One of the handiest new features of iOS 8 may be the ability for you to add widgets to your Today screen. With Today widgets you can customize the information you have at your fingertips to make getting information as easy as possible!
What Are Today Widgets?
If you’ve updated to iOS 8, you have a very handy feature called the Today screen where you can add widgets. Widgets give you instant access to information from your apps.
No need to hunt for your apps and open them. No need to unlock your phone or leave an app to get the information you need. See information at a glance all in one place from any screen by opening your Today screen.
Want to find out news, stock prices, weather, traffic and sports scores? Want to have quick access to your Kindle books, Dropbox files, Evernote notes? Check your Today screen widgets!
Android users have had the ability to add widgets to their home screen for a while. iPhone owners can rejoice that this technology has now arrived via iOS 8. While the Today screen isn’t new to the iPhone, the ability to add widgets from 3rd party apps is new.
See, The 26 Best iOS 8 Tips and Tricks! for more cool new features in iOS 8.
How to Open Your Today Screen
To open the Today screen, swipe down from the top of any screen. Tap on the Today tab at the top. You’ll see your widgets with updated information:
You can scroll through your widgets to get information instantly.
How to Add Widgets to Personalize Your Today Screen
Today comes with standard widgets from Apple but don’t stop there! Make the most of your Today screen by adding widgets from your apps.
Adding widgets from your apps is easy. Scroll down to the bottom of your Today screen and tap the Edit button.
The Edit screen will show you a list of apps with widgets available for your Today screen. The widgets at the top with a red circle are those that are already in your Today screen. The ones at the bottom with a green circle are widgets that are available to add to your Today screen.
If you want to add a widget to your Today screen, tap the green circle next to the widget. If you want to delete a widget from your Today screen, tap the red circle and it will move down to the bottom of your Edit screen. You can add that widget back later if you change your mind.
Go to Settings => Notifications and turn on Notifications for any apps you want to use as widgets.
You can arrange the order of your widgets in the Edit screen by pressing on the three stacked lines icon to the right of the widget and dragging the widget to where you want it to be:
Tap “Done” in the upper right hand corner of the Edit screen when you’ve arranged your widgets to your satisfaction.
Not All Apps Have Widgets
The ability to add app widgets to your Today screen is a brand spankin’ new feature of iOS 8 so the choice of widgets is somewhat limited. Depending on how many apps you have on your phone you may not have a lot of widget choices. Not all apps have widgets.
But new widgets are constantly being added so keep checking by tapping the Edit button about every week or so to see which of your apps have added widgets.
Choosing the Best Widgets for You
Widgets are very personal so see which ones you like using. Figure out what you need/want to know instantly and see which widgets you have available. If you have both an iPad and an iPhone you may find you want different widgets on each device.
If you’re house hunting, you may want the Realtor.com widget that shows you local houses for sale. If you eat out a lot you may want the Open Table widget to keep track of your restaurant reservations. If you’re job hunting you may want the LinkedIn widget that shows you who has viewed your profile recently.
Again, this tech is fairly new so your favorite app may not have a widget or the widget that it has may not be your favorite widget. Try different widgets to see which one works best for you.
For example, your favorite weather app may not have your favorite widget. Maybe the information doesn’t update often or the font is too small for you to read easily. Try adding several other weather widgets to see which one you like most.
Some widgets may be buggy. They don’t update or give you the information you need. Remove them from your Today screen and try adding them back at a later date to see whether they’ve been updated.
Here are some of my favorite Today widgets:
AccuWeather — This widget gives you the current weather in your location, alerts to weather advisories, and predictions of upcoming precipitation.
Traffic Conditions — This widget tells me how long it will take to get me where I need to be based on current traffic conditions. Somehow it predicts where I’ll be going. I’m not sure how it does that…
Breaking News — You can see breaking news from around the world and close to home.
Calendar — You can add both Today and Tomorrow’s calendar to get an idea of your appointments.
TV Guide — If you’re a TV fan, see what TV Guide recommends you watch tonight.
I’m hoping that someday iTunes will let you search apps according to which ones have widgets.
See, 13 Super Shortcuts for Your iPhone – in Control Center for another handy tool on your iPhone!
Don’t Go Overboard
Information Overload is easily achieved with widgets. Add too many and you’ll get bogged down checking everything. See what your tolerance is for widgets and then stick to the plan. Five widgets may be ideal for some people while others can handle more.
Have you added widgets to your Today screen? What are some of your favorite widgets? Do you have a favorite app you wish would add a widget? Let us know in the Comments section below!
The Spirit of Christmas is again being delivered by WestJet airlines. Last year the company granted Christmas wishes of unsuspecting passengers on a flight, delivering their presents along with their luggage upon their arrival.
This year WestJet outdid itself by granting wishes for citizens in a town in the Dominican Republic. Check out this video showing the joy the company brought to a town in need:
If you don’t get choked up watching this video, well check your ID to see if your middle name might be “Grinch”.
Here’s why WestJet did what they did:
See, Random Acts of Christmas Kindness – Make Someone’s Day! to view last year’s WestJet acts of generosity.