We’ve had Tiger for a while now. Even though there’s still lots to explore under the hood (and leverage for application building), some of its marque features, such as Dashboard, are beginning to feel as comfortable as an old pair of jeans.
I’ve been thinking though — beyond the initial excitement over Dashboard, does it have staying power as an useful tool? My own experience has been up and down. At first I set up my wall of widgets with great enthusiasm, only to be distracted by other things, then to get excited again when a new widget comes along that I like.
My bread and butter widgets are what you would expect: weather, stock quotes, Thesaurus, baseball scores. I seldom launch Apple’s calculator app these days because it’s more handy to use the simple one included with Dashboard. And I’m enjoying many of the third party widgets too, such as Wikipedia and Ambrosia’s envelope printer.
There are also actual sysadmin and dev tools, such as RegexToolbox (regular expression parser & evaluator), IP Widget (shows your internal or external IP address), AirPort Radar (quickly scanning for wireless networks — love this one!), Firewall Switch (check if your firewall is on, and switch it on or off), and Hashes (computes SHA1, SHA, MD5, and RMD160 hash values).
It’s true, Dashboard might not be my favorite Tiger feature, but I would miss it if it were gone. And I really like the opportunity it provides developers to promote their enterprise and products. So not only is Dashboard as comfortable as old jeans, it’s just as valued.