SweetLabs (Formerly OpenCandy) Unveils Pokki To Offer Desktop Web Apps

June 29, 2011

8:16 pm

How many times do you find yourself using your mobile device to access an application because it is a shortcut to actually going on your computer to a website to do the same action? I do it all the time and find that this behavior is somewhat common among peers that I have talked to. So it is interesting to see a company focused on bringing that similar shortcut experience to the desktop, as SweetLabs (formerly OpenCandy which we covered previously) just announced the beta launch of Pokki, a new platform that lets web developers easily create and distribute connected desktop apps using standard web languages like HTML5, CSS and Javascript. Similar to Android or Apple’s iOS, developers can access the Pokki development kit to create new applications.

Consumers can currently download showcased Pokkies which include eBay, Gmail, Facebook, LivingSocial, The Wall Street Journal and other popular services. Currently Pokkies are available for PC’s only – Mac versions should be offered later this year.

“The desktop is the largest, yet ironically, the most ignored technology ecosystem on the planet, and our goal is to give developers and users something they don’t have today; a standards-based platform to create and enjoy beautiful, connected applications on the desktop,” said Darrius Thompson, co-founder and CEO of SweetLabs, the company behind Pokki.

We had a chance to get a sneak peek of Pokki while visiting the SweetLabs office in San Diego in May as part of our West Coast Tour and was impressed with the approach and overall lack of web app driven PC application options in the marketplace today. It’s a huge opportunity, and reminds me of the widgetization of the Web that took place in 2006 with iGoogle, Netvibes, PageFlakes, MyYahoo and myAol among others when they took a crack at distributing content via your web browser. Goowy Media took it one step further by building desktop applications that were created in Flash, but quickly moved towards the then hot web widget space with yourminis which ultimately got them acquired by Aol. Fast forward a few years later and Apple was the first to offer apps that did the same type of thing, so it only makes sense to see it come full circle and could change the way we think of our desktops. In our view of startups across the nation, SweetLabs is at the top of our list of companies to watch.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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