The Dashboard seems in many ways to be a ghost of OS X past, but the version in Mountain Lion has enough iOS-style tweaks to make it seem like Apple’s going to keep it around. There’s a number of ways you can still put Dashboard to use, even today, and the built-in widgets and Safari web clips can make it quite useful.
Back in 2011, Josh asked if you still use Dashboard, and just under half of our readers said they don’t use it. I’d figure less of us use it today in 2013, but was curious to see.
So: do you still use Dashboard? If so, what widgets do you still use? I’m still using it for the Stocks and weather widgets, as well as Safari web clips myself.
Remember Dashboard? That area where you keep these tiny, simple widgets for converting measurements, checking sport scores and stock prices, and more? It happens to still be alive, even if you’ve likely quit paying much attention to it these days.
Is there any reason you should still use the Dashboard? Turns out, it’s still a plenty useful little Mac tool, and I’ll likely still be using it until Apple finally drops it entirely. Here’s why.
With the introduction of OS X Lion, Dashboard widgets seem to be on their way out of the OS for good. While many of us still use them everyday, lots OS X users rarely do — some of them don’t even know about Dashboard widgets. That is quite a shame, though. Dashboard widgets can be very helpful when you don’t want to fire-up a bigger app just to get one single and simple task done.
For those who still use widgets as well as those who don’t, we have a sweet list of formidable widgets you can download today. They are small, useful, and some even look really, really good. Give them a chance if you don’t already have them installed.
Remember Dashboard widgets? Long before the iOS app gold rush, there was another little burst of developer activity in the Mac community: Dashboard Widgets. These mini-apps used to be all the rage with waves of new widgets hitting Apple’s featured collection every week. These days though, despite the fact that Dashboard is still an active OS X feature, the development of third party widgets seems to have crawled to a near stopping point.
I think Apple needs to do one of two things: drop Dashboard completely (like the did with Front Row), or once again make it worth using by revitalizing the widget market. One way to do this would be to create a special section of the Mac App Store specifically for Dashboard widgets. Giving developers a central point to distribute and earn income from widget development would no doubt help give this market the boost it needs.
What do you think? Should Apple allow Dashboard widgets in the Mac App Store or would this just create a mess of low quality, barely useful clutter? We want to know your opinion! Vote in the poll and leave a rant below in the comment section.
When Dashboard widgets first debuted in OS X Tiger, I was immediately hooked. It was a lot like the precursor to iPhone app addiction. There were all these cool little utilities that performed tons of useful and entertaining functions. In no time at all I had a Dashboard full of widgets. I even went so far as to learn to break into certain widgets so I could customize the interface, add different sounds and perform other tomfoolery.
My fascination was fairly short lived. The “out of sight, out of mind” theory kicked in quickly and I soon began going entire weeks and months without so much as a glance at any of my widgets. Before long I closed them all down to save on memory.
These days I leave a few widgets open: weather, iStat and Google Analytics, but I rarely remember to check on them. However, the new Dashboard swipe gesture in Lion has reminded me to check on my old friend Dashboard more frequently.
It seems though that most developers have lost interest in the feature, even Apple doesn’t go out of their way to showcase widgets like they used to. In practice, Dashboard seems like an abandoned project but one that Apple is cautious about removing altogether. How long before Apple kills Dashboard completely or gives it a refresh good enough to bring it back into the spotlight? Perhaps a widget section of the Mac App Store could breathe new life into an old feature?
I’d like to know what you think of Dashboard. Cast your vote in the poll and let us know whether or not you even use it anymore. After that, leave a comment below with your opinions about what should be done with Dashboard. Is it fine the way it is? Should Apple abandon it? Should there be an App Store for widgets?