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Wednesday, June 04, 2014, 06:45 am PT (09:45 am ET)

Apple brings user customization to iOS 8 Notification Center, share buttons

Customization will be a key part of Apple's upcoming iOS 8 mobile operating system, as users will gain the ability to choose widgets for the Notification Center's "Today" view, and also control which functions are available via the system's multipurpose Sharing Extension menus.




In the first beta of iOS 8 provided to developers this week, scrolling to the bottom of the Today screen in Notification Center presents a brand new "Edit" button. Pressing this then brings up a list of items included in the Today view, which can be rearranged or deleted.

By default, the Today view in iOS 8 has the following items in this order:
  • Today
  • Traffic Conditions
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Stocks
  • Tomorrow Summary





Removing one of these moves it to a "Do Not Include" space, hiding it from the Today view. Today Summary and Traffic Conditions are permanently pinned to the top of the view if they are left displayed, while Tomorrow Summary sits at the bottom. Users can rearrange the order of Calendar, Reminders and Stocks.

Of course, third-party applications downloaded from the App Store will be able to come with their own Notification Center widgets in iOS 8. This means users will be able to add widgets of their choosing for quick access to information like sports scores or current eBay auctions — two uses highlighted by Apple at this week's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.




Customization in iOS 8 will also extend to Sharing Extensions, the quick multi-purpose menu buttons Apple has scattered throughout its mobile operating system. Previously, users were provided with a set of potential actions with built-in and third-party apps listed in a predetermined fashion.

But with iOS 8, users will be able to scroll and tap a "More" button that will allow them to customize the layout and list of potential actions in a Share Sheets button.




This customization includes the ability to remove listings for third-party services that users may not utilize, such as Flickr or Vimeo. And if a user typically shares a picture or video to Facebook or Twitter, the sharing options can be reorganized to make those services the top two choices.

The customization also extends to additional controls found in the share button, allowing users to reorganize tasks such as Copy, Slideshow, AirPlay, Assign to Contact, Use as Wallpaper, or Print.