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Thread: [Review] OpenURL NCWidget - Navigate iOS and the Web Easily

  1. #1
    Default [Review] OpenURL NCWidget - Navigate iOS and the Web Easily


    If you have ever wanted a quick way to get around the Web from iOS or a quick way to launch applications, iOS developer Maxhasadhd has a new Notification Center widget dubbed OpenURL NCWidget that will set you back 99 which you may enjoy using. It is text-based navigation widget, so it will remind you of Spotlight.

    The widget has two main functions - opening applications and making Google searches through Safari. If you want to make a Google search, you type your query in the search bar and then tap the return button which will in turn launch Safari in which Google is all loaded up and showing your query search results. If you want to launch an application using OpenURL NCWidget, then you have to type the name of the application in a URL scheme. If you want to launch the Maps application per-se, you would type in, "maps://" and then tap return and the Maps application would open up for you.

    The graphical user interface of OpenURL NCWidget doesn't look half-bad. It's pretty nice looking; not too heavy and not too light. I enjoy how it is nicely centered and the animations that follow launching an application or Safari search are Apple's own application switching animations. That being said, it doesn't feel out of place.

    I'm not necessarily a fan of having to type the name of an Application in URL format since Spotlight can search my applications with a live view list without needing to do so. This is a factor that falls under the Apple design principle of making things user-friendly. In some cases, your friends might not know what it means and it could be a chance for you to show off.

    OpenURL NCWidget is an iOS 5-only jailbreak widget since any older firmwares do not have Notification Center. There are no option to configure except for adding or removing the widget from Notification Center via the Notifications section of the Settings application. It is fully compatible with the top shelf of IntelliScreenX, so this might make a good widget for hiding and showing on demand using that feature. The developer promises that there are new features that will be added sometime soon including:
    • A button to show you a history of opened URL's
    • A button that shows you all applications and their URL schemes for easier application launching


    Name: OpenURL NCWidget
    Price: 99
    Version: 1.0
    Repo: Modmyi
    Developer: Maxhasadhd
    Editor's Rating:  3/5

    Sources: Maxhasadhd

  2. #2
    Livin the iPhone Life sziklassy's Avatar
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    Another Android goodie that I like to see implemented on iOS. Does this play well with intelliscreen X? Would rather not waste the money, even though it's only $1, if not!

  3. #3
    I like all of these NC tweaks. I think they're cool but I think a buck for this add-on is asking a bit much.

  4. #4
    COME ON!!! This guy is just using a UITextField with the [[UIApplication sharedApplication]openURL:]; method. Lame.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
    Does this play well with intelliscreen X?
    Yes.

  6. #6
    If its up to opening apps via URL schemes them my free widget WeeSearch can do the same (and also search google, youtube ...), WeeSearchPro can also do this but with many more options.
    But honestly, as a developer I can see how much work this was. A few hours, maybe even up to a day, not more. Its just a UITextField that opens the entered string as url (via openURL: ) when the return key is pressed. Beginner programming. I don't want to criticize the developer, but 1$ is so overpriced! This should be free and open source.

    Edit: haha just saw that Fhsjaagshs posted almost the same . Also IMO its badly designed, as theres about 40px wasted by the spaces at the top and bottom. The #1 rule is that WeeApps should take up as least space as possible!
    Last edited by Maxner; 02-12-2012 at 04:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxner View Post
    Also IMO its badly designed, as theres about 40px wasted by the spaces at the top and bottom. The #1 rule is that WeeApps should take up as least space as possible!
    That's not a good rule to go by. Consistency is a good design principle and a legitimate one. Having some widgets that are 10 pixels high, some that are 40 pixels high, and some that are 100 pixels high does not exemplify eye candy. That's why I use very minimal widgets. A good deal of white space (not white literally - but empty space) is necessary for good appearance. I don't like seeing text in all four corners of a widget. There is no pattern there and it makes our eyes concentrate hard to understand what we are looking at. Looking at Apple's Stock and Weather widget, everything is focused toward the center with minimal text - mostly graphics. Even the rasterized text in the stocks widget should be considered graphics.

    That's my two cents, but I don't use any widgets besides the stock ones and the ticker that comes with IntelliScreenX because they're minimal. I don't think they should have controls everywhere. They're widgets not settings panes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by bellrpmv View Post
    Does this play well with intelliscreen X? Would rather not waste the money
    Yes...

  9. #9
    Dunno if i can totally agree with that. Anyway, there can be a lot of discussion about the height of widgets and to please everyone I always give options to choose the height in my widgets. The user should decide how he wants the widget to look.

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