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.

Get iOS 8’s Notification Center on iOS 7 with this slick jailbreak tweak


iOS 7’s Notification Center is useful, but Apple’s made a number of improvements in iOS 8. For one thing, they dropped the ‘Missed’ tab, which was always next to useless. There’s also support for third-party widgets in Today View, as well as interactive notifications and the ability to individually dismiss notifications that are no longer applicable.

They are all good changes, but unfortunately, you need to wait until September to make use of them… that is, unless you have a jailbroken phone, in which case, a simple tweak is all you need to get an iOS 8-style Notification Center today.