Developer recreates old Apple dashboard widgets on website


Although Apple killed his beloved Dashboard widget in 2019, a savvy developer has created a way for us to travel back in time and experience that old nostalgia for Apple.

Friday, developer Zane Kleinberg unveiled a website which perfectly recreates classic Apple dashboard widgets. Kleinberg said that when he learned that widgets were made entirely from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, he decided to bring them back. The website, which is reminiscent of the still-dead dashboard, so far only includes five widgets, including the world clock, calculator, tile puzzle, stickers, and unit converter. In the modern Apple world, widgets can be found in the macOS Big Sur Notification Center.

The website is accessible on desktop and mobile, although Kleinberg recommends that you use it on desktop for the best experience. When you access the website on your phone, you will still get the same effect except the widgets will be stacked vertically instead of horizontally.

The developer told Gizmodo via direct messages on Twitter that he has yet to complete the project. Its goal is to integrate it into a fully functional version of the dashboard.

“First of all, I think there is something beautiful about reviving software that gives people a sense of nostalgia (and that always serves a purpose). I grew up seeing these widgets everyday and when I learned how they were built I just had to bring them back, ”Kleinberg said. “It’s also quite remarkable that software designed 15 years ago is still working! Second, it’s evolving – I’m motivated enough to recreate the full dashboard experience in all its glory. This is only the first evolution that I have developed.

Playing with Kleinberg’s website is pretty fun. The widgets all work, correctly calculating the size of my apartment from square feet to square feet and keeping track of the time in Cupertino, CA, where Apple’s headquarters are located (although you can change the city). As for the tile puzzle, well you can all see from the screenshot above that yours is really bad for puzzles and basically gave up after a few minutes. I can always say it’s art.

There is no doubt that many Mac users will remember the Dashboard and its widgets. It was introduced over 10 years ago in version 10.4 Tiger, back when Apple called macOS OS X. Over the years it has become apparent that Dashboard’s popularity has waned, no doubt aided by Apple. – even when he disabled Dashboard by default in macOS 10.10 Yosemite in 2014.

Nonetheless, as we all know, just because something loses mainstream interest doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have big fans. Plus, who isn’t looking for some cool, well-constructed Apple Relics?

“So I hope [visitors] taking away an appreciation for the little things that bring us joy and give us feelings of longing, ”Kleinberg said. “Plus, how impressive it is that old software is still fully usable and that what was once dead can be brought back to life in all its glory. “


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