App widgets in OS X Yosemite will make Notification Center useful at last


Screenshot: Cultured Code

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.

After you install Yosemite, you might actually start using Notification Center.
After you install Yosemite, you might actually start using Notification Center. Screenshot: Alex Heath/ Cult of Mac

The look and feel of widgets in Yosemite is pretty much identical to iOS 8, which is an obvious design choice on Apple’s part to make the experience more familiar for users. You can add widgets to Notification Center, an area of the Mac that I’ve often forgotten in the past, from the “Edit” button at the bottom of the screen.

Things 2.5 for Mac, which I’ve been using in private beta, has a new widget for Yosemite users that can be added alongside Apple’s preinstalled widgets, like Stocks, Weather, and Calculator. Any Yosemite-optimized app with its own widget can be added alongside everything else in the Edit menu. It’s the same way widgets work on iOS 8, expect on the Mac.

Tasks in the Today view of Things are displayed in its widget, and you can check individual tasks to mark them completed. While pretty basic, Cultured Code’s integration with Notification Center is a sign that third-party devs are willing to bring their widgets and other extensions to the Mac. I’m not sure widgets will make me want to start using Notification Center regularly, but the idea’s usefulness will become more clear as other apps are updated.

Yosemite is expected to launch publicly as early as this Thursday after Apple’s media event, and Cultured Code is planning to have Things 2.5 available in the Mac App Store immediately after. An iPhone update with Handoff support will also be released alongside the Mac update. A Today View widget for iOS and an iPad design refresh are both still in development.