Today, the company is announcing that the first Outlook gadgets have now gone live.
Xobni's First Gadgets: Flickr, Yelp, YouTube
"Deploy once. Deploy twice. Nice," was the tagline the company used to promote the new offering earlier this year. Developers who used the company's provided tools could easily get their new Gmail gadget into Outlook, the Microsoft email platform with a still very large 600-million strong install base.
With the new build of Xobni going live this morning (version 1.9.5), Outlook users will see the first reference gadgets available: Flickr, Yelp and YouTube.
The new Xobni gadgets appear in a pane at the bottom of an email and are viewable without needing to leave the inbox. Basically, they work the same as Gmail's own contextual gadgets do - like the Gmail YouTube gadget which displays a YouTube video embed in any Gmail messaging containing a YouTube link. (Flickr and Yelp Gmail gadgets are already also available within Gmail Labs, a testing ground for new features which can be optionally enabled from Gmail's settings.)
The Xobni gadget bar at the bottom of email message can expand and contract and can even be turned off via Xobni's options, if current users aren't interested in using it. But unlike Gmail's gadgets, when multiple gadgets are active in one email message, they don't sit one above the other at the end of the email - they are available in tabs instead. This is done so the gadgets don't take up too much screen real estate, a more precious commodity in Outlook than in Gmail, with its infinite "scrollability."
Xobni says it now has 50 developers working on gadgets focusing on productivity and collaboration. Those will be launched "over the coming weeks" but no exact ETA was available.
Also new in Xobni 1.9.5 are a few more bug fixes and performance boosts. Interested developers can check out the new platform and its tools here: http://www.xobni.com/developer.