Get information on six new and free Notification Center widgets
Over the past week or so, various developers have been racing to put out their first (or one of many) Notification Center widget(s). Naturally, since the Notification Center is new territory and seemingly an easy place to start off, there's been a huge jump in widgets released for the Notification Center. Some are paid, some are free, but nonetheless, I'm sure its been filling our "Changes" log in Cydia to an exuberant extent. Instead of doing one article per, since many of them are rather simple, I will be doing what I call an "Widget Round-up" to discuss the six new Notification widget that just popped up in Cydia. Without further to do, let's get started:
Note: To enable any Notification Center widgets/add-ons, simply go to Settings -> Notifications -> (X). Notification Center widgets are available on devices that are jailbroken and on iOS 5 (5.x) only (with the exception of native widgets that come with iOS 5).
Also: Whether you call them WeeApps, add-ons, or widgets, they are all the same thing. It's your personal preference in terms of what they are called.
With NotiCall, you can have your Favorite Contacts from your Phone.app right in the Notification Center. Upon enabling the widget inside Notifications, you can view and access the buttons inside the Notification Center. It works with contact photos as well as without.
To be completely honest, I didn't find any pros to this widget. Here are my cons:
- When you have no contact photo, all it shows is the person's name and not the number. This is kind of difficult, especially for someone like me who has three phone numbers for his dad in his Favorites. There's no way of distinguishing them
- If you do have a contact photo for a contact in your Favorites, no name or info is displayed on the button at all. All that is shown is a photo. That makes things super difficult to remember what icons goes to what number as well as the fact that it is a small button with a small image
- You have to respring every time you change something about a favorite (such as add a new one, delete one, give one a contact photo, etc.) in order for it to take effect inside the Notification Center
- There are other applications, such Favorite Contacts and WeeSpeeddial for Notification Center, that charge little money but add a ton of functionality beyond just what Noticall has to offer
Ultimately the decision to use a widget is your choice, however I don't find it useful whatsoever. You must have an iPhone on iOS 5 to use this widget.
SlideCenter for Notification Center
SlideCenter offers a miniature slideshows of photos inside your Notification Center. SlideCenter pulls photos to use for the slideshow from the following places:
/var/mobile/Media/PhotoData/Sync/ (Photos synced from your computer)
/var/mobile/Media/DCIM/100Apple/ (Camera Roll on device)
SlideCenter simply cycles through all the photos you have in those particular areas inside the Notification Center tab. If you have it open long enough, you can watch it go through all your photos.
Here are my pros and cons:
- SlideCenter offers something unique, something that hasn't been done before in the Notification Center. If you are a photo lover, this might be a cool feature
- It pulls pictures from both your Camera Roll and the photos you sync from your device
- Due to how small the Notification Center is, the slideshow only shows part of your picture. Depending on the layout of your picture, SlideCenter completely cuts off an important part of a photo
- SlideCenter cycles photos on its own and you can't swipe through pictures manually
- You can't define the amount of seconds that each picture takes before switching. Initially, it lacks a lot of options
If you find this tweak of interest to you, go download from Cydia now. It is available on all iOS 5 devices.
Name: SlideCenter for Notification Center
Author: Mathieu Bolard (mattlawer)
ScreenLock for Notification Center:
With ScreenLock, you can lock screen rotation on your device right from the Notification Center. All you do is simply tap the icon on the box to lock or unlock rotation. If its locked, you can't change orientation (i.e. if you lock in portrait, you can't rotate, or vice versa).
Similar to NotiCall, I did not find this widget useful. Here are my cons:
- Because ScreenLock only offers one simple feature, it doesn't seem worth it to download. You can just as easily access rotation lock by activating your App Switcher and toggling it from there
- Widgets take up a lot of space, so its a good idea to keep your Notification Center tidy. This button only takes up maybe 25% of the space its allocated. My feeling is, "why take up so much space for such a tiny button?"
- This widget could potentially be useful in the future, but it needs to add some new features or functionalities to make it worthwhile
Although my feeling on this widget is my opinion, it is ultimately your choice to download.
Name: ScreenLock for Notification Center
Author: Manuel Gebele
Respring for Notification Center:
Respring for Notification Center offers a quick button to respring your device. For jailbroken devices, having the ability to respring can come in handy quite often. When you have it enabled, you simply tap the respring area to respring your device. Here are my pros and cons:
- If you're a minimalist and you don't like all the crazy features applications like SBSettings, SpringPrefs, and PowerCenter have to offer, this might be a viable option
- Since this widget only has the respring capability, it takes up a lot of space for one thing
- Applications such as SBSettings, SpringPrefs, and PowerCenter offer a lot more and utilizie all the space they are allocated. There's really no difference in terms of file space taken and its always nice to have more options when certain situations arise
You can download this widget right now off of Cydia. It's available on all iOS 5 devices.
Name: Respring for Notification Center
Author: Aleksander Azizi
QuickNote for Notification Center:
If you're one to write down notes often to refer to, QuickNote gives you an option to do so directly from the Notification Center. Simply tap inside the allocated note space and start typing. When you're done, simply hit "Done."
Here are my pros and cons:
- From a simplicity standpoint, QuickNote offers a simple way of writing down something to "note" or remember
- The "Done" button seems to be extremely unresponsive. When testing this, it took longer for me to actually get out of the composition view than it was running through any of the other components of the widget. It tapped numerous times on the "Done" and after a while, it finally closed. There were times that I even closed the Notification Center in order to get out of it
- With the Notes.app as well as the new Reminders.app, it would be just as easy to add whatever you need there. Since QuickNote doesn't offer any other options than typing, it would just be better to use the stock applications instead
- It would be nice for QuickNote to have a method of quickly deleting a note. The only way to remove what you've typed is to delete manually
- It would nice to have a way to swipe between notes. That way, you could have multiple things written down and you can cycle through them. Right now, you're only able to type inside that one window. Thus, you would have to jam all that you want inside just that one window
Download from Cydia now if you wish to give it a shot. It's available for all iOS 5 devices.
Name: QuickNote for Notification Center
Author: Joseph Fabisevich
MyIP for Notification Center:
Display your local IP address from your device inside the Notification Center. If enabled, a little box inside the Notification Center will show you your local IP address. This can come in handy if you're needing to know your IP address for purposes of SSHing into your device.
Here are my pros and cons:
- It's simple and displays just the IP. Some people don't really care to know other values for their device, so this is a viable option
- Again, it doesn't offer anything else other than just your local IP. Applications like SBSettings, SpringPrefs, and PowerCenter offer that and much more
It's available on all iOS 5 devices. Download it if you find it useful.
Name: MyIP for Notification Center
Author: Ryan Burke
WeeKillBackground for Notification Center:
Having the ability to kill all background applications from the Notification Center has been a feature people have been asking for. That was one complaint about widgets such as WidgetTask. Now, you're able to utilize a widget that fixes that potential issue
With WeeKillBackground installed, simply open the Notification Center and tap the bar to kill all the background applications.
Since WeeKillBackground only has one feature and purpose, I had one pro.
- Applications such as WidgetTask don't have a kill all background application feature. WeeKillBackground now offers that. It will be a good companion to applications that mirror the iOS dock in the Notification Center
It's available on all iOS 5 devices so go get it now if you wish.
Name: WeeKillBackground for Notification Center
Author: Jonas Gessner (Maxner)
What are your thoughts? How do you feel about the whole "Notification Center widget" ordeal? Post your thoughts here!