The weekend just past I fell in love with a desktop application – for Windows.
The object of my affections? Pokki.
Pokki – HTML5 Apps on your Taskbar
Pokki is a small bar that adds itself to the Windows task-bar. From here you can browse the Pokki ‘App Store’ to find and ‘install’ small HTML5 ‘apps’ to the Pokki bar for quick ‘on the fly’ access.
Most (if not all) Pokki applications run in a ‘pop-up’ frame that only stays open whilst it has focus; click away from the Pokki app and it hides back behind its task-bar icon.
Here, for example, is the Pokki HTML5 Twitter app ‘tweeki’: -
As you can see – it’s not simply the Twitter website running in a frame. It’s a bona-fide dedicated application of its own.
In the few hours I played with Pokki I was instantly won over. The behaviour of Pokki apps are almost ‘smartphone-esque’: you call and use as needed but, if applicable, notifications are delivered on screen at all times.
This got me thinking about the Unity Launcher – wouldn’t apps like this suit it down to a tee?
As great as quick-lists and on-badge notifications for dedicated apps are in Unity, a framework supporting HTML5 apps like this would be neat.
Imagine this, the Pokki e-mail app: -
but accessible through the Unity launcher: -
Web Apps are not all equal
I can predict that many readers first response to a suggestion like this will be ‘why not just use a web browser to use GMail or Twitter?’. And as an argument that’s not entirely invalid – web apps are, after all, web based.
But “web apps” are more than ‘websites that let you do stuff’. The best are well designed, properly purposed and usable as an app. They don’t need to worry about fitting into standard browser sizes, or worrying about the placement of window chrome around them. They just work.
Pokki apps live up to this wonderfully.
They are smartphone-styled apps for the desktop, marrying the most useful tools on the web into a format that’s digestible to the work flow of the desktop.
And I’d kill to see something akin to them land on Linux.