iPhone apps can display helpful information right on your lock screen through widgets.
We’ve collected the 10 best apps that use widgets creatively to keep you up to date and entertained — all from your iPhone’s lock screen.
From alerting you to when you’ve only reached your data cap to showing you the best headlines from The New York Times, these widgets pack some power.
Steven Tweedie contributed to a previous version of this article.
Every day, the editors at The New York Times send their favourite stories to the NYT Now app, along with important articles from other sources. The app's widget shows you the most recent headlines so you can jump right into an article or just skim the day's news.
Launcher lets you create customised iPhone widgets that you can access from your lock screen to save time. You can open apps, get Google Maps directions home, call your mum, or create a button for quickly messaging your best friend.
If you're always worried about going over your data cap for the month, you should definitely try DataMan. The nifty little app keeps track of how much data you have left, and the app's widget makes checking your usage lightning-fast.
Yahoo Weather has been updated to look incredible on the iPhone 6's bigger screen, and thanks to its iOS 8 app extension, you can now check out the current weather around you with a single swipe down of the Notification Center.
Day One is a modern journaling app that keeps journaling simple yet elegant. You can now see flashbacks of your previous entries directly from your iPhone 6's notification center, and the app extension lets you save and send photos and links right into the app without opening it.
This clever game exists entirely as a widget. All you have to do is swipe down from your iPhone's lock screen and you're playing a game of Minesweeper. The game auto saves and even connects to Game Center for high scores.
If you're looking for a polished and organised calendar app that does everything you want in a simple and intuitive way, look no further than Fantastical. The app includes features like reminders and alerts you can set up by just typing 'remind me to _____,' along with a handy Notification Widget that shows you your monthly calendar and daily schedule with just a swipe.
Whether you're writing, collecting pictures, making a list, or scanning business cards, Evernote is the best app for storing your projects, and they will sync across all devices. The widget lets you quickly create notes from the Notification Center, and you can now save content directly to Evernote using the iPhone's share menu.
ESPN's new app replaces SportsCenter, and it's a welcome change. The new app is faster, sleeker, and features a widget that makes seeing the latest scores or jumping into a live audio broadcast quick and easy.
If you're in the mood for some quizzes or just want a laugh, BuzzFeed's app has your back. The app's widget will let you see trending posts in the 'Today' view of the Notification Center.
Besides offering the best selection of ebooks, Kindle's iPhone widget shows you a tidy summary of how far you've read in your current book. Tap it and you'll find yourself picking up right where you left off.
Overglide is made by the same team behind Minesweeper Widget Edition. The game is rough interpretation of the popular helicopter and Flappy Bird-style cave games that ask you to stay alive by avoiding the walls.
Do Button allows you customise your own smartphone button. You can program it to turn your Philips Hue lights on and off, set your Nest thermostat to a certain temperature, track your next journey in Google Drive, or send an email to your partner that you're on your way home. You can also easily access the button from your iPhone's lock screen with the handy widget.
Price: Free (iOS)
Orby Widgets pretty much does it all: You can launch apps, jump into conversations, speed dial a friend, perform calculations, and check your usage (battery, storage, CPU, data). If you like to tinker and want to create your own iPhone command center, this is the widget app to download.
Launcher doesn't only launch native iOS apps, but it can launch 3rd party apps as well. There are other app launcher widgets available, but Launcher is popular because it is so customisable.
Price: Free, with in-app purchases
Even if your job doesn't require you to track your time, it can be useful if you're trying to become more efficient. There are a number of different options, but Hours Time Tracking has a fantastic, simple notification center widget. It also has an Apple Watch app.