UISettings, first third-party widget for the iOS 5 Notification Center
Well, that didn’t take too long. The jailbreak community is obviously pleased with the new Notification Center in iOS 5 and its ability to run little web programs called widgets. Apple ships two-built in widgets, Weather and Stocks, that can be configured in Settings > Notifications and a recent proof-of-concept has taught us that developing widgets for the notification screen is technically feasible, even with the latest software development kit not officially endorsing widgets. Instead of waiting, developers of unsanctioned apps have cracked widgets for Notification Center, although you’ll need a jailbroken iOS 5 device to run them. Here is a couple of nice widgets for your consideration…
UISettings by @qwertyoruiop (review here) puts often used interface and device related settings in the Notification Center for quick access to features such as your wireless and cellular network preferences, brightness control, Respring and what not. It looks a lot like a popular Cydia tweak called SBSettings. SpringPrefs is another upcoming widgets that puts useful system information on the notifications screen, the stuff like the amount of available RAM and filesystem information. The MusicCenter widget by Aaron Wright will let you control music playback from the Notification Center, even allowing you to tweet songs when it goes live free on the BigBoss repo in Cydia.
And MacStories follows-up this morning with a nice widgets round-up that includes the UISettings theme which replaces Apple’s linen design for Notification Center with a more subdued, cleaner look. Widget Task also looks like a winner, merging standard iOS multitasking tray with Notification Center for quick access to the list of running and recently used apps with a simple pulldown gesture.
Of course, many other Cydia developers are at work developing new widgets. Such a strong support for an unofficial feature from the jailbreak community suggests that revamped iOS 5 notifications have struck a chord with users. Here’s to hoping that Apple will soon open up iOS 5 Notification Center to widgets developers.
The Music widget (left), SpringPrefs (right) and WidgetTask (below)
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