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iPhone Widgets: How to Use and Configure

This is a tutorial on how to add iPhone widgets and use them effectively. Your Notification Center is the home for widgets on iOS. You may already know widgets from an Android phone, where they reside on the Home Screen and display all sorts of useful information. Apple decided against this particular approach but introduced Notification Center widgets in iOS 8, which you can customize, replace, reorder and of course add additional widgets to your collection.

Widgets on iPhone are part of the iOS operating system, but you can also obtain new widgets by installing apps from the iTunes App Store. Some of the apps in the App Store support widgets, which you can then add to the Notification Center. Typically, an iOS widget will contain useful information or even an interactive section that you can use to e.g. complete tasks in GTD apps.

How to get widgets on iPhone

Popular apps such as “Things”, “Dropbox”, “iTV Shows” and “Runtastic” include widgets which you can add to your Notification Center. There are also a bunch of pre-installed widgets that come with your iPhone. Lets have a look at how to add and configure your Notification Center widgets.

Notification Center > Edit

Swipe downwards from the very top edge of your screen. You should now see the Notification Center. Two sections govern this screen and are available through the button bar at the top. “Today” shows your widgets and daily information, while “Notifications” collects all of the notifications your apps have sent during the day, including the missed ones.

Tap “Today” if not already selected and scroll down as far as possible. You should now see an “Edit” button. Tap it to enter the configuration/edit mode of your Notification Center.

Tapping the red symbol next to a widget title will disable the respective widget. Dragging the handle to the right of a widget title will allow you to change the display order in your Notification Center. The top of the list contains all of the currently active widgets, while the bottom is made up of all the currently disabled widgets.

To add any one of those currently disabled widgets, tap the green plus sign icon next to it. Then feel free to adjust the position of your new widget. When you are finished configuring your widget list, tap “Done” to exit the edit mode.