Best iOS 8 widgets for your iPhone

by March 24, 2015 0 comments

iOS 8 brings various new features to the Apple devices such as voice integration in text messages, health and fitness apps, third party apps, editing tools in gallery, etc. and amongst these ‘Widget’ support  is definitely a welcomed addition which was missing from the iOS ecosystem. However, unlike Android OS which supports widgets on the home screen, Apple has implemented them in a slightly different way.

Instead of placing them on different home screens which keeps updating them and consumes battery, iOS 8 integrates them in the notification centre (in a vertical scrollable fashion) that only updates when you pull down the notification panel. The following section helps you to enable the notification center widgets.

Enabling widgets in notification centre can be done in just two steps:
1) First you need to install the applications from the App store which can be integrated in the notification panel. A host of applications from different categories such as productivity, news, work, social networking, etc. are available in the App Store.

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2) Now as you can see in the screenshot above, the bottom of the notification center has an ‘Edit’ button. You can select which widgets you want to display in the notification center by simply adding them to the list. You can also select the order in which they will appear by dragging them up and down in the list.

Some of the best iOS 8 widgets that can make your Apple device a bit more personal and smarter are listed below with their respective screenshots.

Wunderlist
The application is one of the best that allows you to manage your tasks in a simple and efficient manner. As you can see in the following screen shot, you can add new tasks, highlight them, sort them and share them via email. You can also create tasks in different categories or make new ones.

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The following screen shot shows the application’s widget in the notification centre. It displays the uncompleted tasks of the day. You have the ease to mark them complete without even opening the application.

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One of the best task management applications 

Evernote is also upgraded to support widgets in iOS 8. As you can see in the following screenshot, it shows the tasks to be done with the pictures (if you have set) and you can directly tap on the options such as Text, Camera, Photos, etc. to set a new note.

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News 360
News 360displays the day’s three most important stories in the notification center and a single tap on the chosen story will take you to the application. You can set which category interests you the most and get the updates right through in the notification bar.

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Data Man Next
The application is a good one that allows you to keep a check on the data you have consumed directly through the notification centre. As you can see in the screenshot, the widget displays the data consumed in red and green bars according to your usage during the day. It also warns you when the limit exhausts, so that you can switch off your data.

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Quick-Tap
Quick Tap is one of the coolest widget app in the App Store. It lets you place a set of actions in the notification centre to give you one tap access to frequently used applications.

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As displayed in the screenshot, you can set your favorite contacts in the first list of the widget and a single tap will directly call the person. The free version lets you set up-to three contacts for quick call.

Similarly, you can play tracks directly through the notification centre with a single tap without even unlocking the phone. It also lets you set quick access to your favorite applications (up-to three in free version). The paid version gives you the option to make your own lists of actions.

Vidgets
As the name suggests, the application features over 30 widgets that can be placed in the notification center for quick info.

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The first screenshot displays the interface which is quite simple. You can tap on the plus button and scroll the list of widgets you want to add in the notification centre. The list includes date, calendar, memory info, sunrise time, altitude information, current weather and a lot more. You can also change the color theme of the widgets by tapping on the paint box at the left.

This screenshot shows the applied widgets in the notification center.

a. Pcalc lite
This free application is a perfect option if you frequently play with numbers. The application mode has a scientific calculator and a unit converter (free version). And as you can see, the Widget mode comes with the basic calculator which allows you to perform calculations directly through the notification centre.

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b. Calender
The stock calendar application in iOS 8.1 also features a widget that displays your current events and the tasks you have set in a simple and efficient way.

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However, it does not display the current month with all the dates.

The second screenshot shows a widget – WDGT calendar which you can download from the App store that displays all the days and the marked events.

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