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How to develop a widget for your iOS app?

  • Rating — 5 (8 votes)
  • by Ksenija Kolomiiets
  • Updated on October 13, 2020
  • Read —
    4-5 minutes

Apple surprises the whole world with its very interesting and advanced developments for decades. The beta version of iOS 14 was presented by Apple at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this case was no exception. We have already published an overview of the most interesting features of iOS 14 and new trends that will appear after its launch. 

A developer version of iOS 14 is currently available to download, with a public beta launching in July. A final version of iOS 14 will be released in the fall, likely alongside the rumored iPhone 12, which will be the first new iPhone since the iPhone SE launched in April. iOS 14 runs on the same iPhones that are supported in iOS 13 – specifically, the iPhone 6S and newer.

Unlike iOS 13 new iOS 14 focused on the expansion of iPhone functions. One of the main innovations became widgets and a totally new Home screen, where apps can group in folders. Like iOS 14, iPadOS will feature Android-style widgets on its redesigned home screen. Group by folders are filled while downloading applications. Widgets can be places alongside app icons, one will place instead of a minimum of 4 icons. 

All users can’t wait to try all those new features as well as a new Home screen. After the updated Home screen was presented everybody was impressed with those adjustable widgets that you can add to it and rearrange them by dragging and dropping. 

It seems that it will be useful for both users and developers. The users will be able to see some essential information without opening the app, and developers will have the opportunity to improve and make the user experience more satisfying through easy access to the information and faster app navigation to the necessary option.

Want to build new iOS app? Need a team of experienced developers?

In some ways, Apple has given its iPhone home screen layout a major overhaul. IOS 14 indeed brings customization tools that present a new way to reorganize your apps for easy viewing and the ability to place widgets of multiple sizes all over the screen. Widgets can display information clearly and it can be set for work, travel, sport, entertainment, or any other activity.

With new features, you’ll get less redesign and more flexibility. How much or little you use the new tools is up to you. So for the developers, it means that widgets should be provided by apps in multiple sizes (small, medium, and large) to provide more customization features. Widgets have a fixed width that lines up with app columns on the home screen. So you won’t be able to place one in the middle of your screen. Having different sizes of widgets that are integrated among apps provides the iPhone home screen modern and outstanding look.

Attention! Widgets that are made for iOS 13 and earlier aren’t available on the Home screen, but but access to them remains at the bottom of the Today View.

Many critics compare that Apple widgets with Android ones but it’s not totally the same things, especially since Apple’s put its own spin on widgets with what’s called a Smart Stack.

If you like you might want to try this new awesome feature to cycle the main widget depending on the time of day. (For example, you might want the weather in the morning and a wind-down routine at night). You create one simply by dragging one widget on top of another that’s the same size. To view the widgets in a stack, you swipe up or down, which brings a different one to the top.

And one more option that works separately from the Smart Stack – a Siri Suggestions widget that leverages on-device intelligence gives you suggestions according to your iPhone use habits. If you always listen to the music on your morning hike, you might see the Music widget at a particular time.
If you open up the Lift app at 6 p.m. to order a car to get back home, the Lift widget might appear when the time comes. Tapping a suggestion in the Siri widget will act without the need to open up the app.

There's a reason Apple limits the first couple of preview releases to developers every year - it's buggy. Some apps won't work, battery life is all but guaranteed to take a hit and there will undoubtedly be random restarts and crashes. It's all part of the process of getting a stable operating system.
To prevent any disruption to the application after the update of the iOS we recommend you to improve it. You can apply for a consultation with developers to code review of the app or, in case, you want to add new features to improve user experience and attract a new audience. Following the trends and improving your solution will help you to adapt to new market requirements.
Whether to create a widget for your app or not depends on many options like provided content, functions, etc. It better to ask a Business Analyst about it because it is better to follow trends reasonably

 To conclude

We expect widgets will become a huge trend and software developers should focus on creating widget extensions and its design, providing maximum user experience through them. It will be preferable to add some entertaining content and make it automatically update at appropriate times. To create a adjustable widget is not an easy task but Apple gives detailed documentation and explanations, so there should not be too many issues. So if you are going to build an app in 2020, don’t forget to include customizable widgets!

Want to update your app and add an adjustable widget?

Ksenija Kolomiiets Expert & Evangelist in business optimization tools like fintech, logistics, on-demand services apps who will help you to understand the core ideas of the outlined themes by my articles. I also have great expertise in social media and education platforms so let me know "in comments" if you want me to describe a theme you're interested in.

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