With iOS 14 last year, Apple introduced widgets support for the iPhone’s home screen. While there were a few limitations, the addition of widgets greatly improved the iPhone’s home screen user experience. With iOS 15, Apple has not really made any major improvements to its widgets implementation. Instead, it has added some new widgets and made some other improvements to them in iOS 15, which you can read below.
One of the major limitations with widgets support on iPhone is that they are not interactive in nature. Many users believed that Apple would fix this limitation with iOS 15, but that has sadly not happened. This means you still cannot control music playback or mark items as complete in a checklist right from a widget on your home screen. Nonetheless, Apple has debuted some new widgets in iOS 15 and made some improvements to improve the overall user experience.
What’s New in Home Screen Widgets in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
1. Contextual Widget Suggestions
The Smart Stacking of widgets in iOS 15 is going to get even better. Smart Stacks can now automatically show widgets based on your activity and time of the day. For example, a widget Smart Stack can automatically add the new Sleep widget to your stack in the morning and then remove it once you leave for work.
2. Easily Reorder Smart Stacks
iOS 15 will allow you to reorder a Smart Stack widget right from the home screen of your iPhone.
3. Widgets on iPadOS Home Screen
This is a major new change in iPadOS 15. Apple is adding the ability to place widgets anywhere on an iPad’s home screen in iPadOS 15, just like it started allowing iPhone users to do so since iOS 14.
4. All the New Home Screen Widgets
iOS 15 comes with several new widgets for many system apps and features.
a. Find My: The new widget will make it easier for you to keep track of all your devices, friends, and family added to your Find My app. In total, there are four different options for the Find My widget in iOS 15.
b. Game Center: Using the Game Center widget, you can quickly jump back into the game you were last playing. Another Game Center widget will help you keep track of the games your friends are playing and more. There are six different Game Center widgets with different layouts and options.
c. Contacts: The Contacts widgets are getting an upgrade in iOS 15 and will now include shortcuts to call, FaceTime, Message, and more. It will even feature Family Sharing integration, so you will be able to approve app purchases or Screen Time requests right from your home screen.
d. App Store: The new App Store widget in iOS 15 provide you with an overview of the App Store story of that day. The 4×2 App Store widget will also list the App of the Day and a Pro Tip right on your iPhone’s home screen.
e. Mail: The stock Mail app finally gets its own dedicated widget in iOS 15. There are two widget sizes: 4×1 and 4×2. Both of them will offer a preview of the last few emails that have landed in your inbox.
f. Sleep: There’s a new Sleep widget in iOS 15 that will provide an overview of how much time you have slept and let you review your sleep schedule. This widget is only available in one 2×2 size.
The lack of interactive widgets in iOS 15 is definitely a bummer, but the above improvements are still welcome. What do you think about the new widgets in iOS 15? Drop a comment and let us know!