The notification center for iOS launched with version 5, and it has helped us keep our most important notifications handy, in a “top of stack” location. By simply dragging down the notification center, much like you can on Android, your latest emails, texts, and phone calls are waiting for you to interact with them.
Unfortunately, this notification center doesn’t allow for any customization or additional widgets like it does on Android devices. Not until the Quickpick app that is.
Quickpick lets you create shortcuts which will then show up as a constant notification in the iOS notification center. The shortcuts are extremely helpful and customizable, and quite a brilliant way to hack a system that should allow for a more customized experience.
New Email shortcut anyone?
While creating a new email isn’t an arduous task, it does take several taps once you’re in Apple’s email app. With Quickpick, you can create a customized shortcut that will open a blank email, or one that emails someone specifically. This is extremely helpful if you email the same person often.
Quickpick has a composer to help you set up a shortcut for a new phone call, email, SMS, or opening a specific website.
Once you’ve set up your shortcuts, you can find them sorted under Quickpick’s notifications in the iOS notification center. The new email shortcut has to be the handiest one out of the bunch. For example, you could set up a shortcut to email firstname.lastname@example.org with all of your hot tech news tips.
One simple tap, and your new email opens up. Pretty handy, indeed.
While I imagine that Apple will allow some more customization by way of widgets within its operating system, there’s no telling when that will happen. Quickpicks is a $.99 cent app that will save you some time by letting you display 10 custom shortcuts at any given time. You can cycle ones in and out as you see which ones you use the most.
After I started using it, it made me crave the feature to be a native part of iOS. Maybe Apple will take notice.
UPDATE: Quickpick has been removed from the app store for violating Apple’s guidelines.