iPad’s Missing Apps May Mean Mac-Style Dashboard?

Apple’s keynote presentation unveiling the iPad for the first time last week created almost as many questions as it did answers. One of the unusual things noticed was that the device is lacking many of the applications that come standard on the iPhone. It has even fewer built-in apps than the first iPhone did, with the Weather, Stocks, Clock and Calculator apps being strangely absent from the device. One theory now is that the apps are still there, but in the form of desktop widgets.

The notion comes from Kevin Fox:

These apps are missing from the launchpad because they’re no longer apps. They’re dashboard widgets.

There are a few other theories, like maybe they weren’t finished, or that Apple was excluding them to leave room for third-party apps, but none of those really seem likely. The other answer, and one that is a lot more exciting, is that the iPad is a little more like a Mac than Apple let on. Steve Jobs first announced those applications during the unveiling of the first iPhone as being “widgets”, and up until April of 2007, they were built using the same HTML/Javascript architecture as widgets for the Mac dashboard.

John Gruber takes it a step further, adding that the large lock screen seems sparse and oversized in comparison to the iPhone’s. He believes that the widgets might be more at home on the lock screen or right on the Home screen.

Both equally interesting ideas, and both would make the iPad a bit cooler.

[via Daring Fireball]


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