It had a long run, but it seems in the next major release of macOS—macOS Catalina—Apple is finally killing off its Dashboard feature once and for all.
For those not familiar with Dashboard, it’s a feature in macOS that allows users to switch to a second desktop screen designed to hold widgets, so you can quickly check on a bunch of different things at a moment’s notice. By default, you only get calculator, calendar, clock, and weather widgets. However, because Dashboard is highly customizable, it’s possible to add a range of additional widgets, or even create your own if you are so inclined.
Apple first introduced Dashboard more than 10 years ago in version 10.4 Tiger, back when macOS was still known as OS X. However, over the years, it seems the popularity of Dashboard faded, particularly after Apple turned off Dashboard by default in macOS 10.10 Yosemite from 2014.
For many, Dashboard was a useful tool for keeping track of stocks or system temperatures at a glance. But it seems that’s not quite enough for Apple to continue supporting the feature. As Appleosophy first pointed out, Dashboard has been removed from the beta version of macOS Catalina, which is slated for an official release later this fall. We’ve reached out to Apple to confirm if it plans to leave Dashboard out of Catalina’s final release but we did not receive an immediate reply.
In a somewhat ironic twist, while macOS is losing its widget feature in Catalina, Apple tablets are actually getting a new way to use widgets in the forthcoming iPadOS, which lets users pin widgets directly to an iPad’s home screen like you can on an Android device.
This means that even though Dashboard is finally being retired, Apple may be working on some way of adding widgets back to macOS in the future, especially when you consider that the boundaries between Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems get a bit fuzzier every year.
And who knows, with macOS Catalina still in beta, it’s possible that Apple might add Dashboard back to macOS before its official release. Though I wouldn’t bet on it.