My old iPhone 5s is already better thanks to iOS 8. Apple launched the new software for the iPhone 4s and up on Wednesday — although you may want to hold off on upgrading for several reasons — and I quickly installed it because has several great features I used during the beta period.
As many [company]Google[/company] Android users know, widgets can be incredibly useful. [company]Apple[/company] added widget support in iOS 8, but it does have that Apple twist to it: Unlike on Android devices, you can’t put widgets on home screens. Instead, they appear in the drop-down Notification screen which is always just a swipe away. How do you get them there? It’s actually pretty easy.
First, you’ll need an app that’s been updated for iOS 8 and supports widgets. That sounds obvious but it’s going to take developers time to make their changes; some may even decide not to support widgets. Yahoo Weather actually meets both criteria, and it became the de-facto weather app on my iPhone a long time ago. I got the updated app on my iPhone 5s and went to my Notifications screen in iOS where there’s an Edit button at the bottom.
Tap it and you can rearrange, hide or add any iOS 8 compatible widgets. In my case, I simply added Yahoo Weather by tapping the green plus button. I then dragged Weather higher in my list of notifications. That’s it.
Now, whenever I want to see weather information, a quick swipe down provides it. And tapping a widget opens up its associated application, so in my case, a quick tap on Weather opens the full Yahoo Weather app.
No, the widgets aren’t quite like Android due to Apple’s control and implementation, but they’re a definite step forward for iOS, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other third-party apps bring to the Notification Center on my iPhone.