One of the most helpful features in iOS 8 is the ability of apps to display helpful information right on your lock screen through widgets. There are widgets to provide you with calendar information, games, and even tools to show you how much memory your iPhone is using. Here is my take on the seven best iPhone widgets you should be using, but might not be.
If you’ve got a busy schedule, it’s important to keep on top of your daily appointments as efficiently as possible. Fantastical 2 is a gorgeous app with an incredible natural language entry algorithm, and its widget is both beautiful and functional. Fantastical 2 is available for $4.99 from the App Store.
If you need a feature-rich calculator, PCalc Lite is a powerful choice. While the full app offers a wealth of features including unit conversion, multiple undo and redo, and many scientific calculator functions, the widget is much more basic. This is precisely what you need in the Notification Center: quick and easy addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. PCalc Lite is available for free on the App Store.
Now available for free on the App Store, NYT Now’s widget puts your daily briefing and top stories right in your Notification Center. You can quickly and easily skim the top news articles of the day without even unlocking your iPhone. When you want to read more of a story, all you have to do is tap on the headline to open the article in the full NYT Now app. NYT Now is available for free on the App Store.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing, scanning business cards, collecting pictures, or making a list, Evernote is the go-to app for the majority of users who want to store projects and sync them across devices. With its Notification Center widget, Evernote will allow you to quickly create notes and view the entries you’ve recently accessed. Evernote is a free download from the App Store.
Weather with a side of snarky humor is a great combination, and Carrot Weather brings that straight to your Notification Center. Through its widget, you can view current conditions and the four-day forecast without needing to unlock your iPhone to launch the app. Carrot Weather is $3.99 to download from the App Store.
For your journaling pleasure, Day One provides both elegance and simplicity. The modern journaling app includes a Notification Center widget that allows you to see flashbacks of your previous entries right from your lock screen. Available for $4.99 on the App Store, Day One is a must-have app with a should-use widget.
Last, but definitely not least, is Orby Widgets. This lovely app adds a collection of widgets for your notification center, giving you everything from speed calling to data about your iOS device to social media sharing buttons. For a full rundown on the capabilities of Orby Widgets, check out Sandy Stachowiak’s article on making the most of your Notification Center. Orby Widgets is available for $0.99 on the App Store.