Dashboard is a user-interface feature Apple introduced with the release of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. It allows access to all kinds of “widgets” that show the time, weather, stock prices, phone numbers, and other useful data. With the Tiger operating system, Apple included widgets that do all these things, plus a calculator, language translator, dictionary, address book, calendar, unit converter, and iTunes controller. Besides the bundled widgets, there are also hundreds of other widgets available from third parties that allow users to play games, check traffic conditions, and view sports scores, just to name a few.
The dashboard of widgets is accessed by clicking the Dashboard application icon, or by simply pressing a keyboard shortcut (F12 by default). Clicking a plus “+” icon in the lower-left hand corner of the screen provides the user with a list of all installed widgets. Clicking the widgets or dragging them onto the desktop makes them active. They can be individually closed by clicking the close box, just like other open windows. Pressing the keyboard shortcut (F12) makes them instantly disappear, removing them from view until the user needs them again.