Mac: Widgets? Old and busted. Filling your Notification Center full of apps and services? The more stuffed it gets, the less useful it is. At least, I don't like having to scroll up and down through pages' worth of items if I need a quick glance at my most meaningful data.
Screenshot: David Murphy (Infinity Dashboard)
This is why I like the recently released Infinity Dashboard for Mac. But before I get into a description, I'll get the bad news out of the way first: It costs $US15 ($20). That isn't a small amount, but the app does come with a seven-day trial, so at least you can see whether it's something you know you'll use a lot before you plunk down for a full licence.
Infinity Dashboard's premise is simple: You should be able to access a lot of quick information about your computer (and life) just by hitting a little button on your menu bar (once you set the app to "dock" by clicking on its menu bar icon post-installation). You don't get big chunky cards or crazy graphics or anything.
Instead, you just get text, including data points such as how many days until a particular event, what the current exchange rates are for your favourite currencies (or current Bitcoin price), how many people currently like your Facebook page, and how much a particular item costs on Amazon - to name a few.
While Infinity Dashboard's default layout isn't all that useful, the app comes with a bunch of bundled modules (38 in all) that you can configure into your dashboard as you see fit, including everything from your available disk space, to the current weather, to your current Fitbit stats, to your Reddit karma.
A lot of these modules are themed around services, and if you don't care about, say, a current count of how many subscribers your YouTube page has, that's fine. Infinity Dashboard also lets you install modules that other users have created for the app, which it curates on its website.
Screenshot: David Murphy
Though the community-created offerings are a bit light right now - just 10 total as of when I wrote this - I fully expect Infinity Dashboard to have plenty of more-interesting hacks as (or if) it gets popular.
Until then, it's tentatively worth $US15 ($20) to play with, but I highly recommend giving the free trial a shot to see if it's a good fit for your needs. If not, there are plenty of other ways to pack more information into your menu bar.