensions behave in a similar manner to Pokki; we highlighted a number when we pointed out Chrome extensions for the newly converted.
Still, I think this application is on to something for one reason, and that’s simplicity. This program is easy to install, easy to use and easy to install apps for. And the apps themselves are very easy to use. There is a focus here that mimics smartphones, and in a good way. For this reason I think Pokki’s worth checking out, though some may disagree.
What do you think? Share your thoughts about Pokki in the comments below, along with any alternatives to this program.