Custom Widgets in iOS 5 Possible?

Jun 10, 2011 - 12 Comments

Custom iOS 5 Widgets are Possible

It may be possible for developers to create custom widgets to contain within the iOS 5 notification center, assuming Apple allows it. This was demonstrated by a very simple proof of concept that is shown above. 9to5mac quotes @chronic, the jailbreak developer, describing how this is accomplished:

all a developer needs to do is create a “custom view interface” and “compile it is a bulletinboard plugin.” Bulletinboard is Apple’s internal codename for the iOS 5 Notification Center.

Allowing third party developers to create widgets for the iOS 5 Notification Center would certainly be a nice addition. In the current iOS 5 beta, the only two widgets are weather and a stock ticker which you can see in the screen capture below, but there is certainly interest in having more.

iOS 5 notification center

What if you could have an RSS or Twitter feed in Notification Center? What if the world of Mac Dashboard widgets was transferable to iOS devices? I think many of them would be more useful and better suited in iOS than Mac OS X really, so let’s hope it happens.

One things for sure though, if Apple doesn’t allow third party widgets, you can bet the jailbreak scene will handle it. Considering a jailbreak for iOS 5b1 is already out, it might not be long before this happens. You can poke around in the source code of the sample widget on GitHub to get a look at how this works.

You can watch Notification Center in action and more in these videos of iOS 5 features.


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Posted by: Matt Chan in iPad, iPhone


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  1. John says:

    The app used in the picture, does it come from Cydia? If it does could you please tell its name?

    Thanks a lot

  2. […] users may not need to jailbreak in order to get custom widgets on the iPhone with iOS 5. At least, that’s what a recent patent granted to Apple […]

  3. Harbmaster says:

    I like the idea of having the notification center having noninteractive widgets but it would make more sense to double click and use that empty space on the home screen, that way it doesn’t clog memory because it can’t be used within an app, and has more room for multiple widgets

  4. […] :  OSXDaily Tags: Apple, iOS, iOS 5, jailbreak, noticias, […]

  5. […] | Rodrigojimenez | OSXDaily En Applesfera | iOS 5, más funciones, más competitivo me gusta 0 Para votar identifícate o […]

  6. Willy K says:

    Get the SBSwitcher add on for SBSettings.

    Puts toggles in the app switcher, just slide over again when you are on the ipod control pannel. Also just realized that could be moved to notification center as another widget.

    But I’m sure someone will make a jailbreak that adds a widget full of settings toggles.

  7. brandon says:

    i wish u cud slide up from the bottom part of the screen to change the wifi , 3g and brightness settings

  8. […] said anything about support of third-party widgets in the iOS 5 notification center, our source reports that a developer has uncovered a way to develop a simple widget for Notification Center, which he […]

  9. Peter says:

    There are many apps that would be better suited for a widget than a full fledged app. Dictionaries, converters, feeds, TV guide, there is a lot of potential.

    It doesn’t sound like they are JS/HTML like Dashboard widgets are though. Using Cocoa seems a little over engineered just to display a widget IMO.

    • •_• says:

      Totally agree. Many apps are apps just because they can be, not because they need to be.

    • James says:

      No reason you can’t WebView those widgets in… much like a PhoneGap for widgets. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how they eventually enable that feature to developers.

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