How to keep iOS gaming sessions from being interrupted

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Stop getting interrupted when you're gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
Stop getting interrupted when you're gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

I’ve been playing Vainglory quite a bit lately, and the one thing that really distracts me and actually impacts my gameplay (when on my iPad 3) is notifications. They can make the game stutter, which wreaks havok on my ability to gank an enemy Joule from the bushes with my Krul.

Seriously, it’s annoying.

I turned on Do Not Disturb last week to try and get rid of these badges that annoy, but it never worked: I still got notifications from Facebook, Messages and other appss. I did some digging to find out why.

How to enable that sexy new iTunes Notification Center widget

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Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The advent of iTunes 12.1 gave us a sweet new widget that lets you control iTunes from the Notification Center’s Today section, without ever having to switch to the app itself. You can even favorite songs and buy currently playing tracks if you’re listening to iTunes Radio.

Unfortunately, this widget doesn’t seem to appear by default. To enable it, you need to drop into System Preferences. Here’s how to get it up and running.

Here’s what Apple should do to fix Notification Center

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notificationsiOS8
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

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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!

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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.