Personalized desktops are a crowded space. Startups compete for attention against the big three of myYahoo, iGoogle and Live. TechCrunch last covered Yourminis in November 2006 with Michael describing it as a solid product, however it’s not a name many would recall in the space.
Since then Yourminis, a service from Goowy media has taken a different approach to most of its competitors. Today, with the assistance of Adobe’s Apollo platform and some clever thinking Yourminis delivers a triple play of widgets: online personalized desktop widgets, actual desktop widgets and blogs widgets.
The emphasis on widgets delivers a different experience for Yourmini’s personalized desktop. Where as you might be stuck with a 2 or 3 column layout at iGoogle, Yourmini’s layout is as fluid as you want it to be; users can drag, drop and resize widgets on the desktop to their hearts content. It’s also pretty; users have the ability to fully customize colors or upload wallpaper delivering a superior aesthetic appearance.
http://www.yourminis.com/Dir/GetContainer.api?uri=yourminis/yourminis/mini:calendarYourmini’s newly supported ability to place widgets on the actual computer desktop using Apollo is a nifty step. The extensive range of widgets may not defeat a Mac user’s library, but it would go close to having a superior range to Google Desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar, and as they are the same widgets as used on the online desktop they’re good looking as well.
The ability to export widgets to any blog or website rounds out the widget triple play. There are other sites and services that offer this functionality and the ability to embed widgets is either embraced or disliked depending on the person you’re speaking to. Then again, it’s not a separate widget offering but the same widgets as are available on the personalized desktop with the same level of customization; this has definitely a positive.
One of the most compelling things about the widgets on Yourminis is the depth of customization. Depending on the particular widget, options can include text size, what to include with a feed (headlines/ X text etc..), colors, image background and feed settings. It’s a focus that really helps Yourminis stand out from its competitors. Yourminis have been nominated in the Webware 100 awards and rightly so. It’s a really good offering with a little something for just about everyone.
And yes: they also have a pretty TechCrunch widget as well.