Widgets can change the way you access information on your smartphone. Instead of having to get to an app every time you want to check something, widgets can reduce the time and the steps. That’s why some of them are hugely popular in Android smartphones.
Apple finally breaks into the mould by introducing Notification Center widgets in iOS 8. With these, a lot of third-party apps can now put widgets on the Notification Center (under Today view).
Here’s how to add widgets to the Notification Center on your iPhone/iPad running iOS 8:
(Note that at the time of writing this, iOS 8 is in beta and there are almost no apps that offer widgets)
- Open the Notification Center by swiping down from the top of the screen
- If you’re not in the Today view, tap on the “Today” tab.
- Scroll way down to the bottom of the NC.
- If there are any new Notification center widgets available, you should see a (X) New Widget Available. X being the number of new widgets that are available to download/install. Tap on this to get to the Widgets section of Notification Center.
- You should see a new widget under the Do Not Include section, with a green + sign next to it. Tapping the + will install that widget. More correctly, it just puts the widget on the Notification Center.
- To edit the sort order or the display of widgets:
- Open the Notification Center
- Scroll right to the bottom of the Today tab
- Tap on Edit
- You can sort, remove and add notification center widgets here
Notification Center Widgets grab their data from the app they are usually associated with in a way that’s not exactly too open. Extensibility, the wrapper inside which widgets find their existence, makes things secure within iOS.
I think widgets show up when you install an app for this reason. For instance, from the WWDC demo, we can see that you get eBay widgets when you install the official app. Phillips has been working on widgets for the Hue Lights and these will work when you install the official app. Widgets can’t be “uninstalled” per se but you can remove them for sure.