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Wdgts adds widgets galore to Notification Center

This handy app gives you a battery gauge, network monitor, calculator and more, all just a swipe away.

Wdgts brings some cool tools to iOS 8's Today menu. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

With the arrival of iOS 8, iPhone and iPad users gained support for widgets -- little mini-apps that appear in the Today menu when you swipe down from the top of the screen.

The operating system's stock widgets include Calendar, Reminders and Stocks, and third-party apps such as DataMan Next, Evernote and Yahoo Sports now offer their own widgets as well.

Still not impressed? Try this: Wdgts adds eight handy widgets to Notification Center, five of them free of charge.

Once you've installed the app, swipe to bring down Notification Center, then tap Today if it's not already selected. Scroll down to the bottom and tap Edit to access the list of available widgets. You should see eight new ones, all of them identifiable by the bright orange Wdgts icon. (Here's a more complete tutorial on using widgets in iOS 8 if you're not familiar with the process.)

The free version of the app comes with five:

  • Calculator
  • Calendar (month view)
  • Currency Converter
  • Photo Frame
  • Time Zones

You can also test-drive any of the three Premium widgets:

  • Battery Gauge
  • Memory/Storage Gauge
  • Network Monitor

However, unless you pay 99 cents via in-app purchase (£0.69, AU$1.29), these three will appear in your widgets list only one time -- effectively letting you try before you buy.

That buck also nets you support for more time zones, up to 10 photos in the Photo Frame (instead of just two) and a scroll option in the month-view calendar.

Whether you're already a fan of widgets and looking for more ways to make use of the feature, or you haven't found a really compelling reason to swipe down just yet, Wdgts is well worth a look.

And while you're at it, hit the comments and list your favorite widgets so far, third-party or otherwise.