Dashboard dead? Apple kills off widget app in macOS Catalina beta

Apple's neglected Dashboard app for widgets apparently won't be available in macOS Catalina.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Apple appears to have killed off the Dashboard app in the forthcoming macOS Catalina update. 

As per Appleosophy and MacRumors, the current beta for macOS Catalina no longer features the widget app, which first appeared in OS X Tiger in 2005. It includes a calendar, clock, calculator and a selection of other widgets.  

Appleosophy found that Dashboard is missing from the Launchpad interface and could not force it to be activated using Terminal. 

SEE: Top 20 Apple keyboard shortcuts for business users (free PDF)

The other missing icon in Terminal is iTunes, which Apple has also decided to abandon in place of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. 

Although Dashboard may return at some point during the developer preview of macOS Catalina, it has been demoted over the years. 

Apple in 2014 disabled it by default in OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the version that introduced widgets to the revamped Notification Center

While many macOS users won't miss Dashboard if it is removed for good, there are still some fans of the app, which offered widgets in a second screen rather than the scrollable sidebar. Others may miss the app simply for how long it's been a part of the Mac desktop experience. 

One of the favorites from Dashboard was Sticky notes. A user on MacRumor's forum notes that after updating to macOS Catalina the notes will be automatically imported to the Stickies app. 

Probably a testament to its age, Apple's page for downloading third party Dashboard widgets indicates there are currently 1,703 Dashboard widgets spanning dozens of categories. That's many times more than the widgets on the App Store for Notification Center.     


While many macOS users won't miss Dashboard if it is removed for good, there are still some fans of the app.

Image: Liam Tung/ZDNet

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