My routine for Mac OS X’s Dashboard Widgets has been simple and pure. Avoid them at all costs.
2,600 Widgets make for worthless utility shopping; much ado over not much. Until today. Finally, A Widget that’s worthwhile.
Allow me to back up a moment. I’m not a fan of Mac OS X’s ubiquitous eye candy utilities—Dashboard Widgets. Why? What’s to like?
Most Widgets don’t do much, certainly not as much as regular Mac utilities, and they take up valuable system resources. Yes, your mileage may vary.
I’ve devoted little time to Widgets other than weather maps, current temperatures, and stock prices. Out of over 2,600 Widgets, that’s about the best I’ve seen.
Widgets are coming to Apple’s new iPhone, too. That tidbit of knowledge lit a little fire under my curiosity buttock, and I thought I’d take a look at recent Widgets.
The one thing I like about the Dashboard and Widgets is the ability to assign a “hot spot” on my Mac’s screen. All I need do is move my mouse pointer to the upper left corner, and it’s Widget Heaven.
Of course, there’s not much there. Weather. Weather radar. Stock prices. Calendar. Watch Mouse. Package Tracker. Say Cheese (daily dose of Dilbert).
Hmmm. Come to think of it, that’s almost half a screen full on a 23-inch Cinema Display. Still, I’m into efficiency and don’t want worthless Widgets to get in the way of my productivity.
It’s a flick of the wrist, a quick glance here and there, and back to work.
That’s the way God intended Widgets to behave.
Widgets on the iPhone are a natural extension of tools we could use, as much for visual stimulation as information. That’s what got me to thinking…
What else is out there that could benefit from my “flick the wrist” motion to invoke the few Widgets that meet The Mincey Seal Of Approval?
Here’s one that smacked me in the face. VoteWatch.
As with most Widgets, VoteWatch is free. It’s also descriptively titled. VoteWatch tracks the recent votes on various bills in the US Senate and House of Representatives.
Enter a zip code and you get a statewide view of how your Senators and Congresspeople voted on specific bills. At the right time of year, that could be handy for the politically minded.
What’s next? Poll results for the presidential runs by Clinton, Obama, McCain, Romney, Guiliani, and company? Why not? Widgets will be wonderful during elections.
This one Widget got me to thinking about iPhone. Weather? Sure. Stocks? Naturally. How about a traffic Widget for current conditions by zip code? Would that be cool in an iPhone, or what?
Forget terrestrial radio in your car. Forget XM and Sirius satellite radio in your car? What about a radio Widget in your iPhone? See where this is going?
I’m the Mac360 Darth Vader of Widgets. I don’t care for them, don’t use many, haven’t found much value—until now. Added to an iPhone, Widgets open up new avenues of value.
Let’s not argue over the value of Widgets to Mac OS X. We all have a favorite or two, and plenty we hate and would never use. But, the iPhone opens up a whole new mobile world of Widget Mobility™ right?
What kind of Widgets would you like to see on an iPhone? As usual, your wisdom and perspective are appreciated and ready for public promotion via the Comments section below.