Inside OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Dashboard gets iOS-style widget organization

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Comments

  • hank_ehank_e Posts: 7member
    I use my dashboard a lot to get a quick snapshot. I love it like I love the Notifications center on my iOS. I use it the same. But with Lion dashboard became relegated to that awful background of grey. I started to feel depressed about using Dashboard. That grey veil would shut out everything in the background and I felt shut away from my tasks.



    Your article with the one hint about how to return the background back to Tiger days was the highlight of my evening as I replaced that translucent visual Dashboard back!



    Thanks AI!
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,465member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    The whole thing is a disorganized mess. Dashboard, Launchpad, Mission Control, Spaces. Come on!



    Eh, not really. All those things tie in together pretty elegantly, but are separate functions.



    Launchpad= iOS style application launcher. Personally, I love it.

    Dashboard= widgets

    Mission control= central desktop/window organization.



    Spaces is gone. Its part of MC. Not sure what part of this is disorganized. Also, gestures work brilliantly.
  • povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I have no use for Launchpad as a way to find apps ? don't suspect many longtime or "power" users do ? but this addition to Widgets is nice. Much better than the previous setup and exactly what this UI within a UI needed. Now if only they would invest in some updated Widget APIs and refine the rest of Dashboard while they're at it.



    What the hell with the 'power users' again? What is wrong in pressing damn LaunchPad icon and launching an app, power user or not you still need to open apps to use them.
  • nofear1aznofear1az Posts: 209member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I have no use for Launchpad as a way to find apps ? don't suspect many longtime or "power" users do ? but this addition to Widgets is nice. Much better than the previous setup and exactly what this UI within a UI needed. Now if only they would invest in some updated Widget APIs and refine the rest of Dashboard while they're at it.



    that's you, I'm a "power" user and love and use Launchpad all the time. I suspect maybe you use Spotlight mostly eh. Yah, that's fine too but, I prefer Launchpad over opening the HD | then Applications and then looking at tiny icons for what I want to open.
  • nofear1aznofear1az Posts: 209member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Feynman View Post


    Am I the only one in thinking that it would be nice if these widgets could be used on top of the existing UI? If I need quick access to say a calculator then I should be able to press the hot key to bring that up while still being able to use all the documents on hand. Maybe that's why I don't use them. It takes an extra minute to launch the widget then to get back to what I am doing, then to maybe use the widget again. In that time I could just launch the Calculator app and it will stay open till I am done with it.



    Did you miss the part in the article where it said in ML you will be able to have widgets on top of the existing UI again!? Look at the last screenshot..
  • big macbig mac Posts: 480member
    It's nice to see that Apple is still giving some of its attention to Mac widgets, but it's a feature on life support until Apple relaunches the feature on the developer side. The current Apple site for distributing widgets doesn't allow for developers to update them anymore. It's been left out in the cold because of iOS mania I suppose, which is unfortunate because people (both users and developers) really liked widgets when the first came on the scene.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Povilas View Post


    What the hell with the 'power users' again? What is wrong in pressing damn LaunchPad icon and launching an app, power user or not you still need to open apps to use them.



    What part of "[I] don't suspect many longtime or "power" users [use Launchpad]" is saying that's it's wrong? It's simply an observation about longterm usage habits not being easily broken. I've clearly stated Launchpad is useful and has its purpose but that I suspect that not many users who are use to Macs are using it much for launching apps.
  • pbpb Posts: 4,208member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post


    Did you miss the part in the article where it said in ML you will be able to have widgets on top of the existing UI again!? Look at the last screenshot..



    I think he means something different, that is to go to the next level where the normal desktop and Dashboard merge. So, Dashboard would not be just an extra isolated layer on top of your Desktop without communication between the two, but a set of small utilities you can invoke and use without interrupting data transfer to and from the documents you have open on your normal Desktop. The idea is to be able to directly exchange data between Dashboard and normal applications like you do between normal applications through the GUI.
  • kymchakymcha Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    The whole thing is a disorganized mess. Dashboard, Launchpad, Mission Control, Spaces. Come on!



    agreed !
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    The whole thing is a disorganized mess. Dashboard, Launchpad, Mission Control, Spaces. Come on!



    Mission Control replaces Spaces, Dashboard provides widgets, and Launchpad is sort of like the many third-party quick-launch tools such as QuickSilver. They all have different purposes.



    Personally, I wouldn't qualify the collection of task/widget/workspace management functions in OS X as 'a big mess'. When Launchpad was added I dismissed it as a clunky, unnecessary toy-tool that I would never use instead of QuickSilver, but since I've bought the magic trackpad, I use it all the time, simply because with that I can launch apps faster than by hitting ctrl-space and typing the name. One gesture to open it, at most one gesture to get to the app I want to launch, one click to launch it.



    Dashboard itself I could qualify as a big mess, I never used it and I will probably never do. I just don't see the added value of pile of gimped apps that all come up at the same time covering whatever I was doing. I'd rather switch to a dedicated app with a rich interface to see whatever I want to see. Maybe it's just me, I have exactly the same opinion on widgets on phones and tablets, to me they are gimmicks, nothing more.



    The one thing I would say is 'a big mess' on OS X is the finder, it has been terrible since day one and it has hardly improved.
  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,650member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post


    Did you miss the part in the article where it said in ML you will be able to have widgets on top of the existing UI again!? Look at the last screenshot..



    1.) You misinterpreted what Feynman was trying to say, as explained by PB.



    2.) You don't have to wait for ML "to have widgets on top of the existing UI again" - in Lion just open Mission Control preferences and deselect "Show Dashboard as a space".
  • timgriff84timgriff84 Posts: 907member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    The whole thing is a disorganized mess. Dashboard, Launchpad, Mission Control, Spaces. Come on!



    I completely agree. I do like Launchpad but can't help but think in every other update we get a different place to open app from, while retaining all of them. I do also sometimes think, isn't this just like when you opened an app from the desktop, but with big icons?



    Mission control is just far to over the top. I never used Spaces as I never have that many programs open, and it seems weird in the release that's promoting full screen apps there's something else promoting having your windows on multiple virtual desktops.



    Changing the default for dashboard to open in a new screen was also an awful idea. I only use it for the calculator, but now when you want to quickly add something up, the things your trying to add up disapear! If there going to be in a seperate space, they might as well just be normal apps.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Is anyone thinking what I'm thinking? ie. the dashboard becoming a space for native iOS apps?



    No just you, I can't think of anything worse. Dashboard is meant for very simple apps that are small and only accessed for a short space of time and need to be accessed quickly. Some iOS apps may fall into this category, but the idea of giving someone the ability to install a full on game into dashboard is just insane.
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


    Mission control is just far to over the top. I never used Spaces as I never have that many programs open, and it seems weird in the release that's promoting full screen apps there's something else promoting having your windows on multiple virtual desktops.



    Actually, full screen apps integrate very nicely with Mission Control, as they will all get their own desktop space. This allows you to have multiple full-screen apps open and still be able to switch between them without reverting to windowed mode, and you can keep your own desktop spaces organized for non-fullscreen apps. I cannot really think of a better way to have multiple desktops, windowed applications and full-screen applications all at the same time. When I'm programming in XCode for example, I have the XCode GUI full-screen, the organizer on the desktop to the right, a browser and terminal to the left, and a fourth desktop to procrastrinate ;-). A single 3-finger swipe gets me to one of my 'working spaces', while I can still move around applications to the fourth desktop using MC.



    Personally, I think Mission Control is the best feature introduced in OS X since as long as I can remember. I've used many desktop managers on Windows and Linux, but eventually I always ended up with 5 empty workspaces, and one workspace with all my windows. Moving around windows, rearranging desktops and figuring out which applications live on what desktop always turned into a click and drag fest, to the point it started to be counter-productive. With Mission Control 1 gesture is sufficient to get an overview of everything, and rearranging and moving around Windows is as easy as it gets.
  • brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    The whole thing is a disorganized mess. Dashboard, Launchpad, Mission Control, Spaces. Come on!



    I don't think so. I quite prefer MC over Spaces. The only wrinkle is how Expose doesn't show minimized windows...
  • chadisawesomechadisawesome Posts: 108member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post


    that's you, I'm a "power" user and love and use Launchpad all the time. I suspect maybe you use Spotlight mostly eh. Yah, that's fine too but, I prefer Launchpad over opening the HD | then Applications and then looking at tiny icons for what I want to open.



    I press cntrl+space on my keyboard, type the first two letters of whatever program I want to open, and press enter. Spotlight is the fastest way to launch anything I want with never having to take my hands off the keyboard
  • feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post


    Did you miss the part in the article where it said in ML you will be able to have widgets on top of the existing UI again!? Look at the last screenshot..



    I guess I did, thanks!
  • brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post


    I press cntrl+space on my keyboard, type the first two letters of whatever program I want to open, and press enter. Spotlight is the fastest way to launch anything I want with never having to take my hands off the keyboard



    I prefer Alfred.
  • sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    As much as I love OS X it does seem like OS X is now about following iOS, without a real overall, integrated sense of its own evolution.
  • sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    1.) You misinterpreted what Feynman was trying to say, as explained by PB.



    2.) You don't have to wait for ML "to have widgets on top of the existing UI again" - in Lion just open Mission Control preferences and deselect "Show Dashboard as a space".



    Ah, thank you. This is the kind of path I hope OS X will not lose. I know, ironically it was what it used to be?



    I know, it's getting late, sentence construction left me, it has.
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