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The best Notification Center widgets in iOS 8 right now

Leah Yamshon | Sept. 29, 2014
I was always a little envious of my Android-touting friends who had custom widgets with handy info on one glanceable screen, so I'm thrilled that widgets finally got the iOS treatment.

Vice News: Vice released a news app just in time for iOS 8's launch, and its widget displays the top stories of the day.

Yahoo News Digest: This app delivers the top news stories of the day, twice a day. Its widget displays these stories one at a time.

News360: News360 calls itself "your personalized news reader," as it learns what you like to read the more you use it. Its widget shows the latest stories in your feed.

NYT Now: If you have a subscription to NYT Now ($8/month), you can access the most important stories of the day through its widget.

Duolingo: Language-learning app Duolingo built its widget to include your daily goal and progress. It's cute, simple, and unobtrusive while delivering useful info--perfect as a widget.

iTranslate: This app's widget quickly translates whatever is on your iPhone's clipboard to another language, which you pre-select in the app itself. It's handy for travelers, and works great in widget form.

Travel Guide by AFAR: Gorgeous travel guide and magazine AFAR built its widget to display cool things nearby to explore, broken down by tabs (eat, drink, do, and more). I don't think I'd categorize the Powell Street BART Station as something fun to do, but other than that, this widget is a winner in terms of design and info.

Hotel Tonight: Hotel Tonight's widget shows the top hotel deals nearby, but since I doubt you'll need a hotel every single night, this is probably best experienced within the app itself.

App in the Air: This flight-tracking tool displays your upcoming flight information in its widget, including your airline, flight number, check-in time, and flight duration. This widget makes App in the Air a must-have for travelers, and it's even compatible with TripIt, which makes setup a snap.

WorldMate: WorldMate should really just be its own widget, since it shows you a comprehensive breakdown of your daily travel itinerary. It's handy for frequent travelers, and organizes a lot of information in a neat package. I'd suggest only including this widget when you're actually traveling, however, just to free up the widget clutter.

Business and productivity
Evernote: I'm delighted by Evernote's widget. Instead of cramming entire notes into the Today tab, you have buttons to launch new actions instead; pick Text, Camera, Photos, Reminder, or List to start a new note within Evernote. This is a no-brainer for any Evernote user.

PCalc: PCalc is arguably the best calculator app for iOS, but I think it looks too clunky in Notification Center. It's an app best served as a standalone experience.


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