Dashboard Widgets. The Mac OS X utilities that we love to look at, love to collect, love to complain about, and seldom use.
Here’s my list of the most used Widgets on my Mac and why. It’s not a pretty list.
It’s hard to argue against this: most Dashboard Widgets are nothing more than solutions looking for a problem. Pure eye candy.
It’s also hard to admit it, but most of us have a few Widgets that we love, use regularly, and would like more of.
Widescreen Macs. Thousands of Widgets. Out of the multitudes of colorful Mac OS X candy for the masses, the short list of Widgets is very short indeed.
Apple’s Dashboard web site has over two dozen Widget categories, thousands of Widgets, and poor old Carol has to struggle to name 10 that I like and use.
See if my list compares well to yours, then tell us which Widgets you’re using, actually using each day. This isn’t my collection. It’s the list of Widgets I use daily.
#10 – The Onion
I’m a sucker for a little humor to start my day. That, and caffeine. The Onion Widget gets you the latest headlines from the online Onion site. Satire is a wonderful way to start a day of protracted cynicism.
#9 – Say Cheese
If the Onion is satirical, then a daily dose of Calvin and Hobbes, Shoe, Dilbert, and friends is my sugar fix. Say Cheese delivers the comics each day via the Dashboard on my Mac.
#8 – pCalc
If you’re a DragThing user, then you know about pCalc. It’s the calculator Apple should provide with Mac OS X, but wisely provides Dashboard Widgets instead.
#7 – Radar in Motion
Jack used to work in TV and did on air weather forecasts, so I’m a sucker for weather watching. Radar in Motion does the trick instantly. Radar of St. Louis is a never ending change in weather—by the minute.
#6 – Package Tracker
Granted, I don’t use Package Tracker every day, so it may not qualify for daily use, but when a package is coming via FedEx, UPS, or DHL, this is what I use instead of their respective web sites.
#5 – Countdown Calendar
Countdown Calendar is instant practical fun. How cool is this? It isn’t so much a daily reminder as it is a reminder that life is going by at a blistering pace. For example, only 12 more days until the next Macworld San Francisco.
#4 – Sing That iTunes
My memory isn’t what it used to be and neither are my ears. I crank up iTunes while I’m on my Mac, plug in the head phones so no one else is bothered by my beat of a different drummer, and click Sing That iTunes when I can’t remember the words. Don’t tell me you remember all the lyrics to all the music on your iTunes music.
#3 – Menu Butler
What else can I say? I like anything that works with a single click. Menu Butler adds menu icons with a click. It’s free. It’s handy. It works.
#2 – Movie Showtime
I used Yahoo’s movie schedule listings for many years. Click, click, click, click. With Showtime I don’t even have to click.
#1 – Tie: Weather, iCal Events, Stocks
Hey, these Dashboard Widgets get used everyday, multiple times. In St. Louis, the weather changes by the hour. iCal Events is a natural extension of iCal and much faster than launching. Stocks? Of course it’s important to see how much money I’m losing before lunch.
What’s the problem with my list of Dashboard Widgets? What’s running in your Dashboard?