30 Boxes Does WebTop

14 Comments

30Boxes, the online calendaring company has done it again – come up with a cool new way of doing things, that is. They have just introduced a OS-X styled web top interface which can be used “as a starting point for your web apps and stay up to date on the latest updates (calendar and web stuff) from your buddies.” I think you should give it a shot, and let me know what you think.

14 Comments

Ebrahim

Except to-do list and the already existing (excellent) calender application, there’s not much I liked about the webtop.

Lets see where this goes.

oesterle

Until 30boxes is directly competing with an Apple product (which this does not, nor will anytime soon), their design direction can only help continue to build Apple’s brand. For Apple users, this product is the natural web-desktop extension to have; for Windows/Linux, at least you’ll have something that looks good on your desktop for once, not to mention getting increasingly used to an Apple-based UI. I see this as a win-win for Apple and 30boxes.

I think the really powerful thing here, outside of the fairly irrelevant Apple argument, is the feature set. I’m looking for two things with a web desktop: (1) quicklinks to sites and web functions, and (2) content aggregation. In particular, 30boxes has solved pt. 2 extremely well, in a fashion no one else is really taking (especially with integration this simple).

File storage and yet-another-chat-client isn’t something I’m looking for. I want a fast way to get to my most visited sites, clean and simple aggregation of web-based content, and a web UI that is a seamless extension of my desktop. 30boxes has delivered on all three points here, and for their first shot at it, done a great job doing so.

Iain

I gave it a look and then remembered that I’ve put so much time into setting up Netvibes in the past few weeks that I can’t imagine trying out another home page.

Rich

Didn’t Google get into trouble with Apple for an OSX-style launchbar? I suppose it could happen to 30 Boxes too…

Narendra

Insult to Apple? Actually we are fervently pro-Apple and are trying to bring more of their aethetic to the web. We just updated the four prominent icons (calendar, mail, search, and settings) to assuage design purists :-)

Ariel

Ehhh, i’m sorry Narendra that my comment has shifted the focus away from what your webtop is bringing which is a great start. You know how easy it is to change the theme/skin/icons, i’m sure and that’s probably why you’ve not given it attention, yet, i hope. First impressions on the theme in this early adoptor crowd are not traditionally too tainted by look-and-feel so you are probably shocked by the rambling of these last few posts. I come from UI design background…so you can see my prejudice.

Anyhow, behind the skin is a webtop which is really on an awesome path. My sense of all the aggregation plays out there need the sort of personal data center that a calendar immediatly brings to focus, so kudos on that. I look forward to seeing a lot more, and certainly new icons :)

Naanu

Pretty soon Apple will sue them. They can’t just rip off the design work and get away with it.

Narendra

Ariel,

OS X is a theme (skin). 30boxes allows people to design and create their own. There will be additional designs (different dock icons) to choose from as there are already an endless number of background images you can set as your webtop wallpaper.

Ariel

The UI is absurd. How can they insult their own efforts so much by ripping off OSX like this? Do they want to appear as a professional company or as a school project? When you’re trying to change the way people see information, try and change it. Migrate don’t plagiarize. Expend at least one ounce of creative energy on your UI. I have personally always hated the doc bar on OSX – so perhaps that accounts for my immediate revulsion.

I appreciate that ‘when’ is a good starting point for an aggregation page – this being the best thing about 30boxes versus a pageflakes or goowey. But i will never use something that offends my sense of intellectual design integrity as much as this OSX rip-off blunder. They should immediately fix their screenshots – find icons of their own at least!

Peter

It looks smooth, but I don’t see what the 30Boxes webtop has that Goowy doesn’t. And Goowy had free online storage and integrated chat.

wilkie

i played with this yesterday and i found it to be pretty neat, it was fast, without clutter and did what it was supposed to. i dont know if i will use it too much though as i tend to use other services like ta-da lists for my todo list and i only wish it would open my gmail and photos in a window ON the ‘webtop’, not in a seperate window. but maybe im asking too much hehe

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