Top 3 iOS Widgets

Ok so it’s simple, I was reading this article over at TechRadar on their “10 Top Time Savers”. While I enjoyed the article, it felt like there were some glaring omissions - here are my top 3.

Launcher

Launcher is by far the one that made the iOS Notification Centre something more than the discarded easy-access weather slide. Initially I tried to endear myself to it by using it for Stocks (I have shares in 1 company) and Calendar (we run a shared calender but we’re usually together). I still didn’t “get” it.

Like most things Apple there was potential for something great, it was just waiting for some clever developers to make it work. That’s when I came upon Launcher. The idea is simple, after installing the app you can choose up to 8 app shortcuts that will be available in the Launcher widget. You can of course upgrade to get more.

Launcher and my top 8 shortcuts

The other bonus with the Launcher shortcuts was that you can Launch apps directly into a specific screen (NSUserActivity anyone?) which mean you can go from the shortcut straight into Alarms in the Clock app or Bluetooth in Settings. While not ground breaking these App shortcuts lead me to start using the Notification Center more.

And with that came more Widgets.

Strava

If you’re doing any running or cycling and haven’t heard of Strava then I recommend giving it a look. There are many exercise trackers out there but Strava is particularly good - its clean interface and natural social features make challenging yourself and others a real delight.

Strava start recording

The widget allows you to quickly access Strava and kick off recording your session. You still have to unlock your phone but it speeds up that initial interaction with Strava which, when you're just brimming with anticipation and ready for the road, can be most welcome.

BBC Sport & Forza

I’m not a massive football fan but I do follow teams from time to time (I was born a Gordie so I follow Newcastle). For that I use Forza Football. It’s a great little app that lets you setup teams to follow and the matches will pop up right in the notification centre, not only that but the scored update in realtime (not always with the news you’re after but that can’t be helped). Like most of the widgets featured here a simple tap will take you through to the Forza App.

Forza and BBC Widgets

On that sporty note it would be hard not to mention the BBC Sport app. I absolutely love the BBC coverage of Wimbledon and their online players never disappoint. Their news is usually pretty good with a healthy mix of social and opinion. The widget is very much the same with the Top 3 headlines offering a quick shortcut right into the article.

First appeared on Trusty Interior, last update 12 Sep 2015