Using iOS 8 Notification Center Widgets

With iOS 8 you can add widgets to Notification Center for easy access to information and documents inside of apps. Learn how to add widgets and use them. You can view your recent files in DropBox, jump to a book in the Kindle app, perform calculations with PCalc, and get detailed weather and other information. One advantage to using Notification Center widgets is that you can access them without leaving your current app.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today's episode let's take a look at Notification Center Widgets in iOS 8.

Let me show you what Notification widgets look like. If I drag down from the top of the screen I bring down Notification Center. Under Today you can see some of the standard stuff like the date, the weather, the calendar, and all that but you also see some non-standard stuff.

These are widgets that I have added. I've got Dropbox, Kindle, Calculator, and a bunch of other things. Let's look at how you add these to Notification Center.

So the first thing you need to do is to get the apps that create these widgets. Under App Store right now we've got a section still for iOS 8 specific apps. Under there is actually a section for Notification Widgets. I'll tap on See All on the right and you can see a whole bunch of ones that are being featured by Apple now. There are going to be more added all the time.

All you need to do is to actually add one of these apps to your iPad. It appears as a regular app and in most cases they are. For instance Yahoo Weather is just a regular app that you can use without making a widget out of it.

Once you have these apps you can bring up Notification Center and then all the way at the bottom is going to be a big Edit button. Click on that and you will see ones that you have added at the top and also ones you haven't yet added at the bottom under Do Not Include.

To add one, say ForeverNote, you press the plus button and that adds it. To remove it I can press the minus and then hit Remove. To arrange these so that I can tell what order they go in I can just drag the three lines on the right. I can move some things ups and down. Notice you can also remove and change the order for some of the standard stuff like Calendar and Reminders and even the Today and Tomorrow Summaries.

So once I've got the widgets that I want and everything arranged the way want I can press Done at the upper right and now I can look through Notification Center and see the usefulness of these widgets.

The Dropbox one is pretty useful because if somebody shares a Dropbox folder with me I can see the ones I have recently added. Or if I just recently added them myself I have quick access to them. I tap on those and it will take me right to the Dropbox app and open that document.

The Kindle app is going to show me books that I am reading. Notice it doesn't just add books there just because you have them but if you have actually opened them and are reading them currently they'll be listed. You can jump right to them.

I love the PCalc Lite calculator because I do a quick calculation here in Notification Center. I don't have to leave the app I am currently in. I can be actually inside of an app like Pages and I decide I want to do a quick calculation. I can bring down Notification Center, use the calculator here, and then dismiss Notification Center and Pages is always running.

Sky Guide gives you some astronomical information. Then there is the Yahoo Weather app which is useful. Of course you've got Weather at the top so you are adding more weather information but it is kind of useful. It is a little glitchy now because it seems to have trouble loading that screen but I am sure that it will improve over time. There are some other apps that are available as well that will show you weather as a widget in Notification Center.

Comments: 162 Responses to “Using iOS 8 Notification Center Widgets”

    Mike
    10/15/14 @ 3:11 pm

    Thanks for all the instructional videos. Very helpful.

    Bill Braun
    10/17/14 @ 10:14 am

    Thanks this is something I wanted to learn about and I am trying to popular my widgets but there are only 8 apps listed under the “Do Not Include” portion of the edit menu. How do I get other apps into that area and how do I delete the ones that are in there that I know I will never use as a widget.

      10/17/14 @ 10:17 am

      The way to get more listed there is to add more apps from the App Store. Ones that have Notification Center extensions, of course. There aren’t too many yet. The only way to remove them is to delete the app from your device, which you won’t want to do if you plan to use it as a regular app. There’s no reason to want them gone from there as that list is just for adding or removing widgets, so they won’t get in the way otherwise.

    Larry Mortimer
    10/17/14 @ 4:41 pm

    Gary I’ve learned so much from your videos. Thanks!

Comments Closed.