Imagine being able to bring any part of a website to your desktop. For example; I am only interested in the sidebar of talk.maemo.org because it shows the latest threads or topics people are talking about. Introducing Oculo by Mardy, a new widget for my Nokia N900, which makes it possible to show parts of a website on my desktop.

Author Mardy says:

Oculo is a homescreen widget for the Nokia N900 which can take any web site and render its contents into your homescreen. Not only can it render a complete web-page, you can also choose which parts of a web page you are interested in!

Once Oculo has been downloaded and installed it can be found in the Widget section.

Place the widget on the desktop and click the configure icon. The first thing you need to do is type in a website to watch. The screen layout is clean, straight forward to use and simple to navigate.

On the ‘Configure web content’ screen there are a few options in the way of icons at the bottom of the screen. By default the entire website is covered in a shade of grey which means the widget will try and show everything.

Tapping on the ‘cross hair” icon allows one to select the area of the page you would like the widget to display.

Once you are happy with the selction, you have the choice of making the font larger or smaller within the widget. (I made the font smaller so I could see more topics).

The tool icon gives one the option to edit the CSS. (if you know what you are doing).

Next up another choice – Render into widget or Use as a wallpaper. (remember a widget is something small on your desktop, where as wallpaper is going to fill the screen).

The Widget geometry screen allows ones to set the size of the widget. This is really cool. There are slider bars for height and width and a ‘Suggest size’ button. One can also choose whether to fit content to widget or not.

Once you have made your changes there is a Widget preview screen. One can always go back to make changes.

On the last screen one can set how often you want the widget to update. From 5 minutes, an hour, daily or even manual update it’s possible.

Tap on finish to exit the configuration screen.

+- 5 minutes later (automatic refresh):

I noticed the widget only updated if I was on the desktop where Oculo widget was present. It’s a good thing in my opinion since this is a part of a website being loaded, and if it was in view the whole time my battery would be drained fairly quickly.

Results:

The widget has done its job superbly as the content has changed.

Other great features:

One can load as many widgets as you like, multiple widgets can exist on one desktop.
It is possible to have a wallpaper widget that fills the entire screen and normal icons can appear on top of it.
Tapping on the widget allows me to:

Manually update it.
It also tells me when last the widget was updated.
If I want to open the widget to it’s default website there is a button. It will use whatever is the default browser available.
Finally there is a donate button, which has a payment linked to a paypal, wire transfer and moneybookers.

Note: I am running the latest CSSU PR 1.3.3.7-9 and Oculo works perfectly for me.

Other Sources:

[Announce] Oculo: web content to your home screen! – talk.maemo.org
Oculo: Dynamic web content to your N900 home screen