Apple’s Notification Center is a central place to get small details about the status of various applications and system services on your Mac, allowing you to see anything from song information when iTunes changes tracks, to notices about software updates being available. In addition, Notification Center supports quickly tweeting and replying to messages, but in Yosemite the service has been revamped to mimic the Notification Center feature in iOS 7, and might even be geared to eventually replace Dashboard.
While for the most part Yosemite’s Notification Center functions the same as in prior OS X versions by bringing you updates on application and system service activities, it now supports apps that will bring you information such as upcoming calendar events, stock information, weather details, and a world clock. There is also a calculator app that can be added, and a link to the App Store that will let you browse for new apps to add to Notification Center.
Even though these new features augment the Notification Center service, they do directly overlap with Apple’s prior efforts at the use of the Dashboard to bring widgets to the OS X Desktop.
While Dashboard has been exceptionally useful for some, its development never really took off and Apple has progressively shied away from it by changing the default F-key functions for it to activate LaunchPad instead of Dashboard, and not really promoting its Dashboard service very much. Apple has even removed Dashboard from being one of the default Dock icons in a new user account, instead opting for LaunchPad. As a result, new users that set up their Macs may not even know Dashboard exists.
Furthermore, Apple’s widget explorer Web page has not changed for years, and remains a relatively inefficient way to locate new Dashboard services to install.