Philips Hue is already a pretty effective and easy way of setting up a connected home lighting system, but it can be even easier thanks to changes Apple made in iOS 8. The update lets third-party developers put “widgets” in the Today view of notification center, which means you can do more than just check the weather and see stock updates (and you can remove those, too, since it’s now fully customizable). Hue already built a concept of how its widget might work in the update coming this fall.
Basically, the widget offers you quick access to the “all off” button and a few color scenes, letting you quickly turn your lights to a few preset configurations without opening the app. It’s not quite a home screen hack in the vein of Android, but swiping down from the top of your screen for access to Hue scenes still takes quite a few steps out of the process vs. how it’s currently housed (within the Hue app) on iOS.
It’s early days yet for this to be 100 percent representative of what we end up seeing in a shipping version, but it’s great to see developers already getting excited about their expanded permissions and API access in iOS 8. Widgets are available on both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, which means Apple device owners will essentially have a whole new category of software to play with and configure come fall.