Roundup: The best Notification Center widgets for Apple's OS X Yosemite

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2015
Apple's newly released OS X Yosemite allows third-party apps to include interactive Notification Center widgets, and AppleInsider offers a look at some of the best and most useful widgets you can install on your Mac right now.




Adding and removing widgets looks very similar to the iOS 8 counterpart. Simply open the Notification Center, click the Today tab and use the Edit button at the bottom to view and manage your widgets.




Here are some our favorites you can download from the Mac App Store:

Deliveries




This $4.99 app is a great way to track your online orders and other packages across your devices. See your package's location on a map and its expected delivery date. Your entries will sync to the universal iPhone and iPad app as well. Add the Notification Center widget to check your packages at a glance.

Wunderlist




Popular to-do list app Wunderlist is free for both OS X and iOS. On Yosemite, add the Notification Widget to see tasks "Due Today."

Users are able to mark tasks as complete from the widget, but unfortunately cannot change due dates or edit tasks. Wunderlist Pro is available for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year and offers team collaboration features, unlimited file storage and unlimited sub tasks.

Airmail 2.0




Those looking for an alternative mail application on OS X should take a look at Airmail 2.0. It's available at the introductory sale price of $9.99 as buyers of the original Airmail do not get this upgrade for free.

Airmail 2.0 is full featured and works with iCloud, Gmail, Exchange, IMAP and POP accounts. It supports Gmail aliases, multiple signatures and has great message view options. I found it buggy at times and couldn't add my Google Apps account, but fixes are on the way.

The Notification Center widget displays the most recent messages from your inbox. Airmail's extension lets you compose and share emails within any app that supports OS X's default sharing options.

PCalc




Available for $9.99 in the Mac App Store, this initially contested app was finally approved by Apple and gives you a full calculator widget in the Notification Center. The iOS version was temporarily banned, but is also available with a similar widget for $9.99. From simple computations to complex equations, PCalc is a great tool.

Monity




If knowing your Mac's system usage is a priority, the Monity Notification Center widget is invaluable. Available for $1.99, the app's widget gives you glance-able information regarding system performance, memory management, battery usage, network activity and disk space.

PhotoDesk




Instagram's web view leaves much to be desired, and while you're still unable to post from its app, PhotoDesk gives users great options for viewing, searching and commenting on their timelines. Add the PhotoDesk widget to your Today view and you can see the latest photos posted by your friends right from the Notification Center.

Chronicle




Chronicle is a great way to keep track of your bills and due dates. The $9.99 Mac app and $2.99 iOS app (currently on sale) sync via iCloud, so any due dates you enter show up on all devices. In addition to reminding users to pay their bills, Chronicle can save payment confirmation numbers. The OS X Today widget also allows users to glance at their upcoming bills.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27



    How are Chronicle and Wuderlist better than Apple's Reminders? I've never seen them, so I really don't know, but it seems the more focused interface wouldn't be worth the money.

     

    Also, is it just me, or does the eBay app they advertised on stage not actually exist?

  • Reply 2 of 27
    All an absoute waste of cash.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

    All an absoute waste of cash.



    I dunno; is there a free (or better paid) alternative to Deliveries? That seems like it would be great for small businesses that rely on shipping. Sure you can go to your shipping company’s website and slog through that; this is pretty and refined. I think that’s important.

  • Reply 4 of 27
    dnd0psdnd0ps Posts: 253member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post



    All an absoute waste of cash.

     

     

    *cough*Piratebay*cough*

  • Reply 5 of 27
    Try 'Parcel' it's free on iOS, OS X with a limited number of parcel tracking at the same time or you can pay a few dollars for a yearly subscription with unlimited tracking. It's got a web interface too http://parcelapp.net

    I dunno; is there a free (or better paid) alternative to Deliveries? That seems like it would be great for small businesses that rely on shipping. Sure you can go to your shipping company’s website and slog through that; this is pretty and refined. I think that’s important.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    All an absoute waste of cash.
    Yes and what does a notification centre widget add to them? Why is it quicker/more convenient for me to see my emails in the notification centre than to Cmd-tab to the Airmail app? I almost never use the notification centre in iOS or Yosemite. I don't get what its really useful for.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Beautiful; almost everything is paid in that list.

    What about some FREE options like we used to have for the Dashboard? I don't feel like paying USD 10 for an effing calculator.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post



    All an absoute waste of cash.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dnd0ps View Post

     

    *cough*Piratebay*cough*


     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post



    Beautiful; almost everything is paid in that list.



    What about some FREE options like we used to have for the Dashboard? I don't feel like paying USD 10 for an effing calculator.

     

    Don't let Apple][ catch you guys saying this stuff.  He'll have to start ranting about how all Apple users are poor, cheap and extremist liberals living off of government welfare.  ;) 

  • Reply 9 of 27



    I have sufficient money to buy whatever software they may offer; that doesn't mean I am stupid enough to pay USD 10 on an effing notification center calculator. This is why the supply and demand law exists: to rid us of useless crap or have it available for FREE.

  • Reply 10 of 27
    I would add Yahoo Sports to that list..
  • Reply 11 of 27
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,742member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

     

    Don't let Apple][ catch you guys saying this stuff.  He'll have to start ranting about how all Apple users are poor, cheap and extremist liberals living off of government welfare.  ;) 


     

    You obviously misunderstand.

     

    Just because somebody buys superior Apple devices, that doesn't mean that they like to waste money on unnecessary purchases or that they don't look for the cheapest price when purchasing things. 

     

    It's all about how much something is worth to the user that is buying it. I wouldn't buy a 99 cent app that I think is crap, but I also have no problems with buying a $50 app, if I feel that it's worth it. I also stock up on Apple iTunes cards when I can get them for a significant discount.

  • Reply 12 of 27

    I dunno; is there a free (or better paid) alternative to Deliveries? That seems like it would be great for small businesses that rely on shipping. Sure you can go to your shipping company’s website and slog through that; this is pretty and refined. I think that’s important.

    You can write your own in short order. The intent behind NeXT Services were to cohesively extend services to third party apps, system-wide. These stupid widgets that don't extend the system, but attempt to leach money here and there are just sad.

    Hell, Apple has Numbers. If it's installed they should extend a Calculator Service that processes your requests.

    AirMail? Write some scripts to extend Mail to mass bulk mail if it cannot currently manage it.


    FEDEX
    http://www.fedex.com/us/developer/

    UPS
    http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/bussol/browse/online_tools_tracking.html

    DHL
    http://www.dhl-usa.com/en/express/resource_center/integrated_shipping_solutions.html

    USPostal
    https://www.usps.com/business/web-tools-apis/welcome.htm

    on and on and on.

    These are just xml web tracking services that connect to the third party and folks will pay $4.99 for this? Sad.

    We had some truly ass kicking applications on NeXTSTEP that lay this crap in the shade.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post





    You can write your own in short order. The intent behind NeXT Services were to cohesively extend services to third party apps, system-wide. These stupid widgets that don't extend the system, but attempt to leach money here and there is just sad.





    FEDEX

    http://www.fedex.com/us/developer/



    UPS

    http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/bussol/browse/online_tools_tracking.html



    DHL

    http://www.dhl-usa.com/en/express/resource_center/integrated_shipping_solutions.html



    USPostal

    https://www.usps.com/business/web-tools-apis/welcome.htm



    on and on and on.



    These are just xml web tracking services that connect to the third party and folks will pay $4.99 for this? Sad.

     

    I'm going to play devil's advocate for a moment.

     

    Not everybody has the knowledge to code and write their own apps.

     

    And if writing such an app is as simple as you say, then surely somebody here should write such an app that is better than the app that currently sells for $4.99. Whoever makes such an app should place it on the app store and sell it for cheaper than $4.99, and they can then make some money off of it.

  • Reply 14 of 27
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

     

    You obviously misunderstand.

     

    Just because somebody buys superior Apple devices, that doesn't mean that they like to waste money on unnecessary purchases or that they don't look for the cheapest price when purchasing things. 

     

    It's all about how much something is worth to the user that is buying it. I wouldn't buy a 99 cent app that I think is crap, but I also have no problems with buying a $50 app, if I feel that it's worth it. I also stock up on Apple iTunes cards when I can get them for a significant discount.


     

    Surely you're not defending the pirating of a $5 program  There's cheap, and then there's pirating a $5 program cheap.  I prefer mdriftmeyer's approach.  Don't want to pay the $5?  Code it yourself!

  • Reply 15 of 27
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,742member
    droidftw wrote: »
    Surely you're not defending the pirating of a $5 program  There's cheap, and then there's pirating a $5 program cheap.  I prefer mdriftmeyer's approach.  Don't want to pay the $5?  Code it yourself!

    Where did i ever mention anything about pirating in my post?

    If somebody has the skills to code it themselves, then nothing is stopping them from doing so. They should put it on the app store and sell it themselves if it's that easy to make a better app.
  • Reply 16 of 27

    I am not yet convinced the usability of Notification Center Widgets. It is just an incarnation of Dashboard widgets, which is still there in US. Secondly the way it laid out it is so much like The Gadgets View from Windows Vista - Which was eventually killed, I think, by Microsoft.

  • Reply 17 of 27
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Is there a way to auto-clear Notifications that are x-days/hours old? It only takes a second but I hate having to manually get rid of them.


    How are Chronicle and Wuderlist better than Apple's Reminders? I've never seen them, so I really don't know, but it seems the more focused interface wouldn't be worth the money.

    Also, is it just me, or does the eBay app they advertised on stage not actually exist?

    i have almost the same question, except I use Calendar to keep track of my bills. I just created a separate calendar for my various accounts and have them remind me monthly, biannually, annually, or whatever cycle they might be.
  • Reply 18 of 27
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,417member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

    How are Chronicle and Wuderlist better than Apple's Reminders? I've never seen them, so I really don't know, but it seems the more focused interface wouldn't be worth the money.


    i have almost the same question, except I use Calendar to keep track of my bills. I just created a separate calendar for my various accounts and have them remind me monthly, biannually, annually, or whatever cycle they might be.

    And I have 'almost the same question' about Monity...Did Yosemite eliminate the Activity Monitor?

    (haven't upgraded yet so I wouldn't know)

    If it's still there, what doesn't it do that Monity does?

  • Reply 19 of 27
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    boredumb wrote: »
    And I have 'almost the same question' about Monity...Did Yosemite eliminate the Activity Monitor?
    (haven't upgraded yet so I wouldn't know)
    If it's still there, what doesn't it do that Monity does?

    It's still there. It also does a lot less than Activity Monitor, but it's a convenient location for it. I pay a lot more for iStat Menus, but I like to have all that data in my Menu Bar so I don't have to open any app, and usually don't have to click a single thing, to see how my system is performing.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    boredumb wrote: »
    And I have 'almost the same question' about Monity...Did Yosemite eliminate the Activity Monitor?
    (haven't upgraded yet so I wouldn't know)
    If it's still there, what doesn't it do that Monity does?

    Top is built into all UNIX Operating Systems. What value does getting rid of Activity Monitor serve?
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