Best productivity app 2014

When Apple first revealed that iOS users would be able to access information from the Lock screen in iOS 8, I wasn’t that excited. I’ve never had a problem just unlocking my iPhone and opening the app I want to get information from. However, once Notification Center extensions became available, I was hooked. Now, I’ve got to-do lists, weather forecasts, news updates, and all kinds of widgets sitting on my Today view.

Everyone at iDB is excited about widgets, so it was pretty easy to come up with a big list of nominations. However, it was hard to narrow it down to the best one. With much hair pulling involved, we came to a final vote. The list below reveals our winner for best Notification Center widget, as well as the runner-ups. Since the feature has only existed for a few months, we are not going to name any “best ever” widget this year.

The best Notification Center widget of 2014

Fantastical 2

Fantastical notification center extension

Fantastical 2 users received a nice surprise in late October when the calendar app was updated for iOS 8 to include a Notification Center widget. In the Today view, right on your Lock screen, you can see the month at a glance. Plus, check out your events for today. Without having to open your device, you can also see what is going on during any day of the current month. You can also switch from one month to another to see what the future holds for you. Wondering what that event is scheduled for Monday? Tap it to open it directly. This app is available on the iPhone for $4.99 and the iPad for $9.99.

The runner ups

Agenda+

Agenda+ Notification Center extension

We live a busy life. Whether we are picking up the kids, grocery shopping, hitting the gym, or celebrating with friends, we’ve got a lot to do and it is easy to forget some important events if we don’t pay attention. This app puts a calendar of events and a reminder list right on your Today view. When you are organizing your day’s chores, you can easily glance at prescheduled events that you must work around. If you’ve got a meeting coming up that you’d like to get more information on, you can view it in Event Details without having to leave Notification Center. Don’t use reminders lists? No problem. You can hide the features and only see your calendar of events. This app is available for $1.99.

Clips

Clips notification center extension

Until iOS 8, copying and pasting text was kind of a pain. If I wanted to send a message to someone with two different copied sentences, I’d have to practically perform acrobatic feats. Clips makes it possible for you to copy data from apps, calendars, emails, and more. Then, save them in Notification Center. You can even save images to the app. However, if they are too large, you won’t see them on your Today view. Instead, you can access them from the Clips app. Then, open the document you wish to paste all of the copied content into. Paste one item, then bring down Notification Center to grab the next item. Tap to copy. Then past it into your document. Done. This app is available for free.

Yahoo Weather

Yahoo Weather Notification Center extension

When Yahoo launched its Weather app in spring of 2013, we were pretty impressed with how it looked. At the time, there were not many apps showcasing the look that has become so common after iOS 7 dropped. This year, with the advent of iOS 8, Yahoo Weather received an update that put the beautiful imagery right in your Notification Center. Plus, the app also gives you a quick rundown of the current temperature, the highs and lows, the afternoon forecast, and the evening’s predictions. The conditions will change throughout the day as time passes and that storm does, too. If you want more details on the week ahead, tap the widget to open the five or 10 day forecast. This app is available for free.

Evernote

Evernote notification center

Being that Evernote is one of our most favorite productivity apps, it is not a surprise that we appreciate the additional convenience we get from being able to quickly go to a specific section of the app right from Notification Center. The widget features an at-a-glance view of recently viewed notes. Plus, a list of Evernote quick note categories are displayed. Tap category and it will open to create a new note. Add text, pictures, reminders, and lists. If you tap one of the recently viewed items, you will be redirected to it within Evernote. This app is available for free.

ESPN SportsCenter

Espn-sportscenter-

If you are the type of person that needs to know how your favorite teams are fairing, but don’t want to take flack from someone that just doesn’t understand how important it is, the ESPN SportsCenter app will help you out. By adding your favorite teams to your lineup, and then adding the widget in Notification Center, you‘ll be able to quickly glance at the current score of a game. You can also play live radio from Notification Center. For an added bonus, if you set up notifications in the app, you can watch or listen to a game from a game alert by swiping to the left when you receive the notification. This app is available for free.

What is your favorite Notification Center widget? Let us know in the comments below.

Best of 2014

Image: PlaceIt

  • GuyWithTheThings

    Sweet apps. Love Yahoo! Weather.

    • Jason Baroni

      Yahoo! is one of a few companies that understand Apple design philosophy. I love apps like their weather app

  • Keabsy

    DataMan’s widget is a must for me.

  • Captain Canada

    This sad list represents how garbage widgets in iOS are. If you look at the failure that widgets, extensions and 3rd party keyboards have been iOS 8 has been so flop.

    • john diaz

      I agree with you but at least its a step forward for apple, they finally decided to add widgets to their iPhones, crappy start but its a start.

    • I can’t think of one widget, extension or third-party keyboard I use that would be described as a flop.

  • Gabriel Anaya

    I can’t get anything in the app store right now. I keep getting a “Cannot connect to iTunes store error”. Anybody else getting this?

  • Burge

    “data widget” is the only one I need

  • port87

    id like someone to create toggles so I can disable control center.

    • FunkyWeed

      it’s not possible unless we are talking about jailbroken devices

      • gittlopctbi

        Well, it’s a good thing this is a blog centered around jailbreaking, then. 😉

  • Al

    I would like to have seen Weather Live in the mix. I enjoy using it for an NC Widget..

  • AlainCl

    I prefer the weather widget in Weather Underground (weather, forecast, hour-by-hour temp chart), Nuzzel for Facebook/Twitter news-links, and Readdle’s Calendars 5 (because I use Google Calendar).

  • Khafaga

    I use Snapstats, iMonitor, OmniFocus 2, Calendars 5 by Readdle and 360Scores. I love using widgets in iOS 8 generally. They bring great customization to the OS.

  • Kiera Nightly

    jelek ah mendingan yg lain aja

  • Hotrod

    The Phillips hue widget is amazing

  • gittlopctbi

    Clips is better than nothing. I just don’t like how you have to manually save save your items to the Clips clipboard. I’m hoping against hope that Action Menu will be updated to iOS 8.

  • anyone aware of any tweaks that cause notification widgets to stop working? Three of mine have died; can’t find the culprit.

  • czbird

    Netatmo has a cool widget to check data from your meteo station.

  • droid3000

    A good news app?

  • Valinor

    Is there a way to use the Yahoo weather Widget without enabling locations…. I dont like apps accessing my location settings and always set stuff manually

  • Chintan Kankeshwar

    I think dataman and vidgets are nice!!

  • Jason Baroni

    Surprised that Music Center didn’t make the cut. Also a pretty nice Widget for browsing Music library in many ways.

    • 豊先新弌

      I personally like Musica since it has a nice clean interface and menus that you can navigate through. Definitely my favorite widget by far.

      Excuse the Japanese though, I didn’t feel like changing my settings for a screenshot lol

      • Jason Baroni

        Definitely gotta try it. Thanks!

      • 豊先新弌

        Glad to hear! If you have trouble finding it, just type music widget in the App Store. It should be the first to show up.

      • Jason Baroni

        Just downloaded it. My first impressions are pretty good, though I don’t like the blue color and the buttons at the bottom of the widget.

  • The Zlatan

    He only reads iDownloadblog once in a month??

  • Thomas Hopkins

    Man, Overglide.