Developer Recreates Apple’s Old Dashboard Widgets on a Website


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

On Friday, developer Zane Kleinberg unveiled a website that recreates Apple’s classic Dashboard widgets perfectly. Kleinberg said that when he learned that the widgets were made entirely out of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, he decided to bring them back. The website, which is reminiscent of the actual still-dead Dashboard, only includes five widgets for now, including world clock, calculator, tile puzzle, stickies, and unit converter. In modern day Apple world, widgets can be found in the notification center in macOS Big Sur.

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

The developer told Gizmodo via Twitter direct messages that he’s not done with the project just yet. His goal is to built it into a fully functioning version of the Dashboard.

“First, I think there’s something beautiful in reviving pieces of software that give people a feeling of nostalgia (and still serve a purpose). I grew up seeing these widgets daily and when I learned how they were built I just had to bring them back,” Kleinberg said. “It’s also quite remarkable that pieces of software designed 15 years ago still operate! Second, it’s evolving—I’m pretty motivated recreate the full Dashboard experience in all its glory. This is just the first evolution I worked up.”

Playing around with Kleinberg’s website is pretty fun. The widgets all work, correctly calculating the size of my apartment from square meters to square feet and keeping track of the time in Cupertino, California, where Apple is headquartered (although you can change the city). As for the tile puzzle, well, you all can see from the screenshot above that yours truly is really bad at 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 more than 10 years in version 10.4 Tiger, back when Apple used to refer to macOS as OS X. Throughout the years, it appeared that popularity for Dashboard faded, no doubt aided by Apple itself when it turned off Dashboard by default in macOS 10.10 Yosemite in 2014.

Nonetheless, as we all know, just because something loses the interest of the mainstream doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have big fans. Besides, who isn’t down for some cool, well-built Apple relics?

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



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