Apple’s iOS 10 update for iPhones and iPads is the biggest software refresh the iPhone-maker has launched in years, adding a host of major and minor new features that completely change the iOS experience.
I’ve been using beta versions of iOS 10 on my iPhone 6s and iPad Pro since June. While some of the high-profile additions to Messages, Photos, Apple Music and Apple News aren’t totally mind-blowing, the smaller tweaks make all the difference. With iOS 10, using Apple’s devices is easier, faster and far more enjoyable than ever.
This is the big iOS update you’ve been waiting for, but not for all the reasons Apple thinks.
While currently we haven’t heard too much about the milestone iOS 10, a group of dedicated Apple fans have taken it upon themselves to imagine what the upcoming improvements and feature set mat look like in the form of a nifty concept video. And if Apple comes up with anything like what they’ve dreamed up, we’re happy to say that we’ll be very, very pleased indeed.
For several months on my new Apple TV I’ve been searching for a decent weather app that doesn’t cost too much, and truth be told I really haven’t been able to find any. My go-to weather app has been Carrot Weather for quite some time, but I don’t love the interface on a big television screen. So I was eager to try out Forecast Bar for Apple TV, which offers some standout features and lots of forecast detail.
We reviewed Forecast Bar for Mac back in September and declared it the closest thing possible to getting Dark Sky on your Mac, and it still is. Dark Sky, known for its down-to-the-minute precipitation forecasts, has become a favorite weather app on iOS and Android. So let’s see if Forecast Bar for Apple TV is the closest thing to getting Dark Sky on the big screen.
This week: the oddly uplifting tale of Apple co-founder Ron Wayne, who sold his stake in the company for $800. Plus, road-ready gifts for bicyclists, killer Vainglory strategy guide, and awesome iOS 8 widgets you won’t want to miss. That and more in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine!
The Today view inside Notification Center was seen by many as a pretty pointless addition to iOS 7; it offered an incredibly brief overview of the day ahead and was somewhat customizable, but it did so little that most iPhone and iPad users forgot it was even there after a little while. That all changed with iOS 8 and support for third-party widgets.
Now the Today screen can be filled with useful information and handy little tools, such as calculators, currency convertors, weather widgets, and more. With the right apps, you can turn yours into a one-stop shop for all the data you care about.
To help you get started, here's a gallery of the best iOS 8 widgets you can get right now.
WeatherPro is one of the best weather apps you can buy on iOS; it's feature-packed and incredibly accurate. And its widget makes it even more useful by providing you with the current forecast and temperature, in addition to things like wind speed and precipitation -- all inside Notification Center.
The WeatherPro app itself boasts 3-hourly forecasts for the week ahead, worldwide alerts and warnings for extreme weather, global satellites and animated radars, and the ability to add an unlimited number of favorite locations.
You can download WeatherPro from the App Store now for $1.99.
Wdgts is actually a whole bunch of useful widgets inside one app. It includes useful tools as standard, like a calculator, currency converter, calendar, and time zones -- in addition to a premium pack that offers a network monitor, battery stats, and memory and disk usage data. Wdgts also offers a photo frame, so you can feed it a few of your favorite pics and enjoy them inside Notification Center while you're checking on your calendar.
Wdgst is a free download while the premium pack add-on can be had for just $0.99.
Much like Wdgts, Vidgets contains a number of handy widgets that help you seek out useful information in a pinch. It has over 30 widgets in total, including a world clock, timer, barometer, speedometer, weather forecast, and compass. It'll also show your how much storage and memory you're using.
The best thing about Vidgets is that it's totally free -- all 30 widgets are included as standard and there are no ads or in-app purchases.
The ScoreCenter widget is a must-have for sports fans. Simply log into the app using your SportsCenter account (it's free if you don't already have one) and select your favorite sports teams. SportsCenter will then keep you up to date on the latest scores inside Notification Center, so you'll never have to open an app again just to keep up with your teams. Whether you're into the NFL, NBA, NHL, or the English Premier League, SportsCenter has you covered.
You can download SportsCenter for free right now.
Google News & Weather
If you simply don't have time to keep up with the day's news, get the Google News widget and have breaking news headlines delivered right to your Today screen.
Inside the free Google News & Weather app, you can customize choose which sections and sources you see stories from, and then read top stories from each one. Google ensures you never miss big news even if you only have a few minutes to spare between meetings.
If you use the calendar on your iOS device, you really should have Fantastical 2 -- it's just terrific. It delivers all of the features you'd expect from a calendar app -- detailed events, reminders, and syncing with services like iCloud, Exchange, and Google Calendar -- plus some really nifty things like TextExpander. It also supports the feature that made Fantastical for Mac famous -- the ability to add events to your calendar using natural language. So, instead of filling out a bunch of boxes, you can type things like, "dinner with Tom at The Ivy at 1," and Fantastical will do the rest for you.
The Fantastical widget lets you quickly see whether you have appointments in your calendar for the day ahead, and helps you quickly find days on which your schedule isn't so packed.
Fantastical for iPhone is $1.99, and Fantastical for iPad is $4.99.
The Evernote widget simply makes the Evernote experience on iOS much greater. It provides five shortcuts that let you quickly add notes, photos, reminders, and lists to your notebooks. So if you're always opening up the Evernote app to add new things you don't want to forget, enable this widget inside Notification Center and make the process much simpler.
If you don't already have Evernote installed, it's a free download from the App Store.
The Deliveries app is a great way to track your packages from your iPhone or iPad. It will detect tracking numbers copied to your clipboard, and in most cases, automatically identify the courier. You can add as many parcels as you wish, then them to your door with the Deliveries app, or from inside Notification Center -- without having to type numerous tracking numbers into different websites.
Deliveries is a universal app compatible with iPhone and iPad, and you can get it now for $4.99.
Clear from Realmac Software has become one of the most adored to-do apps for iOS, but it's no longer just a list-maker. Thanks to support for reminders and its excellent widget, you can finally add important tasks and get alerts when they are due, ensuring you never forget that bottle of milk on the way home, or that important report that's due tomorrow morning.
Get CLear for iOS now for $4.99.
Yesterday Apple notified indie developed James Thomson that he would have to remove the iOS 8 widget from his calculator app, PCalc. After the news received a good amount of backlash and press attention, Apple has reversed its stance on the issue.
iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are designed to work closely together. Just like iOS 8, third-party developers are even encouraged to write extensions and widgets for their Mac apps. The result is a more seamless experience between an app’s iOS and OS X versions.
Such will be the case with Things by Cultured Code, an Apple Design Award winning task manager that was recently updated for iOS 8. Cultured Code has shared with Cult of Mac its plans for the Mac app when Yosemite drops, including a first look at how third-party apps will utilize Notification Center on Yosemite.
The ability to add widgets to your Notifications dock is easily one of iOS 8’s most useful additions. The new functionality puts some of your favorite apps’ features right at your fingertips.
Only a limited number of apps offer widgets currently, but with developers hard at work you can be sure many more are on the way. In today’s Cult of Mac video, we show you how to install widgets in iOS 8 so you can get started enjoying what’s available now.
In this instructional video, we also give you a look at some of our personal favorites. See how widgets can make managing your to-do list, journaling and checking out your favorite teams’ sports scores easier than ever.