Anyone else not like Dashboard?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I honestly thought I'd like it, but after using it for a while, I don't. I don't like the fact that these things are scattered all over the screen when you open it up. Why do I need to see the weather and everything else when I only want to look at a stickie? I don't like the fact that you can't interact with any other apps when you're using Dashboard. I don't understand why there's so much duplication between regular apps and widgets (calculator, iTunes, address book, dictionary etc.). What's wrong with using the regular apps?



If it was a "don't like it? don't use it" situation, that would be one thing, but there's no simple way for a typical user to quit the thing. Apple has made this a core aspect of their OS.



It sounded like a good idea, but it just doesn't work, IMO. Who's with me?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    don't use it... oh wait you said that.

    How 'bout; Just use stickies then?



    I actually agree, I'd rather have these as separate apps. I could use one by one and turn off and on. I have no need for lots of small apps clouding all of my screen. I use it as network control-board, with only network info widgets. But it's hardly any good.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    The thing that I don't like is that the Widgets take quite a few seconds to update before I can use them or select them. I too thought it would be more useful.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    They are all seperate apps. There's a calculator on your computer, and a stickies app, and an address book, etc.



    For users who enjoy getting all that with a single button, Dashboard is a wet dream come true.



    For you, you can still do things the old way. Pull the Dashboard out of the dock and never open it, and it won't use any resources at all.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    danielctulldanielctull Posts: 586member
    I like it for various useful widgets, like the network ones, dictionary, stickies and world clock to tell what time you yanks are on.



    I just don't like how it functions....



    In all honesty I could live without the network utilities and probably a lot of the widgets out there. A little dictionary/theresaurus search in the right of the menu bar, kind of like spotlight. In fact I prefer little menu bar icons to do things. They're always there to click on and they always show you the essential information.



    But of course menu apps or whatever can't be as easily made by anyone that knows html, and they don't look as nice as widgets...
  • Reply 5 of 43
    jwink3101jwink3101 Posts: 739member
    i think the concept is okay. At first i used it for everything when i first got tiger. My only rule was the the widget i used could not use CPU when Dashboard was not activated.



    I have started using it much less than i used to. Mostly to save ram and bandwidth. The ones i always have on is the the weather and the dictionary. I take out a stopwatch and sometimes i take out a leave out a countdown timer. I tend to put them away when i'm finished.



    I use the dashboard stickeys for really important stuff that i need to be reminded of often (breath, stop playing with computer, get a life, those types of things). Otherwise, it is just cool and something to say, "Look was OS X has natively"



    I am always on the lookout though for new and useful widgets so i subscribe to feed://www.dashboardwidgets.com/feeds/showcase.php
  • Reply 6 of 43
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    To the contrary, I like dashboard a lot. If I need to check something really quickly, its much easier to just press F12 than look for and open the file. Also, some information cannot be found in a paralel file, for instance, translation, phonebook, weather, flight tracker, and many more that don't come bunddled in Mac OS X. If I need all my CPU and RAM free for big computing, encoding, photoshop, etc.; I can just close all of the widgets open. In addition, widgets do not waste bandwith at all. They only refresh as you re-open dashboard...which is why there is a momentary pause sometimes when you are re-opening dashboard. If there is anything I dislike about dashboard, its that it DOES take that time to reload when you press F12.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    code mastercode master Posts: 344member
    They need to put a sensor in the F12 key so that it can start refreshing as your finger is approaching!



    I like it though because it keeps all those little apps out of my way when I'm not using them. Some of the widgets are pretty bad (*cough* stickies), but there are some nice ones out there that I find useful.



    My computer is slow (G4 400) but I've got gobs of ram and haven't noticed any resource drain. My problem is that the opening and closing of dashboard gets choppy the more I have open.



    One irritant to me is that to close a widget you have to click the add widget button. I'd like to option drag to make a copy of one, and control click for more options like close.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Code Master

    One irritant to me is that to close a widget you have to click the add widget button. I'd like to option drag to make a copy of one, and control click for more options like close.



    Try option rather than control.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    code mastercode master Posts: 344member
    Well, isn't that sweet
  • Reply 10 of 43
    digitaldavedigitaldave Posts: 445member
    When I first got Tiger, I was all excited about Dashboard and Widgets. Now, I'm not so sure it's really useful for me .



    As has been said, some of the widgets are already available as apps, and the ones that aren't I don't have much of a need for. Flight tracker, for example - it's a fun thing to do, but not something I would want to have sitting in the dashboard using up RAM all the time.



    The problem with some of the widgets that are already apps is that they don't seem to add any new functionality . For example, the address book widget enables you to look up addresses, nothing more - well, for the frequency I do this, it's no big deal to open the address book app, find what I'm after, then close it again when finished.



    However, there are some other widgets that I could see being more useful for me - someone has written a variation of the Yellow Pages widget to look up in the UK's version, Yell.co.uk. But I'm still not convinced.



    Finally, there are some, like the world clock, whose functionality could be provided outside the dashboard, in the regular work space. For example, I would imagine that it could be possible to change the menu bar clock to display an extra time zone. But as danielctull said, it's a lot simpler to make a widget than an app .



    As for the argument that they are useful if you want to check something quickly... is your life really so time dependant that you can't take a few seconds more to open an app, check the info, then close it? Slow down .
  • Reply 11 of 43
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    i think the point here is that, it's a "nice to have," but it seems, by and large, many folks are not finding it a "need to have." and that distinction is VERY user-centric. like, for example, i would use dashboard a lot more if it was easier to keep stuff like stickies visibleat all times, or most of the time. yes, you can trick the widgets to staying visible, but as soon as you invoke dashboard again, they get swallowed up by the layer and disappear. i hate that. others love it.



    it's also a very different other-world (as gruber pointed out on daringfireball.net, required reading for anyone, period), the dashboard is actually controlled by the dock. and that "dashboard" icon is total smoke and mirrors, since the dashboard is a constantly running process under control of the dock, not an app you can quit. but hey, it's handy i guess for people who must have an icon to click on for everything.



    and the visual design of the widgets, even from apple themselves, is all over the map. because of this "it's anything you want it to be" design philosophy, there's no way to see quickly scan widgets (because they are ALL screaming for your attention), or which widget is frontmost (which apparently does still count, even in dahsboard -- for example, you can start typing in what you THINK is the translation widget, but it might not be in the front. the only quick way to find out what's in front is to hit command-r to refresh the frontmost widget, or throw in an extra click). and how there are absolutely no rules over where that little, tiny "i" is to set preferences, and not all widgets have it. and i wish there was a grid to snap widgets to, or some sort of auto-sort/scale widgets so they didn't dogpile on top of each other, but hell, that' slike designing an expose JUST WITHIN dashboard, and the concept of that makes my head hurt.



    like i said, it's nice to know it's there, but i really don't find myself using it very much. i know apple said tiger will be the last upadte for a while, but i think they may make some substantial improvements to dashboard through the incremental updates over time (or at least i hope so).
  • Reply 12 of 43
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I find it rather odd that computer users are fond of writing a technology off at the beginning. Hell look at the first OS X version and look now. Things improve greatly over time. What I'm most interested in is the concept. Is the "concept" of Dashboard viable? My answer to that is a resounding yes.



    I fully expect performance and functionality to improve wih Webcore improvements and better use of bandwidth and memory. I want to use less keystrokes and Dashboard will accomplish that for my needs and allow me to run a nice tidy Dock.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    and the visual design of the widgets, even from apple themselves, is all over the map. because of this "it's anything you want it to be" design philosophy, there's no way to see quickly scan widgets (because they are ALL screaming for your attention), or which widget is frontmost (which apparently does still count, even in dahsboard



    I personally think the different colours make it a lot easier to pick out which one you want; clock is black, yellow pages is yellow, iCal is red. I scan and choose the right colour, and this will only get better the more you use it. Also it allows developers to show their individual style and get away with it, more so as the more it differs from something else the easier it is to pick it out...



    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    I find it rather odd that computer users are fond of writing a technology off at the beginning. Hell look at the first OS X version and look now. Things improve greatly over time. What I'm most interested in is the concept. Is the "concept" of Dashboard viable? My answer to that is a resounding yes.



    Whilst I use it maybe once a week, for dictionary lookups mainly, I can see dashboard being extremely useful. I like to think of this thread as complete constructive criticism (whether read by Apple or not). Of course it's going to have varied response among people, but the fact so many people are unhappy with it, means it's not right - and why should anyone to expect it to be right first time for that matter.



    Simply, I'd love to use dashboard more, but it's not right for me yet.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by danielctull

    I personally think the different colours make it a lot easier to pick out which one you want; clock is black, yellow pages is yellow, iCal is red. I scan and choose the right colour, and this will only get better the more you use it. Also it allows developers to show their individual style and get away with it, more so as the more it differs from something else the easier it is to pick it out...



    wehn it comes to user interfaces, though, uniformity is key, otherwise you have a lot of difficulty designating important points of interest. seriously, the bright red ical widget and the yellow yellow pages and orange calculator catch your eye first, even if you're looking for the time and the black clocks. that's just a fact, and it's inefficient in terms of a user interface. a user interface isn't supposed to be a billboard-lined streets to show off differenet developers aesthetic tastes. i have worked with developers who thought that every button needed a different color and icon to make it "stand out," to the point where the screen is a cacophony of fruit flavors, and you lose any emphasis you were aiming to achieve. but hey, apple gave up on uniformity of interface when they abandoned platinum os 9, and have changed elements, user interfaces, arrangement of toolbars and commands ever since, with every new release. some might say they are improving with every step, but i propose that they are simply troubleshooting their interface for various apps, throwing stuff at a wall and seeing what sticks.



    i dunno... maybe i should just shut up. last time a user interface thread got opened up, we lost half of our active roster fromt he ill-feelings of those resulting posts.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing dashboard off, just saying that as it stands, I personally don't have much use for it . I'm sure it will develop over time as people come up with more ideas about how to use it.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    spyderspyder Posts: 170member
    Not much left to say that hasn't already been said. I imagine in a couple of years it will be a pretty standard/useful thing. The only thing I use it for is Weather and some Dictionary lookups every now and then. And Apple really needs to try and get the design under control, as others have said. It's all over the place, and some of them are just butt ugly. Maybe Apple just wanted to get Dashboard out in the open so they'd have some time to improve it immensely before Longhorn?
  • Reply 17 of 43
    mpmoriartympmoriarty Posts: 289member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    wehn it comes to user interfaces, though, uniformity is key, otherwise you have a lot of difficulty designating important points of interest. seriously, the bright red ical widget and the yellow yellow pages and orange calculator catch your eye first, even if you're looking for the time and the black clocks. that's just a fact, and it's inefficient in terms of a user interface. a user interface isn't supposed to be a billboard-lined streets to show off differenet developers aesthetic tastes. i have worked with developers who thought that every button needed a different color and icon to make it "stand out," to the point where the screen is a cacophony of fruit flavors, and you lose any emphasis you were aiming to achieve. but hey, apple gave up on uniformity of interface when they abandoned platinum os 9, and have changed elements, user interfaces, arrangement of toolbars and commands ever since, with every new release. some might say they are improving with every step, but i propose that they are simply troubleshooting their interface for various apps, throwing stuff at a wall and seeing what sticks.



    i dunno... maybe i should just shut up. last time a user interface thread got opened up, we lost half of our active roster fromt he ill-feelings of those resulting posts.




    Personally, I would think dashboard would be pretty boring if all the widgets looked alike. By letting a developer get "creative" with widgets allows one widget to stand out from the other.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    brent1abrent1a Posts: 42member
    I'm still running 10.3.9 and I am going thru posts to decide whether or not to spend the time to switch....yet. I was curious the other week about Dashboard in particular so I dl'd Konfabulator to see what Dashboard may be like.

    Damn, it it freakin annoying. I'm sure Dashboard is better than Konfabulator but it can't be by much. Functionally they sound exactly the same and since that's the case then I know one thing I'd never be using. I mean, I already crowd up my screen doing day to day things let alone popping up dashboard just to check my weather. Holy crap I already have WeatherMenu for that and it's always visible....no buttons to push! Running Butler all I have to do is CTRL-SPACE and type WEBS and Webster Dict/Thesaurus pops right up so I don't need that widget either. Then I have MenuMeters so don't need a CPU/Network tracking widget either. Me thinks I'll be sticking with 10.3.9 until at least 10.4.3. Because so far, Spotlight and Dashboard just don't peak my interests and a 4 or 5% performance gain just doesn't give me enough motivation to spend an afternoon going from Panther to Tiger.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    I wish I could quit Dashboard and then relaunch it when I needed it again, and it would reload all my widgets into memory.



    I mean, with ten widgets open, it's taking like 100MB of memory.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Placebo





    I mean, with ten widgets open, it's taking like 100MB of memory.




    Do you have any pageouts (check Activity Monitor under Memory)? If not, then that memory use isn't hurting you one bit. It is just making Dashboard come up Snappy® when you invoke it.
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