What are widgets on iOS?


What are widgets on iOS?

While on Android devices widgets were available for a while, on iOS widgets were introduced just after iOS 14. Before you could only access widgets on the iPhone by swiping to the left panel and you couldn’t access them on the homescreen.

So, what are widgets? Widgets are small screens - sizing from 4 apps to half of your homescreen - where you have access to your app or data without opening it. For example, you can check currency via currency widget or weather in weather widget app.

In this way it is much easier to access all this info without opening apps. It is a better UX, saves time and is much easier.

On Android widgets were available a long time ago. But, it is only with iOS that there appeared few apps, which have taken the App Store by storm and dominated charts.

How to add a widget on iPhone?

To add a widget on iPhone, just tap and hold your homescreen - your apps will start to jiggle. After that tap on the plus icon in the top or left right - depending on your iOS version. Search for the desired app - for example, Locket widget - select widget size - it can be small, horizontal or big. After that, add a widget to your homescreen.

Sounds simple, right? But, this concept has skyrocketed few apps to heights of the App Store. Startups built around this simple feature raised millions of dollars in funding.

Let’s take a look at a few apps like this.

Locket widget

Locket widget app helps you send camera photos to your friends. You add a Locket widget, take a photo via app and send it to your friends.

After it, your friends will be able to see live photos from you just on their home screen. Of course, you can always see photos from friends via Messenger or WhatsApp - but with Locket widget these photos will be on your homescreen instantly.

It is not possible to send videos or photos from your camera roll though. Only camera photos, so you can only capture your current moments.

Noteit widget

Note it widget app is similar to Locket widget with one difference - in Noteit you send notes, not photos. This app also went to top charts in the app store.

In the app there are basic drawing tools, which help you to draw images and share them with your friends via noteit widget.

MD vinyl widget

You can sign up to the MD vinyl widget app with Spotify or Apple music. And after it, your widget will be displayed on the homescreen with the latest song playing.

MD vinyl widget will display vinyl animation on your homescreen while playing songs. Also you can control your music just from the widget, without needing to log in to the app.

However there is a limit of only 150 songs to play for free in MD Vinyl widget. If you want to increase it, you need to upgrade to the Premium version. Or you can use a free version without the Vinyl widget animation.

BeReal realmoji widget

BeReal is a hit app during recent months. It is in the top charts of the US App Store, even above Instagram and TikTok.

A lot of reviewers call it an “authentic Instagram”, where people have 2 minutes to post a real photo of their activity - with both front and back camera. There are no filters and time to polish your photo - so you are posting something very realistic. You can retake BeReal photos during these 2 minutes.

There is no full BeReal widget, but there is a Realmoji widget. Realmojis are photo reactions of other people to your BeReal post. With the BeReal widget you will be able to instantly see other people's reactions on your iPhone home screen.

Kiwi - music with friends widget

Kiwi widget is like a BeReal for music: you connect Spotify or Apple music and send your friends music notifications. They receive song notifications and rate your songs in kiwi widget app.

You can see songs sent in Kiwi widget on the homescreen.

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