With last week's launch of iOS 14 Apple ushered in the ability to add widgets to your home screen.
Widgets have been a part of the iPhone since 2014 with the launch of iOS 8. At the time the upgrade brought interactive widgets to Notification Centre (later called Today View). Now with iOS 14 you don't need to swipe right to find widgets, they live alongside your favourite apps directly on your home screen.
It's only been a few days but there are already great examples, not only extremely useful but also beautiful to view. Here are our favourites.
If you drive, transit or walk anywhere then ETA is a super handy app to help figure out travel time. We're obviously not biased at all but it's a pretty awesome app. Use the two different widgets to get travel time and traffic status or use as a quick launch to directions!
You've got a powerful camera packed in your phone. At the right time of day, when light is just right, your pics go from pretty great to next level. This 'right time of day' is called golden hour and Lumy is a beautiful app that helps you find it each and every day. The widget looks ace!
Carrot Weather needs no introduction as it's arguably one of the best apps on iOS. In parallel with LeBron James and his unequivocal stature as the best in the NBA (and deserving of the MVP each year), Carrot is the best in the store and in turn should have a cabinet full of Apple Design Awards. Anyway, its widget is comprehensive, beautifully designed and works great wherever you live.
What else is there to talk about these days other than the weather. Who doesn't love dissecting "the four seasons we had in one day" with the ones we know and love. For that you absolutely need two weather apps. You've got yourself sorted with Carrot, now time to grab Weather Line. A unique and innovative look at displaying weather, perfectly suited to detail daily fluctuations. The design is arguably the best example of a Home Screen widget available on the App Store today. It's free but you must upgrade to unlock (among other things) more themes for epic customisation! So aesthetic!
We've all got those little snippets of info that need a home. It could be the licence plate of the rental car your just hired, the pin code to the door at the gym or the flight number of your in-laws arriving plane. For this we like Cheatsheet. A perfect fit for a widget!
It's so hard to stay focused with the number of distractions intent on stealing our focus. It doesn't take much to end up on an hour long Twitter binge or find you're six YouTube videos deep in learning to stain a deck. Hour Blocks is great for this. Choose a day, fill out each time with an activity and it holds you accountable. As you guessed it, a great use case for a widget.
Streaks is undoubtably the G.O.A.T. habit tracker on the App Store today. A no fuss, easy to use, customisable interface to not only track a habit but also to get some pretty cool 'datavis' on your achievements. Streaks has a number of nice widgets to help you stay focused. Our personal favourite is the large single habit that fills half your screen with a single progress item... very Crocodile Dundee!
Reddit might not be your social platform of choice but no denying the Apollo app is one of the most polished iPhone apps you'll find, period. You certainly don't need a Reddit account to enjoy its amazingness. It has a plethora of widgets and personally I like to add the wallpaper widget to for a visual escape or material to level up my dad joke game.
That's all for now. If you've got any favourite widgets drop us a note over on Twitter @whatsmyeta.
ETA launched on the App Store February 2014, lovingly welcomed by daily commuters. While it started life as a simple iPhone app, it's grown to be a handy companion on Apple Watch, iMessage and Today View. Our friends in the press have said nice things, specifically TechCrunch, MacStories and the folk at iMore. If you have any questions or just simply want to talk, drop us a line.VIEW ALL ARTICLES