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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.

N3twork: N3twork bills itself as the first personal Internet video network, recommending videos it thinks you'll like based on your interests, hashtags, and people you follow on social media. The widget lists one video that's playing on N3twork now--which is cool, but not a must-have widget in my book.

Magisto: Video editing app Magisto automatically stitches photos and videos together to make mini movies. It has manual video editing tools as well. Its widget shows the latest batch of videos and photos you've shot, urging you to create a movie. The image thumbs are so small that it's hard to make out the details, and tapping anything just launches the app. I don't think the functionality of this widget is all that useful.

A handful of others
Sky Guide: An essential for astronomy fans, this app shows you constellations in the sky when you direct your phone upwards. Its widget shows rise and set times for the sun, moon, and planets, and will also show if there are any special events like an eclipse or meteor shower. It's pretty, and if you're into stargazing, it will help you determine the best time to bust out the scale. 

Day One: Journaling app Day One's widget shows graphs on how many entries you've written in the past 50 days, along with a Timehop-esque flashback of older photos from the current day in your history. 

Memoir: This nifty little life-logging app that resurfaces old photos, posts, check-ins, and memories for you to browse--also kind of like Timehop, but with more detail. Its widget takes up a lot of space, showing a single memory out of your daily collection, which of course then prompts you to check out the full app. I don't think the widget is doing any service, here.

Kindle: Amazon Kindle's widget lists the books you're currently reading and shows your progress. Tap any to open the book in Kindle and pick up where you left off. Although this widget only makes things slightly quicker, it looks nice and neat within Notification Center. 

OpenTable: Restaurant reservation app OpenTable lists upcoming reservations within its widget. It's simple, easy information that looks great in Notification Center. 

Ancestry: Ancestry's widget reminds you of milestones from your family tree, like birthdays, anniversaries, and death dates, in the form of day-of reminders. If you typically don't jot those dates down in your calendar app, Ancestry's widget is a helpful reminder.


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