At its WWDC 2019 keynote, Apple made the somewhat surprising revelation of iPadOS along with some features that iOS users have been clamoring for for years. That included mouse support, external USB storage, and, for some, home screen widgets. The latter is something probably few expected will happen but Apple seems to have a lot of surprises in store. Including the almost ironic but unannounced death of macOS’ Dashboard feature.
Granted, Dashboard may not be one of the most popular features of macOS, going all the way back to when it was called “Mac OS X”. Launched in 2011 with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, the Dashboard offered users a sort of “second desktop” but one where they can put widgets and show on top of other windows for quick access. It has become one of the basic features of Apple’s desktop OS that, even if not as widely used, its absence is making quite some noise.
Applesophy reports that trying to summon the Dashboard in the latest beta for macOS Catalina did nothing. Even forcing that via Terminal tricks went unsuccessful. The icon for Dashboard in the Applications view was also reduced to a question mark, mirroring the now deprecated iTunes’ icon.
The writing on the wall for Dashboard started a few years back with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Apple started de-emphasizing the Dashboard back then and even disabled it by default. It has even made it harder to find the Dashboard to enable it. The next step would be to silently but unsurprisingly kill it.
There will probably be few tears shed for Dashboard, especially since many of its widgets have become outdated or supplanted by features found elsewhere. It’s just rather ironic that when Apple brings home screen widgets to iPadOS, it kills them on macOS.