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Dashboard X is a Cydia tweak that places Notification Center widgets on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch’s SpringBoard. Dashboard X has been updated to version 2.0, which is a complete rewrite of Dashboard X’s code base. The change includes smart support for all screen orientations, two finger pinch resizing for widgets, new animations, and a pop-up GUI for the iPad. As of this update, I decided to take the $1.99 plunge and purchase Dashboard X.
If you have never heard of dashboard widgets, they’re mini-apps that stay open on the springboard’s launcher. They take up space that would otherwise be used for app icons. You can snag widgets that display album art, weather, SBSettings, and sticky notes from Cydia.
The specialized GUI for the iPad allows for widgets to be added to the SpringBoard without leaving the pane. All you need to do is tap on an icon to enter ‘wiggle-mode’ and then hold your finger over blank space on the dashboard. A dialog will open with all the compatible widgets that you currently have loaded onto your device. Select the widgets, set the options, and the widget will be ready to be positioned.
I found that the new two finger pinch method for scaling is practical, if a little clumsy. It doesn’t always work as you want it to, at least on the first try, but the option is nice. I also would have appreciated preset ‘snaps’ to widget sizes, such as the height or width of standard icons. Without such settings, it’s possible to adjust widgets forever without them ever being perfectly square with the icons. Also keep in mind that scaling a widget above its native size may introduce visual blurring.
One nifty feature of Dashboard X 2.0 is the smart orientation settings. All you need to do is set the vertical and landscape positioning for the widget and it will automatically remember both positions. One snag is that you can’t set different changes in size. Scaling the widgets resets the alternate positioning setting.
Though its not perfect, all-in-all Dashboard X 2.0 feels like a solid tweak. Dashboard X is worth a couple bucks, now more than ever. The updated version is already compatible with legacy Dashboard X widgets as well as most Notification Center widgets. This means that there is already a huge backlog of material to use when setting home screen widgets. It’s also possible to create your own, if you’re savvy with code.
If you want to add homescreen widgets on iOS, you can find Dashboard X in Cydia through the ModMyi repository, along with dozens of compatible widgets. You can find iJailbreak articles about specific widgets here.
What widgets would you like to see for Dashboard X? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.