Pokki: put Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and other web services right in your Windows taskbar


You do not need a crystal ball to foresee that Facebook, Twitter, your friends, your contacts, your email, your news sources, all of these (and others) are going to become permanent fixtures on your PC’s desktop (and your tablet, and your smartphone, etc.)

But why wait? Pokki is free Windows software that can do this today, namely, insert your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and other services right into your Windows taskbar. But what’s surprising is that it does it beautifully, in a way that makes complete and total intuitive sense, and works remarkably well.

Pokki also allows developers to build their own Pokkis HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, and share this via the … Pokki Store (naturally).

I’ve recently started forcing myself to use social media; readers will see a Twitter widget in this site’s sidebar, and I am checking Facebook at least twice a week (vs. the previous once every blue moon). Those of us who find social media tiresome, it seems, are few and far between.

Pokki Screenshot1 - TwitterPokki Screenshot2 - Facebook

To make my life easier, I am experimenting with a few social media desktop clients, and then I chanced upon Pokki and – wow – I am very impressed. Not only are these little apps pretty, but they have a very user friendly interface, and they integrate in seamlessly into Windows. The little taskbar icons work really well and feel like they were simply meant to be there.

Some notes:

  • My favorite Pokkis: Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, RSS Headlines. The weather app, which I was also interested in did not work for some reason, unfortunately.
  • Resource usage: depends on how many apps you install. Generally speaking, Pokki seems to take up slightly less memory than a typical web browser (which is not insignificant, around 100 megs or so).
  • Remembers your authentication info: across sessions.
  • Displays little numbers: on the taskbar icons themselves, to denote new, unviewed items
  • Quick account switching: do you, like me, have multiple Twitter accounts, multiple gMail accounts, etc? Pokki Apps let you quickly switch from one to the other, via dropdown menus, without having to reenter your authentication info.

Wish list:

  • I wish it were possible to optionally set up separate Pokki icons for separate accounts, rather than having to switch back and forth. For example, a button for each of my two Gmail accounts.
  • More services (more social networks, support for more webmail services (e.g. Yahoo). This doubtlessly will happen once the program is more widespread.

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: a really nice addition to your desktop. The apps are well designed and work really well, and the program offers the infrastructure for a community to coalesce around this platform, by enabling anyone who can work with HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript to create and share their own apps.

Overall, Highly recommended.

Version tested: v 0.232 (I think).

Compatibility: Windows 7 (at the moment, Windows XP and Vista support promised in the future).

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx. 972K). Start with any featured Pokki and the platform will be installed on your system.