Apple’s Notification Centre in iOS 8 doesn’t just prod you when you get an email, or show you what’s next up in your calendar; you can download all kinds of cool widgets, to play games, get instant web updates and more. Here’s how to download new widgets for your iPhone or iPad, plus our pick of the best…
Step One: Learn how to edit your notifications
To change what appears in your Notification Centre, just pull it down from the top of the screen and then scroll to the very bottom. You’ll see an ‘Edit’ button. Give that a tap and you’ll see two lists: stuff that’s already shown in your Notification Centre, and other things that you can add.
To add a notification, tap the green plus by its name. Similarly, to get rid of something, just tap the red minus sign.
Step Two: Find some cool new stuff to shove in there
Widgets come in the form of apps, downloaded from the App Store. After you download the app you want, you’ll see the widget automatically appear in the Edit list we covered in step one.
To get you started, here’s three of our favourites.
One of the original timewasters, Minesweeper’s simple grey grid managed to keep us captivated over two decades ago, when we played marathon all-afternoon sessions instead of actually doing work.
Now you can recreate those glory days by downloading the Minesweeper app, which adds the game directly into your notification centre. It’s as arse-clenchingly tense as ever, and you can fiddle with apps then return to your game at any time.
Not to be confused with Glympse, the handy mapping app. Glimpse with an ‘i’ is a nifty way to check on your favourite website without bothering to call up your browser.
All you have to do is give Glimpse a web address and the page will load up in the app. Then, select an area of that page which you’d like to display in the Notification Centre. For instance, you might want to highlight the ‘latest on Recombu Mobile’ section of this particular website.
From now on, whenever you pull down the Notification Centre, that slice of internet goodness will refresh and show you what’s new.
If you use this funky (and free) brain trainer app, then the good news is you can check out your stats directly through the Notification Centre, to see exactly how awesomely smart it’s making you. Or simply despair at how dumb you are.
Got your own favourite widgets? Give us a shout in the comments below.