Tera was right. Just months after Tiger’s release, there are hundreds and hundreds of Dashboard Widgets.
Is this a case of Eye Candy vs. Functionality? Are Widgets Good, Bad, Ugly? Or much of each? Which Widgets are on your Mac? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.
Apple’s release of Tiger brought focus to eight major feature areas. Spotlight, Dashboard, Safari RSS, iChatAV, Automator, QuickTime 7, .Mac Sync, and Mail.
The media buzz centered on Spotlight, the system-wide search and display utility. While the other Tiger features garnered some media praise, it’s Dashboard that’s getting all the attention from users.
Today there are over 1,000 Dashboard Widgets listed on the Apple Widget site.
There are so many Widgets available that Apple had to revamp the site to include the many categories of Widgets. For example, you’d expect Just Added and the Top 50, right?
There are over 70 Widgets in the Blogs and Forums category. Calculate and Convert? Over 60. International (French TV, anyone?) has nearly 200 Widgets. Games? Nearly 150.
If you’re a Tiger user then you’ve seen the Widgets. Chances are good you have a few favorites. Me, too. On my 23” Cinema Display there are three dozen Widgets. 36 on one screen. That’s just on the display, the “live” Widgets.
Waiting in the wings, there are an additional 57 Widgets that are not being used. Total? 93 Widgets. What will it be like this time next year?
There are Widgets to check gasoline prices in your area. Widgets to check movie times in your area. There’s one that checks for earthquakes, another for weather, another displays a continually updating camera of Times Square or London’s Abbey Road.
With over 1,000 Dashboard Widgets in less than six months after Tiger’s release, Apple has a bona fide “eye candy” hit. A hit that sometimes breeds ugly Widgets and some very useful Widgets.
Among my favorites are SlothCam and Gas. PackageTracker is excellent at checking FedEx, UPS, DHL tracking status. So is the Weather Channel satellite map; the perfect companion to Apple’s local Weather Widget.
The list also includes Stocks, Britannica, CountdownCallendar, FlipClock, Google Image Search, iCal Events, Movie Times, and more.
“Mirror Widget is bad. If you have a camera on your Mac (iSight on mine) then you get a screen Widget that’s a mirror image of you (assumes the camera is pointing at you).”For games, well, I’m in to Reversi and Alien Hunter. There’s just something about Anime chics…
Are Widgets nothing more than Eye Candy or is there true value in having quick and easy access to so much “potential” functionality? Yes and yes. There’s bad Widgets, too.
I don’t care for Get Dilbert though I love Dilbert. I just need more than the most recent and I don’t want a Widget that takes up half the screen. AutoCrossWord Widget? Get real? 8Ball Widget? Pure eye candy and no functionality except to entertain unsuspecting friends who will now suspect you more than ever.
Pileup is a pile of XXX. VideoPoker is a fun time waster but I was never good at poker anyway. Yahoogoogle combines a search entry for both Yahoo and Google at the same time and then displays it all in your browser. There are easier ways.
NotePad is worthless. That’s what Stickies are for.
WidgeTris is one of my favorite really bad Widgets. It’s a Widget. It’s Tetris. It doesn’t work well. Neither does Mirror Widget. If you have a camera on your Mac (iSight on mine) then you get a screen Widget that’s a mirror image of you (assumes the camera is pointing at you).
That is definitely a solution looking for a problem.
What about you? Are you a Tiger user? Do you like the Widgets or not? What are your favorites? What are the worst?