Mobile widgets

You know what I hate? Waiting for widgets to update. (It’s barely acceptable in Mac OS X’s Dashboard because of the convenience of bringing it up.)

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Having to wait half a second (on a good day) is one of those interface delays that is unavoidable but unacceptable. This is a purely personal and subjective opinion of “acceptable” — I want to be able to hit a key and see the weather without having a brain stutter while yesterday’s weather flickers out and is updated.

This is fine, just, on a computer. But I have a hard time imagining the idea of widgets on iPhone or iPad. Can you imagine swiping through screens and having to wait for a network pole before your weather is correct? Or only of having some odd chance of the weather on the unlock screen being correct? Widgets don’t even get background processes on Mac OS X — there’s no chance you’d ever see a widget updating itself without direct user input.

And given the delay from user input and network delay and interface updating, I just don’t see widgets working on any kind of mobile device.

Update: Thanks to S.-S. P. for reminding me that it is in fact possible to have background processes in Dashboard widgets. Not sure what I was thinking there.