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Free “Plus” Widget Turns Dashboard Into A Launchpad

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.

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