More than half of Macworld Online readers who voted confirm they make regular use of Mac OS X Tiger's Dashboard widgets.

Macworld asked readers: "How many widgets do you actually use?".

Forty-one per cent of 1,965 readers choosing to vote revealed they use five or more widgets regularly (809 votes), the largest group of respondents in the sample group.

Another 35 voters (2 per cent) use just one widget; 87 voters (4 per cent) use two; 181 voters (9 per cent) use three, and 204 voters (10 per cent) employ four widgets.

Just 11 per cent (208) of Macworld online readers who voted do have Tiger installed on their machine but never use widgets.

Finally, 441 voting readers (22 per cent) haven't yet upgraded to Apple's newest operating system.

Widget wonderland

Though Apple claims over 1,000 widgets now exist, most voters tend to use similar widget sets.

Macworld UK's own news widget seems to be in use by many readers. This is available as a free download here.

Other favourite widgets included weather, currency converter, world clock, calculator, and dictionary widgets. Many make use of different news widgets, mainly the BBC news widget; Wikipedia also earned frequent mentions.

In the main, the most-used widgets focused on information services: train times, TV listings; translations and those mentioned above.

More than Apple widgets

Some readers noted that Apple's widget architecture, Dashboard, actually arrived late to the party.

Now a freeware application, Konfabulator (which was acquired by search engine giant in July) also supports widgets-like applications.

In fact, the software's creator Arlo Rose remains annoyed with Apple for, in his eyes, "stealing" the concept.

When Apple revealed its use of widgets in Tiger in 2004, a furious Rose stormed: "While Redmond is stealing ideas from Cupertino it seems Cupertino is stealing ideas from its third-party developers. Konfabulator is the template for Mac OS X Tiger's Dashboard."

Konfabulator runs small Java script programs – also called Widgets – that perform various tasks, from monitoring weather, news, sports and stocks to adding newly designed clocks, tasks bars, search banners and more. The product was released in February 2003.

Macworld readers remember Konfabulator: "You don't have to be a Tiger user to use widgets," one reader wrote. "Konfabulator makes it possible to choose from a large variety of widgets - even in Panther."

Another reader revealed the Konfabulator widgets they regularly use: "Combarss, Personal Information Manager Overview, The Weather, Mail check, What to Do?, Who's There?, Currency and iTunes."

"I have tried it and now I think I shan't need to update my eMac to Tiger. I especially like the fact that Konfabulator widgets are full applications," another said.

Widgets? Not here, please

Not everyone is enamoured of Apple's mini Web applications. One wrote: "It's funny, but when the question arose I couldn't think what ones were there - until I hit F12 to see, which kind of indicates how much use Dashboard is getting from me."

Others are less than impressed with Apple's pricing practices: "I have Tiger on my iBook, but Apple won't allow those getting educational discounts buy a five-license Tiger family pack. This means I need to buy Tiger twice in order to install it on my eMac." For this reader, the OS doesn't justify the second purchase, "for me it doesn't roar: it meaows."