Dashboard. Introduced into Apple’s OSX operating system in late April 2005, allows you to manage various little programs dubbed ‘Widgets’ visually on the screen, arranging them anywhere and in any way you like. Each widget then has its own certain configurable preferences. It wasn’t anything new, but as always, it was the way Apple went about it that made it so popular. With iPhone OS running on Leopard, many people have looked into the possibly of bringing well adorned aspects of OSX, to the touch platform. With the recent release of ‘Orbit,’ (for jailbroken devices), from Ireland-based developer Steve Troughton-Smith, we saw ‘Spaces’ unofficially make its debut on the iPhone, for the first time. But .. What about Dashboard?
Developed by Mobile Pond, and designed by their lead Omer Shoor – also the designer behind Photogene, iGizmoz brings the fully-fledged ‘Dashboard’ experience, to iPhone – Only due to SDK restrictions, it’s an app and it’s not directly built into iPhone OS .. (I wish it was!). Here’s how it works. Opening the app will reveal your dashboard. Tapping on the bottom left-hand corner will slide two further section out from the sides of the screen. The first is your ‘Widgets Dock’. Just like Dashboard OSX, iGizmoz dims the background (your now in ‘Edit Mode’) and displays all the available addable widgets on a visual dock. This time though, the dock is Leopard-styled. Reflections and all!
In total, the app offers 11 widgets, with no obvious way to add more, yet. The widgets included are: Clock, Search, Calendar, Contact, Countdown/Stopwatch, Stickies, Picture Frame, A Swinging Cat Thingy, Os and Xs (naughts and crosses) and a Light Bulb. To add a widget to iGizmoz, simply tap and drag it from the bottom dock, onto any point on the dashboard. You know that shrink and grow animation you get when dragging a widget onto Dashboard? You guessed it. That’s there, too! Once you’ve added a widget to the Dashboard, activate ‘Edit Mode’ by tapping and holding any widget of your choice. From here, as well as being able to edit the current position the widgets, you’ll find two more options. Delete, and Settings.
Tapping the settings button will bring up the specific configurable options for that particular widget. For example, in the ‘Clock’ widget settings, you have 6 different clock styles to choose from, as well as options to configure your timezone and the seconds display. Once your happy just tap on an idea of the dashboard which is not taken up by widgets, and you’ll exit edit mode. Need to delete a widget? Simply enter edit mode by tapping a holding again, and hit the ‘X’ button (top left) associated with that particular widget. Now granted, the icons for each of these built-in widgets do need a little work, but graphically, the widgets themselves are (in my opinion) – stunning!
The second sliding draw in edit mode offers a few other configurables. Tapping the global settings button (top right) throws you into the main settings of the app which basically consists of letting you choose a different backdrop for your dashboard. iGizmoz offers 19 pre-set backgrounds, and the option to add your own custom image from your iPhone’s on-board photo library. Need to reset iGizmoz, under the ‘Maintainence’ section, just tap ‘Reset Gizmoz,’ and factory settings for your dashboard will be restored. Tapping the next button on the sliding draw will snap all your current widgets to grid. Exit edit mode? just tap that last ‘X’ button to return to your dashboard.
I know what your thinking .. “320 x 480 is way too small for this kind of thing. I mean, I’ll be able to fit like, What? .. 3 widgets on-screen?”. Normally you’d be right, but iGizmoz has a hidden secret. Swiping to your left (while not in edit mode) will reveal your true dashboard space, spanning roughly 3 homescreens wide!
So, there you have it. Dashboard on the iPhone. Personally, I’m hoping they’ll add widgets via in-app purchases. That would totally rock. Right? iGizmoz officially launches on the App Store tomorrow, Wednesday 25th for just $0.99
Update: iGizmoz is Now Available on the App Store. Get it here.