For years iOS users have been wishing, hoping, and dreaming for ways to see information inside apps without actually launching them. For instance, wouldn’t it be nice to see the current weather forecast without even opening a weather app? How about reading a few of today’s news headlines without opening a news app? Many thought Apple would never execute this type of functionality. Now with the latest version of iOS they have introduced these longed-for widgets, although maybe not in the format people were expecting. Check out our list of the best iPhone widget apps below. This article is part of our Best iPhone Apps series where we categorize the best apps for iPhone and iPad. Click here to find out more.
Apple has utilized the “Today” screen in Notification Center to display widgets. You can access Notification Center by swiping down from the top of your iPhone or iPad screen. Tapping on the “Today” tab shows you today’s date and maybe some information from your calendar. But now you’ll be able to add more widgets to see information from apps without even opening them. What I really like about Apple’s approach here is that you can access these widgets by swiping down Notification Center from anywhere, even without unlocking your phone. Here’s how to add a widget to Notification Center.
The video above will show you how this all works but you can also follow these directions. Swipe down to open Notification Center. Now tap the “Edit” button at the bottom of the pane and you’ll now be able to add widgets to Notification Center. The list of widgets that appears is based on apps you have installed on your iPhone that support widget functionality. You can tap the + button to add these app’s widget to Notification Center. Tapping “Done” in the upper right will take you back to Notification Center where you will now see your newly added widget.
If you want to get new widgets, you first need to download apps that support this functionality. We’ve been using tons of widgetized apps since they’ve been made available. Here is a list of the best widgets for iPhone and iPad. Take a look and let us know your favorite widgets in the comments below.
Short for Estimated Time of Arrival, ETA puts the drive time to your favorite places in Notification Center and on your Apple Watch. You can add places you visit often from within the ETA app on your iPhone. Then once the widget is enabled you'll have these shown for quick ...Read More
The release of the Apple Music service has gotten us using this Music Launcher widget a lot. It provides a quick way to start playing music without even opening an app. Music Launcher is made by the same fine folks that brought us the Launcher widget. Music Launcher takes the ...Read More
Knowing a song's lyrics can add much more feeling to the tune. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to understand what the vocalist is saying. That's where Musixmatch steps in. The service claims to house the largest collection of official song lyrics. Launch the app and whatever song is currently playing ...Read More
"If this then that" is a service that connects many of your online accounts to each other. So, if it's raining out, IFTTT will tell your internet connected home lights to turn on. That's just one example, of the various things that the service will do. In fact, IFTTT is ...Read More
Hue is just one of our favorite smart home apps for iPhone and iPad. We've collected all of our favorites here. And if you'd like to see more of our top app selections in different categories, just head on over to our Best Apps Series. The Philips Hue lighting system ...Read More
Want to track your daily exercise? Pedometer++ does just that by recording your daily steps and even the number of floors your climbed (on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus). An included Today Screen widget will show you today’s progress in Notification Center. The developer has also included a handy Apple ...Read More
Deliveries is our favorite package tracking app. Anytime you order something online and you get a shipment or tracking number, simply paste it into Deliveries and watch the package route its way right to your house. Now Deliveries has a widget so you can watch all this and get alerts ...Read More
Launcher with Notification Center Widget was originally released back in September 2014 but was quickly pulled by Apple from the App Store. This was due to the app's awesome ability to launch other apps right from your Today Screen. But Apple has had a change of heart and Launcher is ...Read More
Clips is a superb clipboard manager for iPhone and iPad. Have you ever wished you had access to more than your last copied item? Clips saves your copy history in a neatly designed app. Clips also has a great widget that can be viewed from your Today Screen in Notification ...Read More
Fantastical 2 has a place in our heart as one of the Best Calendar Apps on iPhone and iPad. Now we have a reason to love it even more. That's because developer flexibits has updated the app to support Notification Center's Today view. Now with a simple swipe from the ...Read More
Drafts is a sweet app for writers and anyone else who wants to quickly create notes and then get on with life. Launching the app quickly brings up a blank screen ready for your text input. Jot a note and exit. Drafts will automatically save your text without you having ...Read More
PCalc if one of the best calculator apps available for iPhone and iPad. Now it presents a quick access calculator to the Today screen. This widget is just one facet of the premium calculator app. If you find yourself constantly making calculations, unit conversions, even solving scientific equations, PCalc is ...Read More
Thessa is a new widget that will let you interact with your Nest Thermostat right from the Today Screen. Without even unlocking your iPhone, simply slide down from the top of screen and see and change your home temperature. The app cleverly displays temperature interval buttons. So it's easy to ...Read More
Surprisingly Yahoo has made a fantastic iPhone and iPad app for weather. What’s great about Yahoo Weather is it’s user interface. The app gives you a nice forecast of daily and nightly weather with written descriptions of rain and snow accumulations, a feature lacking in many weather apps. The app ...Read More
There are a flurry of weather apps for the iPhone and iPad. But the problem is that most these apps require you to keep checking them for updates. Dark Sky, on the other hand, comes to you. How so? Dark Sky's killer feature is alerting you when it is going ...Read More
This list will be constantly updated as cool widgetized apps are released on the App Store. In the meantime, let us know your favorite widgets for iPhone and iPad in the comments below!