What comes in linen and shows off really pretty graphs for your website? We’re talking about Zoltan Hosszu’s GAget of course, a Dashboard widget you might actually be interested in downloading. Not only is the website beautiful, but the widget is super handy as well. Right on your Dashboard, you can get analytics that feels like it was designed by Apple themselves with the fit and finish of OS X Lion while presenting lots of useful information like the day’s page views, your unique visitors compared to total visitors, new visitors to the site, your bounce rate, and a handy graph which can show you how well you’re doing today compared to the last two weeks. We need more Dashboard widgets like this — GAget is terrific in design, and the developer put in a lot of love for an area of OS X that many don’t pay enough attention to. If you’re a web developer or a website owner and want to be able to glance at your website statistics, I totally recommend installing this (it supports multiple profiles too). And as always, you can donate to the developer if you find this free extension to your Dashboard super useful (there’s a PayPal button at the bottom of the page).
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Changing OS X Lion’s Mission Control and Dashboard image backgrounds
As soon as I installed Mac OS X Lion I began playing around with all the new features. Naturally, Mission Control and Dashboard were two of the first things I tried. I immediately hated the image backgrounds Apple chose to use and began searching for a way to alter them. It didn’t take long, and it’s quite simple to do.
The linen texture is unpopular with a lots of people, often being designated as, “The new pinstripes”. Personally I like the linen texture as it provides nice contrast against bright and floating desktops and apps, but I’m not sure why it didn’t carry over to the dashboard. The dashboard, featuring a lego-like texture, oddly stands on its own from the rest of OS X as some kind of ugly stepchild. It’s bad enough the dashboard still retains that metallic widget-bar, and Apple reinforces its distinctness from the system with a background that reminds me of diamond-plate — it’s simply unappealing. In the meantime, you have a choice in whether you want to look at it (or linen) through a nine step process that allows you to swap out those gross backgrounds for bubbles, stiching, denim, or whatever floats your boat.
Initially surfaced last month through some FCC filings and rumored to be the first in-car radio to sport full iOS integration with iPhone apps and iPod out music controls, Pioneer officially announced the AppRadio today, with a dedicated iPhone app already available on the App Store for free. With a 800 x 400 6.1-inch multitouch capacitive display, Bluetooth connectivity and possibility to plug directly into an iPhone or iPod touch 4th gen running Pioneer’s software, the AppRadio will not only get usual access to your music library with album artwork and song information visualized on screen (BMW apparently already does that), it will also be capable of letting you interact with iOS calendars, maps, contacts and photos using the touchscreen device. It seems like Pioneer went all out to enable deep iOS integration, so much that certain applications available on the App Store, like Pandora and Rdio, have already announced AppRadio-specific versions with controls meant for the bigger display. On top of that, the AppRadio features a nice digital clock, an on-screen week calendar, a mic, external GPS antenna and a price tag below $500 when it goes on sale at the end of June.
From the press release:
Pioneer is rethinking connectivity by tapping into the power of the smartphone, while simultaneously providing a solution that safely merges the consumer’s connected lifestyle into the vehicle,” said Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “AppRadio fully embraces the iPhone, which has become the window to our mobile connectivity and provides a comprehensive and safer way to use apps in the car.
There’s more: the AppRadio recognizes multitouch gestures like swipes, pinch and zoom, and the companion iPhone app will alert you of new AppRadio-compatible 3rd party apps as they’re released. iOS 4.2 or later will be required for the AppRadio to work with an iPhone or iPod touch. [via Engadget]
With speculation running wild about Apple’s upcoming software announcements at the WWDC ’11 — where the company is expected to showcase the next versions of iOS and Mac OS X — it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Internet is exploding with concepts and mockups of what iOS 5 will look like on the iPhone and iPad, let alone the fan-made renderings that aim at giving us a possible glimpse of the iPhone 5. Jan-Michael Cart, the same guy behind the iOS 5 voice recognition concept we posted two weeks ago, has come up with a new interface idea for the Dashboard, available on YouTube alongside his collection of iOS concept videos.
Of all the videos created by Cart in the past weeks, we think this might be the nicest and most interesting one. By taking inspiration from the Lion Dashboard, which retains the same look of the Snow Leopard one but can be launched with a single swipe to the right from the desktop, Cart imagines an iOS Dashboard that resides on the current Spotlight page on the left of the Home screen, and can be activated with an horizontal swipe. Rather than replacing the Spotlight search with the Dashboard, Cart has conceptualized a way to add widgets to this screen and start a new search by simply hitting the box at the top, like you normally would on iOS. When performing a search the Dashboard screen blurs in the background; Cart has also imagined a variety of widgets that can be placed on multiple pages on the left, such as a Facebook box and a Twitter ticker to stay on top of the latest messages from users you follow. In another video posted on his YouTube channel, Cart also describes how widgets could be created from the dedicated Dashboard page, but also dragged to the Home screen. As to how users would be able to swipe between the Dashboards and Springboard pages, Cart believes the Home button would play a key role in both cases, as seen in the screenshots below.
We have embedded the video after the break. Whilst recent rumors have claimed Apple is focusing on features like location and smart voice recognition for iOS 5, it’s likely that ahead of the public launch of OS X Lion Apple will consider porting over some functionalities from the desktop to mobile devices. The video below is a good example of that.
Created by designer Adrian Kenny and developer Adam Aganou, this one is a beautiful and unobtrusive widget for Google Analytics you might find useful if you’re the Dashboard kind of user. Once authorized with your Google account, it will display visits for the current day, the past day, week, month and year. It’s minimal and elegant. The icon is sweet and the color choice attractive.
There are many Google Analytics widgets out there, but none of them is as sexy as Adrian Kenny’s design. Free download here.
Launchpad is a feature of the upcoming Lion operating system that will allow users to have quick access to all their apps and folders through an iPad-like overlay interface. A few weeks ago, we saw developers already trying to imitate this functionality on Snow Leopard as I covered QuickPick, an app that brings a Launchpad-like UI to OS X 10.6. Plus, a new widget by Junecloud, takes a similar approach to QuickPick but it’s free and works with the system’s Dashboard.
Plus can turn anything into a Dashboard widget. That’s right: a widget to create other widgets; sort of meta, and it works. You can in fact drop multiple instances of Plus on to the Dashboard, and make each one a different shortcut to something else. Like an app, a screenshot, a document, a web address or a folder. Anything that you can drag out of the Finder can be dropped into Plus and become a widget of its own; Plus even lets you decide the size of the item’s preview. With a bit of organization and time, you can thus turn the Dashboard into a grid of most used apps and shortcuts, although you won’t be able to expand folders within the overlay the way we’ve seen in the Launchpad preview.
All things considered, Plus is a cool widget that’s being given away for free and definitely works as expected. Give it a try.
Star Wars Dashboard Weather Widget
If only the Mac OS X Dashboard weather widget could tell us the weather in distant galaxies far, far away from famous science fiction movies… wouldn’t that be nice? If you enjoy Star Wars, you’ll probably enjoy these images from Cristian Kit Paul, a graphic designer who also must be a Mac user and Star Wars fan.
Totally useless, totally awesome for any Star Wars fan out there. Check out the original post from the creator here.