Stephen Hackett: ‘Apple Should Bring Back Dashboard’

Stephen Hackett, writing at 512 Pixels:

Apple killed off Dashboard at exactly the wrong time. Just one year after Catalina killed Dashboard, Apple started allowing developers to bring their iOS widgets over to the Mac in macOS Big Sur. Sadly, they all got stuffed into the slide-out Notification Center user interface.

Notification Center is a real mess. Even on a Pro Display XDR, you get three visible notifications. That’s it. Anything older is hidden behind a button, regardless of how many widgets you may have in the lower section of the Notification Center column.

Apple needs to rethink this and let this new class of widgets breathe, being able to use the entire screen like the widgets of yore could. Bringing back Dashboard is an obvious solution here, and I’d love to see it make a return.

It’s really interesting that the modern SwiftUI widgets are compatible across MacOS and both flavors of iOS (iPhone and iPad). But forcing them into Notification Center on MacOS is poorly considered. The Mac has bigger displays than any iPad, yet has less screen real estate for visible widgets than an iPhone. I also think today’s widgets are going to get more useful with each successive year (interactive elements, etc.).

Bringing back Dashboard would be one solution. Hackett links to an interesting thread on Twitter where other ideas are being tossed out, like putting them on the desktop or inside Launchpad. Apple really needs to do something on this front. Widgets are good and useful.

Thursday, 20 January 2022