iOS Widgets: How to Use Them and The Best Ones

Tutorials
July 9, 2017

iPhone widgets can be very useful if you know how to use them properly. Especially with the release of iOS 10, you can now access the widget screen from the Lock screen, the Home screen or from anywhere through the Notification Center. This change makes interacting with them a whole lot more convenient.

In this article, I will demonstrate how awesome widgets can be and how they can make using your iPhone even more enjoyable. I will also share with you the best apps offering widgets out there so that you can try them out and see which apps you can make use of.

So whether you’ve heard about this stuff but don’t know where to start or you’re looking for interesting and useful widgets, just keep reading the article. I believe you’ll find the something valuable.

What are widgets on iPhone?

In case you have no idea what iPhone widgets are, let’s begin by taking a look at some examples of them.

ios10-iphone6-notifications-widgets

As you can see, the blocks labeled Weather, Up Next, and Siri App Suggestions are called widgets. You can access this screen by swiping right over the Home screen, Lock screen, or Notification Center.

With these Widgets, you can timely information from your favorite apps without having to actually open the apps, even without unlocking your device. Some widgets also have shortcuts for performing simple tasks like calling your favorite contacts or initiating a Pomodoro.

How to add, arrange, and remove Widgets

  1. Go to the widget page, scroll all the way down to the bottom and tap on Edit. On this screen, you can add new widgets, remove existing ones and rearrange them.
  2. To add a Widget, tap on the plus sign icon.
  3. To remove a Widget, tap on the minus sign icon and then tap on Remove.
  4. To rearrange your widgets, tap and hold ≡ next to the apps and drag them in the order you want.
  5. Once you’re done, tap Done to save.

If you have an iPhone 6s and later, you can use 3D Touch to add new widgets offered by the stock apps and some of your installed apps. Just press deeply on the app icon, if the app does offer widgets, you’ll see the Widget module underneath or above the Quick Actions menu. To add its widget, tap on the “Add Widget” on the top right of the module.

While using widgets, you will notice that some widgets have a button in the top-right corner saying “Show more”. This button allows you to expand the block so that it can provide more information. For example, when you tap on the Show more button on the Weather widget, it will additionally show you the weather forecast for the coming hours.

Now that you know what widgets are and how to use them, let’s check out the list of most interesting widgets out there.

The best iOS Widgets for your iPhone and iPad

Copied (Free) is a full-featured clipboard manager. This app lets you save text, links, and images that you’ve copied to your clipboard and offers a widget so that you can quickly search stuff you’ve saved, edit, and use.

Steve (Free) Do you know the jumping dinosaur game on Chrome? It’s kind of an endless runner game and only accessible when you have no internet connection. Now you can even play this game through a widget on your iPhone. Cool, huh?

CheatSheet (Free) If you are the type of person who is never able to remember the little things like hotel rooms, license plates, ID numbers, then you must try this app. It allows you to create reminders of your ‘little things’ and shows them on a widget, like this:

Widgets of Copied, Steve, CheatSheet

Todoist (Free) If you’re using this app as your main to-do app, then check out its widget. The Todoist widget shows you all of your tasks for the current day. You can also mark things as complete right from the Lock screen or quickly add new tasks by tapping the ‘Add Task’ shortcut button.

Timeglass (Free) allows you to run multiple timers at the same time. Timers can also have multiple steps, where each step has its own duration. This is great for workout routines and cooking.

BeWeather (Free) has a customizable widget that lets you choose what to display, including current conditions, hourly forecast, daily forecast and text forecast. If you’re tired of the stock weather widget and want more information, then BeWeather is the right choice for you.

Widgets of Todoist, Timeglass, and Beweather

DataMan ($0.99) The best widget for keeping track of your data usage. If you’re using a dedicated data plan with an imposed data limit, this is your must-have app.

Tweety (Free) allows quick and easy access to users’ Twitter feed from a widget. You can also favorite, retweet, or open in the default Twitter app the latest tweets on your feed. Tweety lets you set up to two Twitter accounts.

Tweety

Shazam (Free) is a must-have widget for music lovers. Once you have the widget installed, whenever you hear a song, you like it but you don’t know its name, well, just let Shazam do its job. All you have to do is tap on Touch to Shazam, the app will listen to a few seconds of the song and then tell you what you’re listening.

ESPN (Free) The ESPN widget keeps you stay up to date with professional and college sports, scores, news, and events.

Kitchen Stories (Free) This app has its own widget named Recipe of the Day. As the name suggests, the widget shows you a new recipe every day. It also shows how long the process will take, the level of cooking skill and the ingredients for the recipe. To read the entire the recipe, just tap the widget to launch the app.

espn-and-kitchen-stories

Fantastical 2 ($4.99) If you don’t like the stock Calendar app and the Up Next widget, then using this app instead might fit the bill. It not only shows you the next upcoming event but also shows you the set reminders if you have. Everything in one place – very handy, right?

fantastical-widget-iphone-screenshot_0

ETA ($2.99) provides you with quick access to travel times and driving directions to all your favorite destinations. You should give it a try if you live in or regularly travel across highly trafficked areas. The widget shows you the real-time information of current traffic alongside your locations so that you can decide to change your plan accordingly.eta-widget

So I’ve just shown you all of the widgets that I know and find useful. Don’t forget that iOS has many default widgets from stock apps like Favorites, Notes, Music, Up Next… You should test them out before trying the widgets included in this article.

Of course, there are many apps out there that offer awesome widgets but I don’t know about. If you’re using some useful and handy ones that are not listed, feel free to share your experience with us in the comment section below.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply