iOS 8 Finally Brings Support For Third-Party Widgets

Even though the likes of HealthKit and the revamped keyboard support are exciting, the diligence of the rumor mill kind of spoiled those new surprises as the WWDC keynote unfolded this morning. However, we were not expecting iOS 8 to deliver widget support, and were pleasantly surprised when Apple announced third-party widgets support for iOS 8 Notification Center.

For years, it seemed like Apple never really listened to the complaints of its users. In fact, prior to iOS 7, Apple apparently liked to shoot itself in the foot, with the tipping point being the very unpopular decision to replace Google Maps with its own, Alpha-esque offering with iOS 6 that was many, many developmental hours from prime time-ready.

iOS 8 widgets

But with iOS 7, those Control Center toggles and the new, flowing multitasking interface put two long-standing gripes firmly to bed, and with iOS 8, Apple has done even more people-pleasing on a number of its users’ pet peeves.

Apart from many other APIs for third-party developers, Apple has finally brought for developers to add widgets support to their apps in Notification Center, as depicted in the screenshot below:

Notification Center widgets iOS 8

Historically, Apple’s closed-source ecosystem has long since been criticized by those who wanted to see better third-party support, and under the guidance of Steve Jobs, Apple’s entire platform, aside from apps, was built up in-house.

Tim Cook is a character regarded as being much more open to new ideas, and has always maintained that Apple would consider opening aspects of iOS up provided that it didn’t adversely affect the overall user experience.

Apple was characteristically brief with regards to specifics on most of today’s major announcements, but we’ll surely learn more about widgets, keyboards and all of the other new features as the betas of iOS 8 continue to roll out.


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