The latest version of Yahoo's toolbar drops the word "Engine" from its name and makes customization even easier than before. It also comes with a revamped look. Yahoo Widgets lets you add small standalone applications that can offer an endless variety of features, content, and system functionality.
Twenty-two default widgets are included--including a weather forecaster, a Yahoo Mail manager, a Wi-Fi signal checker, a calendar, and an iTunes remote. Though the true value of the app should be judged on the quality of the widgets developed, the platform itself is polished and easy to use.
A helpful tour introduces users to the basics of widgets, offering up some examples. Adding and removing widgets is simple, and the new widget dock features more personalization options. Most widgets include tweaks such as skinning options. Other new improvements include Windows Alt-Tab menu access and helpful configuration buttons that appear when you mouse over a widget. Unfortunately, the app inserts itself into your start-up programs without asking--but you can fix that in Preferences.
Yahoo Widget 4 is a valuable tool for users of Yahoo services, and it's a helpful download for anyone who wants standalone desktop tools for regular Web activities, system information, or whatever cool feature the next great widget will offer.