What Are Google Gadgets?


Quick Answer

Google Gadgets are items of dynamic Web content that developers embed on Web pages to interact with Google Sites alongside a number of other Google applications, most of which have been discontinued as of 2015. Google and third-party developers build Google Gadgets using XML and JavaScript.

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Full Answer

Some of the discontinued platforms that Google Gadgets were originally designed for include the iGoogle personalized Web page, the Google Desktop and Google Wave. Google discontinued its iGoogle personalized Web page service in 2013 and its Google Desktop service in 2011. Google discontinued Google Wave upon ceasing support and changing the platform's name to Apache Wave, where Google Gadgets can be designed with multi-user capabilities and persistent storage options.

Google Gadget mini-applications include extensions to the core gadget API that provide additional functionality including calendar and Gmail integration. With Google Gadgets, it is possible to build gadgets that display time-based information inside the Google Calendar app. It is also possible to build gadgets that trigger content based on email context in Gmail.

Website developers can also embed Google Gadgets into their websites. Examples of functions that gadgets can perform include the embedding of rich media, the retrieval of specified feeds and the performance of simple tasks such as managing a to-do list.

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