Here’s what Apple should do to fix Notification Center


Notification Center is surprisingly unintuitive for Apple. Photo: Apple


I have very few complaints about iOS 8, and based on casual conversations I’ve had with friends plus the high percentage of users who have upgraded to Apple’s latest mobile OS, I’d suggest the same thing is true across the board.

One part of iOS I use very rarely, however, is Notification Center, which aims to be a one-stop-shop for all the information you need to know, but instead looks like a strangely un-Apple mass of informational overload.

Apparently Stockholm-based MobileCreative designers Petter Andersson, Friðgeir Torfi Ásgeirsson and Jonas Jerlström feel the same way, because they’ve come up with a concept video showing a new possible notification interface for iOS. And you know what? I kind of love it.

Trick out your iPhone with Notification Center widgets


Make the Notification Center your own with widgets. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Make the Notification Center your own with widgets. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Swipe down from the top of your iPhone (or iPad) screen and you’ll see the new iOS 8 Notification Center. It’s got two sections — Notifications on the right and Today on the left. Tap on the Today button and you’ll see all the new widgets arrayed in their default order.

You can add your calendar, weather, stocks and any one of hundreds of third-party app that has widget support.

The great thing is that you’re not stuck with the default order, or even the default apps — this part of Notification Center is totally customizable. Here’s how to make it your own.

You can now play Minesweeper in Notification Center!


Screenshot: Cult of Mac
If you want Minesweeper in your Notification Center, better grab it fast. Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Although it’s a Windows game, I’ve never met anyone without a sweet spot for Minesweeper, the addictive little puzzle game that Microsoft debuted in Windows 3.1. Sadly, though, it never came to the Mac.

But if you love a good game of Minesweeper, we’ve got some great news. You can now play it right within Notification Center. Better act on it soon, though: Apple has a tendency to pull interesting iOS 8 widgets like this one.

This free iOS 8 widget lets you use Notification Center as a notepad


Photo: Neato
Photo: Neato

I love interactive Notification Center widgets. Widgets that let me use Notification Center like a quick entry form for my best used apps. Stuff like PCalc’s calculator widget that gives functionality to users that Apple seems conflicted about.

That’s why I love Neato. It’s a quick jot notepad for Notification Center that lets you speedily enter notes no matter where you are in iOS 8.

This Notification Center widget is like iStats Menu for your iPhone


Photo: Omnistat

On my aging 2009 iMac, one of my favorite apps is iStats Menu, which lets me see at a glance which of the various programs I have running has slowed my desktop down to a crawl. And I have to admit, it’s gotten me a little performance obsessed: I spend a bunch of time every day checking out iStats Menu, just to see if there’s something I can close to maybe drop CPU usage another half-a-percent.

Because of this, I’ve always sort of wished that there was a similar program for iPhones and iPads. And now there is.