As the advent of Mac OS X Tiger gets closer, Apple has ramped up its quest for Widgets with another Dashboard Widget Contest, and the chance to win a 40GB iPod.

Developers have until January 5 to design a Widget for Tiger's Dashboard feature.

Entries will be judged on technical excellence, innovation, and ease of use, says Apple.

The contest is open exclusively to Apple Developer Connection members whose memberships include access to pre-release versions of Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger.

Apple describes Dashboard as a semi-transparent layer that zooms across the screen at the press of a key. Dashboard is home to Widgets. A Widget could be a clock or calculator, calendar, or a weather report, for example.