Dashboard

OS X Dashboard: Apple's oft-ignored widget interface — do you use it?

OS X's Dashboard has been around for almost a decade, a repository of "Widget" mini-apps. Do you use it or do you ignore it completely?

Dashboard is a special app built into OS X that features "Widgets." These mini-applications combine HTML, CSS and JavaScript to provide limited functionality compared to full-blown applications, but still offer plenty of functionality that's only a single key-click away. Apple really hasn't made any innovations to it in years, so it's easy to ignore the Dashboard. That's probably why many of us ignore Dashboard completely, though based on my unscientific survey, many of us still depend on it daily. I know I do, which is what got me wondering if and how you use it.

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iPad mini already installed in a car dashboard, could be the perfect in-car entertainment device

The iPad mini was only available to buy yesterday but it has already found its way into a car dashboard. The guys from Soundwaves in Tampa, Florida were really on the ball with this one by pre-fabricating the necessary dashboard mods all ready for the iPad mini’s launch.

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Why Apple may be removing desktop/dashboard/widget apps from the App Store

Since the iPad launch on April 3, TiPb's been getting tips about desktop/dashboard/widget-style apps being removed first from the iPad App Store, then from the iPhone App Store as well. There are a number of examples, some well known by now, some relatively unknown. The commonality between all of them is that they've tried to somehow make the iPad or iPhone into a Mac- or PC-like screen filled with mini-apps like browsers, email clients, calculators, weather, etc.

Some look almost exactly like Apple's Mac Dashboard, other like Windows of various flavors. Others don't look like desktops at all but rather place widgets on top of photos or other, more specific backgrounds.

Devs have worked around this by using a much more restricted metaphor, like a double tiled display, or by going the Jailbreak route, or they haven't worked through it and just gotten frustrated at the opacity of the App Store review process and not known how to proceed.

I can't claim any special insight or information on this, but my best guess is that Apple is removing (or advising they will be removing since not all of them have been pulled yet) the apps for the same reason they originally didn't include cursor (arrow) keys on the Mac. It's a pretty well known story and one that's been used a few times in different commentaries on the iPhone and iPad and Apple's direction thereof, but it bears repeating.

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Apple removes Dashboard-style apps from iPad App Store

Here are the first (to our knowledge) class of apps to get removed from the brand new iPad App Store: Dashboards.

Desktop, for example, no longer shows up via its iTunes link.

These apps leveraged the large iPad display to offer multiple windows and mini-apps/widgets to get around some of iPhone 3.2's 3rd party multitasking constraints.

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Mac OS X-style Dashboard App for iPad

TechCrunch links up Carnegie Mellon student Richard Hong and his pretty much pixel-perfect looking rendition of Apple's Mac OS X Dashboard widget platform... on the iPad! The video shows not only the widgets working, but being added from the web and managed on the iPad as well.

We don't know if Hong will submit this to the App Store, and given that the rights to many if not all those widgets are owned by other people, we're not even sure if it could be submitted, but we do know we'd like to see something like that from Apple. Hey, it's been rumored. If not, an old-school "desktop" style app using another, open widget platform would be nifty to see as well.

Video after the break. (Tap the link below the box if you're on your iPhone or iPod touch).

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