The Notification Center in iOS used to be just that: a place where you could see recent notifications. Tap on it, and it opens up the corresponding app. Things just got better with iOS 8.
In iOS 8, Notification Center is going to turn into at least two things: first, it's going to be an information power center giving you all sorts of info like upcoming tasks, latest news, shipment tracking, etc; two, it's also going to let you do some actions like save a story on BuzzFeed, tick off items on Wunderlist, quickly reach your contacts in a single tap, etc. How? Notification Center Widgets from app developers.
Many of the third-party apps have already been updated to have theirs on new Notification Center widgets. (Here's how to add notification center widgets on your iPhone/iPad)
Some of The Best iOS 8 Notification Center Widgets:
Wdgts is the best way to get started with Notification Center widgets. It’s free. Download it right now and get a calculator, currency converter, calendar, photo frame, time zone and more stuff right on the Notification Center. You can even copy results from the calculator.
Another favorite that looks like it's been designed just for the new widgets feature. Launcher lets you add a ton of stuff to the notification center. You can add app shortcuts, website shortcuts, contacts and custom links to the launcher – and all of that shows up in the notification center.
Evernote adds a few quick shortcuts to be able to create different kinds of notes. One tap and you’ll head straight to Evernote with the type of note you want to take.
I've loved Clear for its awesome interface, but the Notification Center widget is still kind of disappointing (largely because all it does is shows you your tasks). Nevertheless, for those of you who are using Clear, this should be handy. I hope they add some functionality to the items.
iTranslate's widget is cool. You just copy a phrase/sentence in any language, and iTranslate's widget will automatically translate that for you in the pre-selected language. It's really impressive.
Do you read BuzzFeed? Do you use the official app? Some good news for you folks: BuzzFeed's NC widget shows a story (with pic) and lets you bookmark it or read it or view the next story in the list.
For those of you who’re using PCalc (or looking for a really powerful scientific calculator for the iPhone), the app now lets you do quick calculations on the notification center. Tapping the display opens the full app.
The parcel, the shipment/delivery tracking app, now features a widget which shows info about upcoming deliveries. Anything that has an estimated delivery date will be shown in the widget.
Wunderlist is yet another popular to-do list/task manager. I’ve seen it evolve into a fabulous app with an equally fabulous interface. The iOS 8 update brings a new widget to the table that shows upcoming tasks. Like Clear, you can’t tick off the tasks from the notification center.
#10. Breaking News
Breaking News's widget on the notification center shows you the latest breaking news and – if configured – shows you the latest breaking news from nearby your location.
Download Breaking News
Shows you upcoming reservations that you have booked through OpenTable. The app is popular amongst folks who like some hassle-free restaurant reservation.
Raincast is featured on this list of mostly-free apps because this app should get the award for the best-designed-widget. In iOS 8's Notification Center, Raincast shows you weather forecast (rain and snow).
#13. Yahoo News Digest
For the news piles amongst you, Yahoo News Digest’s update shows the latest scoop – customizable according to your account preferences – right in the notification center.
ETA is a virtual driving assistant that has the combined strength of Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze or any other map services existing in the world today. It is simple, quicker, fast and provides almost very accurate info. The iOS 8 update lets you add a notification center widget: all ETAs to your favorite places are shown instantly in the Today view.
#15. DataMan Next
With Dataman Next you never have to worry about using excess data usage and burning a hole in your wallet with data charges if you're on a limited plan. The iOS 8 update will let you add a handy widget in the Today view. Your data usage meter is just a swipe away now.
Download Dataman Next
Pedometer++ features a widget that tracks your daily activity and gives quick results on your fitness goal accomplishments. It makes use of the M7/M8. The widget lets you check on how much you have walked right in the Today view.
LinkedIn's app was updated to include an iOS 8 widget that shows you who has viewed your profile recently. That's the only addition, but it's a useful one.