Can I change my Mac Dashboard weather widget provider?
Hey Dave, is there a way to change the default weather site on the Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) dashboard widget?
I like getting questions about Dashboard because it's something that I don't really use much on my own Mac system, though I definitely think it's cool and keep reminding myself to utilize it more often. So this is a prod for me to explore!
The default Apple Dashboard weather widget, as you know, uses Yahoo! Weather as its data source. Not sure what you don't like about it, but short of some sly hacking in the widget itself, there's no obvious way to change the information provider to something else like the National Weather Service or the Weather Underground.
On the other hand, there are other weather widgets you can get for your Lion Dashboard, though for reasons I find completely baffling, there's no actual search capability in the Dashboard area on Apple.com. Don't ask me why, it makes no sense at all.
Instead, go to Information Widgets category on the Dashboard downloads area. You'll see this:
To find all the weather widgets in the 94 entries currently listed in this category we have to manually slog through looking for the word "weather". Tedious? Oh yeah.
To install and configure a weather widget is easy, fortunately. Let's tap WeatherBug Local Weather. To download it, I click on the "Download" link adjacent to the entry on the Dashboard Downloads area. It produces this:
The result is a ZIP file in my Downloads folder. I open the folder and double click on the archive file, which produces a ".wdgt" file:
Dashboard gets involved and confirms that I want to actually install WeatherBug Local Weather:
I do, so I'll click on "Install" to proceed and the widget shows up in its configuration mode, with Dashboard giving us the option to "Delete" or "Keep" it:
WeatherBug works based on a specific location being specified, and I'll be lazy and just enter my zipcode. As soon as I do, WeatherBug has me confirm the city, then choose which of the weather stations in town I want to use:
Looks good! I click on "Save" and the widget flips around and after a moment or two here's my weather:
Different weather widgets might have slight variations in how they work, but this is the basic setup for all Dashboard widgets in Mac OS X. Now, why not run them all and compare the results? :-)
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I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
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