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Hands on: This is how awesome widgets are going to be in iOS 8

Published Sep 2nd, 2014 12:00PM EDT
iOS 8 Widgets

Apple has fought the idea of adding widget support to its iOS platform for years, in theory because the company decided battery life was more important than zero-tap access to information. Some agree with that stance while others would rather have the option of using widgets on their iPhones and iPads, but now Apple has finally come up with a compromise.

In iOS 8, Apple’s next-generation mobile platform that will be released to the public later this month, developers can create widgets for their apps that will reside on the Today panel in iOS’s Notification Center. It’s not quite as practical as a home screen widget might be, but at least it’s something.

While the world waits for iOS 8 to be released by Apple with widget support in tow, here’s a quick look at how awesome widget support will be in iOS 8.

BGR has had the pleasure of testing out a few different widgets in iOS 8, but the most interesting and useful one we’ve tried so far might be the one coming in new app updates from iOS developer Johnny Ixe. His apps Dataman Next and Dataman Pro, which track cellular data usage to help people avoid going over their monthly data limits, will include a nifty new widget that provides real-time information about current data usage that is accessible with a single swipe.

As seen in the image above, the new Dataman widget is a small, simple field that appears on the Today panel in the iOS Notification Center. At a glance, a user will be able to see how much data he or she has used thus far in the current month.

The widget is also color coded, so users will not only see how much data they have left in a billing period, but also a color — for example, green is safe while red means a user is at risk of hitting his or her data cap.

Ixe’s Dataman Next and Dataman Pro apps will receive widget support as free updates following Apple’s launch of iOS 8.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.