Best widgets for your iOS 8-running iPhone or iPad


One of the new features that arrived alongside Apple iOS 8  is support for widgets, a feature that has been a fundamental signature of Android for a long, long time. Well, some may argue that widgets in iOS and Android greatly differ from one another in terms of integration within the UI. After all, iOS only allows you to put widgets in your notification center, while Android offers an unprecedented level of flexibility and customizability. 

While that's mostly true, it doesn't mean that the widgets available for iOS are sub-par to their Android rivals. Well, they are less in numbers, actually, but that's pretty natural given the relative short amount of time for which iOS has supported widgets. Of course, there are many widgets that deserve to stay in your iOS 8-running iPhone or iPad's notification center. Today, we'll show you what are some of the best and most useful widgets for iOS.

Evernote 

Download (free) 

This widget comes bundled with the regular Evernote app for iOS, allowing you to access the app's quick note bar directly within the Today view of your notification center. As a whole it's a pretty handy way to make full use of the cross-platform note-taking service. The widget also displays the notes you've recently viewed.


Dark Sky

Download ($3.99)

Animations, weather info, maps - Dark Sky has it all. Of course, it also has a widget that comfortably sits in the Today section of your notifications center.


PCalc

Download ($9.99)

One of the best calculator apps for your iPhone and iPad also has a widget that allows you to make simple and more advanced calculations directly from your notifications area. 


System Info Widgets

Download (free)

This free widget will provide you with tidbits of info about various system stats, like current CPU, memory, and battery usage. Data is displayed as bar charts in absolute values. As a whole, it's a handy widget that gives you information about the status of your device.


Launcher with Notification Center Widget

Download (free)

This widget for iOS allows you to put a handful of shortcuts in your notification center. You can put several of your favorite apps, contacts, or bookmarks inside this widget, making them available from almost anywhere. 


Quick Notes - Notes with widget

Download (free)

Instead of looking for the Notes app, this widget allows you to just swipe down and quickly jot down something of great import right in your notification screen. Undoubtedly, a pretty useful and handy iOS widget.


Battery Graph Widget

Download ($1.99)

iOS does not provide its users with a graph that represents battery usage yet. Fortunately, if you are into this kind of information, this widget will provide you with a pretty good understanding of when your battery has discharged the fastest.


Quick Bird - Today Widget for Twitter

Download (free)

Avid Twitter user? Thanks to this widget, any new tweets from the people you follow will appear straight in your notification center, just a swipe away from anywhere. The widget will display up to 50 tweets.


Quote Widget

Download (free)

While it's not necessarily a handy widget, Quote Widget has more than 100,000 quotes from famous people that will grace your notification drawer. Not pretty useful, but nice.

 

Dual Radar Widget

Download ($3.99)

Weather widgets are nothing new, but this one is one step ahead in terms of the data it provides. It displays hi-res "radar mosaics for the continental United States AND images directly generated from raw Nexrad Level 3 station data", which means that you can really see what's the weather right above you.

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25 Comments

1. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

For me iTranslate has most useful widget, just copy sentence you don't understand, tap button in NC and You get the translation. Quick, easy and doesn't require to quit web browser. I thin that iOS implementation of widgets is great just because you don't have to quit app to get information you want, on Android I would have to quit app, go into dictionary, paste the word and go back to the previous app.

2. Sauce5 unregistered

This is so true. I noticed this on my new Note 4 (love it by the way, especially on snapchat xD ). I hate closing and reopening apps. On my iPhone 6 (got it for free from my job as a work phone), its so easy to check my live sports stats, throw a tweet or two out real quick, use the calc real quick, see who's currently live on Twitch.tv streams etc. Its come down to me browsing the App Store to download apps for widget integration xD. The convenience is so much easier and faster to use. I also use a quick translator (dating an Italian girl who's family speaks little english), so I feel you on that. Also really waiting for Google Calendar widget integration. The app is so beautiful, would love to see a notification widget for it!

6. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Developers can pin things in the notification shade on Android and they've had that ability for as long as I can remember. In Android though, the widget's place is on the home screen and the notification shade is for notifications.

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Widgets on Android can be put in the notification shade as well. You can have weather forecast, quick launch buttons, memo options, translate options, etc. So no we don't have to close the app we're in.

3. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

If you play that Star Wars game , it has a great widget telling you when what you are building is done etc.

4. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

But i thought iOS users don't need widgets since they are useless!!

7. Iodine

Posts: 1478; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Of course poorly implemented widgets on android are extremlly useless to iOS users. And btw you think about many strange things.

9. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

If it was useless they wouldn't have even attempted to copy the feature.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I love the centralized approach Apple took with widgets. It's cool being able to see them in one location vs spread all over, but I'm not a big widget user on either platform. I prefer Apples approach though.

16. willard12 unregistered

What do you mean by "spread all over" ? Can't you put them exactly where you want them?

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

If you dont know what I meant, there's no logic in explaining it. I'll let you be the fanboy you are, and come up with your own ideas.

18. willard12 unregistered

Fanboys are people who have to make up justifications on why they prefer something even if that justification makes absolutely no sense to anyone or is completely false. Then, when all else fails, just deflect or try to change the subject.

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

See post 17

20. willard12 unregistered

Thanks. Now see post 18.

21. Sauce5 unregistered

Why are you so uptight with what he said? Calm down. Just shows he right.

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I simply like em in one location, and gotta be grilled about it lol. I'm cool on all the explaining.

24. Sauce5 unregistered

Exactly. I know, if its not a fanboys way... it's the high way. I know what you mean On my Note 4 I have widgets on multiple pages. A quick swipe down is faster than my Note 4's approach. (I also just learned that you can add them to Android but iOS does it better in the notification center than Android on my Note 4 does (IMO).

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Be careful lol, Willard12 will get you ;).

12. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

if it's placed on the homescreen, it would be of course useless. but if i can access the widgets anywhere, then it's another story.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Widgets on the homescreen are anything but useless. Also Android supports widgets in the notification shade as well.

5. livyatan

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

Nice. In all honesty, iOS is a very good OS. With default multi window support it would really close the gap to Android, and turn iPad into a very capable device

11. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Thankfully there is jailbreak and tweak for that.

8. adhi4u

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 28, 2015

What's the widget in the Opening of the article?

13. pàul.

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 09, 2013

Luche mucho por traducir este mensaje al español como muestra del itraslate... Pero no fue posible, primero me dijo que tenia limitación de 500 palabras... Bueno lo compre luego se colgó. Que bueno que además tengo a la mano in HTC one m7 (del que seguramente apple copio el diseño para su iphone 6) y con 3 clics traduje todo con la opción compartir - traductor - y tecla de retroceso☺

23. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

I didn't Like widgets, even with my first phone the HTC wildfire, i rarely used them, and when i moved over to Apple i didn't miss them a bit, however I love the centralised approach Apple took with widgets. Turns out, my problem wasn't with the widgets but Androids execution of widgets.

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