There are iOS 8 widgets built-in to the new Notification Center so you can quickly see information at a glance. You no longer need to rely on Apple’s small choice of widgets. Instead you can download apps that include iOS 8 widgets from the App Store.
Apple calls these Notification Center Widgets, because the iOS 8 widgets are only accessible when you pull down the Notification Center. It is not like Android where you can place them on your home screen, but this is still a big step forward for quickly accessing information and apps.
You can customize the iOS 8 Notification Center to move the position of widgets and to turn off the standard iOS 8 widgets like Stocks and Reminders if you use a third-party app. This is where the new iOS 8 feature really shines.
Users that rely on Clear, OmniFocus or other apps for their to do list can see that type of information in the Notification Center, instead of only seeing Reminders.
For most of these iOS 8 widgets you don’t need to buy a special new version of the app. Many developers include widgets in the iOS 8 update, you just need to add them to the Notification Center.
How to Add iOS 8 Widgets
To add an iOS 8 widget to the notification center pull down to see the Notification Center -> scroll to the bottom and tap Edit. Widgets you installed will show at the very bottom of the screen.
Tap the small Plus icon to add to the Notification Center -> Use the three bars to the right to change position and the minus sign to remove them from your Notification Center. You can add them back in later and change the position as much as you want.
Best iOS 8 Widgets
Our list of the best iOS 8 widgets will change over time as more developers add iOS 8 widgets and as apps start to come with better iOS 8 widget options that leverage everything they can do in iOS 8.
Right now we are missing a SportsCenter iOS 8 Widget, which is still in the works, and prominently featured in iOS 8 promotional images through the summer. Hopefully an ESPN SportsCenter iOS 8 update is coming very soon.
Here is a look at the best iOS 8 widgets we can find. Like the mix of iOS 8 apps, some are free and some are paid.
Forecast+ is a simple and beautiful weather widget that shows you the current weather and a five-day forecast in the Notification Center. For me this is easier to access in mot places than using Siri or hunting for an app, but I’ll still use DarkSky for detailed forecasts.
Yahoo Weather iOS 8 Widget – Free
The Yahoo Weather app is a free weather app that includes an iOS 8 widget. This free weather widget will appeal to many, but the odd margin on the left could push some users to the Forecast+ app that uses the space to show more useful information.
Slice Package Tracking Widget – Free
Slice connects to your email and knows when something you ordered is one the way so you know when it is coming. Right now the app shows when the iPhone 6 will arrive. You use the Slice app to connect to your email and you can also use it to create a manual package tracker.
Parcel is an alternative if you don’t want the email integration.
Evernote – Free (In App Purchases)
Evernote users can add an iOS 8 widget that offers fast access to taking a note, snapping a photo and adding a reminder or starting a new list. Evernote is a free note taking tool that delivers loads of features, with a paid premium account unlocking more.
Hotel Tonight – Free
Hotel Tonight is a free app that helps you find a cheap, but great hotel for tonight. The iOS 8 widget sits in your Notification Center so you can quickly see hotels near you. For those of us who often travel without firm plans this is a great iOS 8 travel widget.
App in the Air – Free ( In App Purchases)
App in the Air includes a travel iOS 8 widget that shows your flight information including Check in, and other important details. This is a handy way to see when you need to get to the airport and when to start putting away your gear to get ready to board.
ETA – $1.99
ETA is a handy iOS 8 widget that shows how long it takes to travel to three of your favorite destinations. Choose driving or walking time and you’ll get the time it takes to travel to those locations.
Clear – $2.99
Clear is a simple and focused To Do app that makes it easy to see what is on your task list for the day. You can add a Clear iOS 8 widget to the Notification Center to see your current tasks with just a swipe down.
Calendars 5 – $6.99
If you need more details and options than the basic iPhone calendar app, check out Calendars 5. This includes a cool iOS 8 widget shown in the video above.
Breaking News – Free
For users that love to follow breaking news, the free Breaking News app includes a new iOS 8 widget that shows what’s happening right now.
NYT Now – Free
NYT Now is a editor curated news app and there is now an iOS 8 news widget that pushes you to the stories you should read right now, so you can see new stories throughout the day.
Lose It – Free
If you track what you eat with Lose It you can see your meals logged and calories remaining in the health based iOS 8 widget.
Pedometer++ – Free
For the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus you can track your steps with Pedometer++ and show your progress in the Notification Center with a pedometer iOS 8 widget that will help you remember to move more. This widget is coming soon.
Runtime – $2.99
With Runtime you can put a fitness iOS 8 widget in the Notification Center that allows you to start and stop your run, showing your time and miles as well as steps taken throughout the day.