When Apple introduced Notification Center in iOS 5 last summer, jailbreak developers immediately started creating third-party widgets to enhance certain functionalities and create shortcuts for iOS. Widgets for toggling system preferences, for instance, are now available in Cydia for Notification Center. What would happen if the idea of widgets left Notification Center and made its way to the iOS Home screen?
Prolific Cydia developer Ori Kadosh has released Dashboard X, an ambitious extension for adding floating widgets to your jailbroken iPhone and iPad’s springboard.
Dashboard X is an awesome widgets system for your device! It works with existing notification center widgets and let’s you place them on either the home screen or your dashboard!
- Full support for existing notification center widgets!
- Place widgets on either the home screen along with your icons or on your dashboard which you can invoke with Activator
- Move widgets around, place them wherever you want!
- Also works with Dashboard X exclusive widgets
First off, Dashboard X is incredibly polished and well thought out. Ori did a fantastic job of taking a complex idea and making it dead simple. Once you install Dashboard X in Cydia, there are no real settings to configure, although you can tweak some preferences in Settings.
To get started adding widgets to your Home screen, you’ll obviously need Cydia widgets installed on your device. You can find a complete list under the “Addons (Notification Center)” section of Cydia, and Ori has a link under “More Widgets” in the Dashboard X settings. We’ve covered several great jailbreak widgets already on Cult of Mac, including WeeTrackData and Forecast. NCSettings and ActionSlider are also great widgets to install. Apple’s stocks and weather widgets are available to use by default. Widgets specifically designed for Dashboard X are in the pipeline, so be on the lookout for those.
Adding widgets next to your app icons is super easy with Dashboard X; just tap and hold an icon to enter “jiggle mode.” Then tap a blank space on your Home screen (you may need to rearrange icons to create space) and hold your finger down for a couple seconds. A window will pop up with a list of available widgets to add. Tap the widget you want and you’ll be greeted with a couple options. You have the ability to disable “Interaction” and “Auto Center.” The former setting lets you interact with a widget or make it essentially part of your device’s wallpaper. The latter option snaps the widget into a centered position wherever you add it on the Home screen. Toggle these settings as you see fit and tap “Add Widget.” Said widget will suddenly float on your Home screen. Once you have it where you want it, tap your Home button to exit jiggle mode and lock the widget in place. Boom!
Now how you add widgets is obviously up to you, so play around with it to find the perfect setup. Perhaps you want one widget under three rows of icons on your main Home screen, or perhaps you want a page of one app row and three widgets. The beauty of Dashboard X is that your device’s springboard is a playground.
Ori packed some nice preferences and troubleshooting features in the settings of Dashboard X, proving once again how well-done this extension is. Head over to the Settings app and find the Dashboard X pane. You can customize the widgets you add to your Home screen from there and toggle “long tap” mode for adding widgets.
The “Dashboard” settings introduce the feature behind Dashboard X’s name. Going a step farther, the Dashboard is an OS X-like overlay that can be activated anywhere in iOS via an Activator action. Think the Mac’s Dashboard on your iPhone (not available on the iPad, sadly). You can assign an Activator action (double tap status bar by default) and add widgets to your Dashboard from the preferences pane. While the idea is nice, it doesn’t really serve much of a purpose beyond adding widgets directly to the Home screen. Notification Center will already display jailbreak widgets from its pull-down window.
For all of the functionality and creativity it provides, Dashboard X is definitely worth the $1.99 price tag in Cydia. If you like having certain widgets on your jailbroken iPhone or iPad, let us all know what you think below!