How to track flights in the Mac’s Notification Center

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TodayFlights
TodayFlights tracks flights, and nothing else.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Tracking flights is a bit of a pain. Siri can do it, and if you’re a real plane spotter, you might even trouble yourself to find an app to do it. But for most of us, we track a flight once in a while, whenever someone’s coming to visit. We just want something that is simple to use, and the disappears. That something is TodayFlights, a neat app that adds a flight tracker to the Mac’s Notification Center Today View.

TodayFlights Mac flight tracker widget

Tap in the flight details, and the widget will track it.
Tap in the flight details, and the widget will track it.
Photo: Josh Parham

TodayFlights comes from developer Josh Parham, and does one thing. Launch the app and tap in the airline code and route number. Then, open up the Today View sidebar on your Mac by either clicking the icon, or swiping in from the right edge of your trackpad with two fingers.

The first time you use TodayFlights you’ll have to add its widget. After that, everything can be run from the Today widget. You can even quit the app, and add new flights in the widget. To see updates, just swipe out the widget to take a quick look.

It’s not perfect. Unlike most other trackers I’ve used, TodayFlights requires that you manually separate the airline code and router number, instead of just letting you paste the whole thing in and taking care of it for you. Also, the widget takes up a lot of space. That’s fine when you’re tracking, because you get a map, route, terminal and gate details, arrival time, and even the baggage claim carousel number.

But the panel remains at full size even when not tracking a flight. You just get a big blank box taking up half a screen’s worth of height in your Today view.

Still, the widget is so handy I’ll keep it around, perhaps shifted to the bottom of the widget list.