Apple may be purging widget apps from the App Store, but that hasn’t deterred PXL Creations from releasing DashPad—a Web-based widget app for the iPad that requires no approval from Apple.
DashPad lets you run multiple widgets in Safari on your iPad, such as a calculator, sticky note, Google search box, unit converter, and a Yellow Pages directory. You can arrange them any way you want, and the widgets will remain in their place even if you have to reload the page. It’s as if PXL Creations shrunk Mac OS X’s Dashboard for the iPad, except that it’s now Web-based and runs in Safari.
PXL Creations cites the limitations of both Apple’s App Store policies and the iPhone OS’s current lack of multitasking as reasons for building DashPad. Now, it’s true that iPhone OS 4.0 will bring multitasking to the iPhone this summer, and to the iPad this fall. But unless Apple surprises the WWDC keynote audience with a widget system for its mobile devices, DashPad may still have an advantage, since even iPhone OS 4.0’s multitasking isn’t designed to offer more than one app on-screen at a time. However, given the scope of the widgets, which—like Apple’s own widgets—are designed for relatively limited tasks, that may or may not be a killer feature.
PXL Creations has also taken an interesting approach in charging for DashPad. In order to use the Web app, you need to purchase a password for $10 (in other words, just like the App Store, you need to buy before you try). The company promises frequent updates, which should include more customizability and new widgets.