With the introduction of iOS 8 came widgets, a long-awaited feature that Android users have long enjoyed. Providing simple, small nuggets of information, they neatly sit within an iDevice’s pull-down Notification Centre so you can speedily access crucial info from a wide range of first- and third-party apps.
The number of such widgets is growing fast, offering simple ways to access news, notes, lists, weather and so much more. They provide at-a-glance guides or shortcuts and they can be added or removed within seconds. Widgets will only refresh and run when you open the Notification Centre – they’re not constantly running in he background. That said, the fewer you have, the less cluttered Notification Centre will be and the less power- draining they will prove to be as a collective.
If you have copied a block of foreign text to your iPhone’s clipboard, you can instantly paste it into iTranslate’s widget. It will then convert it to the language of your choice, saving you the hassle of finding and opening the corresponding translation app.
This Evernote widget provides a tidy way to launch actions rather than bombard you with lists of notes. Tap on Text to create a new note, Camera to snap a shot, Photos to find an image, Reminder to jog your memory, or List to produce a to-do task.
Avid readers who prefer Kindle to iBooks will love the way this widget will instantly recall the book you have open and show you your progress through it. By tapping on the notification entry, you can go straight to the page you had been reading previously.
App in the Air
After inputting flight information in the App in the Air app, you can use the widget to see details of any forthcoming flights. It shows you the check-in closure times, terminal and gate, ensuring that the information you need is a mere screen pull-down away.
VICE News is a global news channel that provides unique and compelling slants on current affairs topics. In Notifications, you can speedily view the top stories of the day, complete with large images and headlines, ensuring you never miss a thing.
With up to four to-dos displayable within Notifications, you are able to get an at-a-glance guide to your daily tasks. By tapping the boxes to the left of items, you can instantly tick them off, which ensures you can keep on top of your chores without any added stress.
Any budding genealogist can use Ancestry to chart their family tree. You can use the Notification widget to keep abreast of key dates, from birthdays to deaths to marriages. It gives you plenty of advance notice and a quick tap opens the app to explain more.
While iCloud is a brilliant service from Apple that lets you save your files in the cloud, there are alternatives, with Dropbox being among the most popular. See the last four items to be uploaded to the cloud with this widget and instantly access them.
Are you worried about your career or just interested in furthering it? LinkedIn has become a popular work-based social network. To see who has been viewing your profile in recent days, activate the Who’s Viewed You widget and you will be kept constantly informed.
Anyone with more than a passing interest in astronomy will enjoy the beautiful-looking Sky Guide widget. It shows you the rise and set times of the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. It also informs you of any special happenings across the universe.