Apple has plans to improve Dashboard and make it easier to deal with multiple widgets.

Rather than cluttering the Dashboard view with lots of widgets, Apple has devised a way of grouping like widgets onto multiple dashboards with a system akin to Spaces, a new feature in Mac OS X Leopard that will make it easy to keep personal and work applications separate.

Similarly, one Dashboard view could contain work related widgets related to work, while the other might house widgets related to personal matters.

Apple filed a patent for “Multiple Dashboards” on 1 February 2006. The patent describes a system that will expand the dashboard concept to allow users to create and configure multiple Dashboards views to manage the increasing number of widgets available for download across the Internet, explains Apple Insider.

Of particular note is a description of a 3D cube dashboard interface. Users can rotate the cube to reveal different collections of widgets. By using animated two- and three-dimensional graphical objects to display Dashboards, more than one Dashboard can be visible to the user at a time, Apple explained in the patent.

Apple is also investigating customizable key combinations for switching between Dashboards.

The Apple’s filing, first uncovered by MacNN says: “Different Dashboards can be available or 'owned' for different users of a computer or other electronic device.” This other electronic device is likely to be the iPhone, which also uses a version of OS X.