App

Home Screens with app icons are so 2019. Pack yours with widgets instead and have info you need available at a glance

On your iPhone, widgets are no longer confined to Today view. Now, they can be added to any Home Screen, giving you fast access to a wealth of regularly updated information.

Apple provides widgets for a number of its own apps, including Calendar, Clock, Files and Fitness. In this round-up, we go further afield, delving into our pick of the best third-party widgets you can install.

How to use iOS 14 widgets on your iPhone

Long-press a blank space on any Home Screen to enter edit mode. Swipe to access the page you’d like to add a widget to.

Tap the + at the top-left and you’ll see a selection of recommended widgets. Use the search field to filter the list, or scroll down to see everything you have installed.

Choose an app and you’ll see a widget preview. If more than one option exists, you can swipe between them. Tap Add Widget to add it to your Home Screen.

You can add multiple widgets from a single app, and they can be moved around Home Screens much like apps can. Tap-hold any widget and select Edit Widget to update its settings, or use Remove Widget to delete it.

Note: you may need to launch an app before its entry appears in the widgets list. Some widgets also require permissions for the likes of photo and location access.

Apollo (free + optional IAP)

About the app: Get more from Reddit through a combination of flexible views, efficient navigation and powerful editing.

About the widgets: So. Many. Options. There are widgets for individual or multiple posts, a feed grid, beautiful wallpapers, shortcuts, jokes and ‘showerthoughts’ to make you think.

Download Apollo

Carrot Weather ($5/£5 + optional IAP)

About the app: Mix weather forecasting with personality. Carrot tells you whether it’ll rain or shine while dishing out snark.

About the widgets: A dozen options, from forecasts with snark to weather maps with rainfall. Note that some options require specific subscription tiers.

Download Carrot Weather

Cheatsheet Notes (free + $5/£5 IAP)

About the app: A place to house small pieces of info you regularly refer to. With Cheatsheet Notes, you’ll never again write on your hand in pen.

About the widgets: Several options for showing your notes, some of which have configurable action buttons. Just don’t have any note be your PIN number, eh?

Download Cheatsheet Notes

Custom Photo Widget (free)

About the app: An alternative to Apple’s automated Photos widget, Custom Photo Widget has you define which snaps to include.

About the widgets: Three sizes of widget that display photos you pick in the main app, changing at user-defined intervals of between five minutes and a day.

Download Custom Photo Widget

Dark Noise ($6/£6)

About the app: Play ambient sounds to help you focus, relax or sleep. Want to get creative? Make custom mixes, triggered with a tap.

About the widgets: A range of sleek-looking buttons for playing favorite sounds or mixes. You choose whether or not you need names alongside them.

Download Dark Noise

Dice by PCalc ($2/£2)

About the app: Whether you want a single six-sided dice or more complex dice sets for D&D, this app lets you roll for glory right on your iPhone.

About the widgets: No live dice (widgets can’t be interactive), but the next best thing: tap buttons to trigger a dice roll in the app, the result being recorded in the widget.

Download Dice by PCalc

Fantastical ($5/£5 per month)

About the app: Power up planning with a calendar that goes beyond Apple’s, with its events ticker, natural language, calendar sets, and more.

About the widgets: Massive date ‘icons’ you could feasibly see from across the street, along with various combinations of calendars and event lists.

Download Fantastical

Kitchen Stories (free + optional IAP)

About the app: Rethinking cook books, Kitchen Stories serves up delicious recipes with snaps for each step and videos to help you learn new skills.

About the widgets: The recipe of the day widget provides inspiration for your next meal; alternatively, access cookbooks from your Home Screen.

Download Kitchen Stories

Launcher with Multiple Widgets ($10/£10)

About the app: The original app-launching widget, Launcher lets you create old-style widgets for Today view and shiny new widgets for beyond.

About the widgets: Two sizes each here for bespoke launchers, recently launched, and most launched. The first of those must of course first be configured in the app.

Download Launcher with Multiple Widgets

Lookup ($6/£6)

About the app: A dictionary with a difference, Lookup has a sense of fun. Alongside definitions and synonyms are quizzes and a discovery tab.

About the widgets: You can add widgets to quickly get at liked words and quizzes, but word of the day is our favorite option.

Download Lookup

Solar Watch (free or $10/£10 per year)

About the app: A weather app obsessed with light, Solar Watch is ideal for tracking daylight time and as an aid to capturing perfect pics.

About the widgets: Two options: sunrise and sunset times for favorite cities, or a more detailed (and gorgeous) widget for a single location.

Download Solar Watch

Soor ($5/£5)

About the app: Get more from Apple Music by surfacing acts and songs, and create ‘magic mixes’ created to your personal taste.

About the widgets: If Soor’s in the background, control it with Now Playing widgets. Other widgets let you start a magic mix, or a song/album/playlist from a favorites grid you can set-up in minutes.

Download Soor

Spark (free)

About the app: Have a fighting chance of reaching inbox zero with this revolutionary email app packed full of time-saving productivity features.

About the widgets: A range of sizes and options, letting you peek at your inbox, check your calendar, or even kick off quick actions in the app itself.

Download Spark

Star Walk 2 ($3/£3 + optional IAP)

About the app: Explore the heavens in the palm of your hand or use augmented reality to learn more about what’s in the night sky.

About the widgets: Four widgets are available: small ones for tips and conditions; a larger one for what’s in the sky tonight; and a lovely planets chart.

Download Star Walk 2

Sticky Widgets (free or $2/£2)

About the app: Remember those sticky notes you use to put everywhere before everything went digital? They’re now back on your iPhone.

About the widgets: Choose your size, stick the note on your Home Screen, and use Edit Widget to adjust its color, font and ID. Tap a note when outside of widget editing mode to update its text in the main app.

Download Sticky Widgets

Streaks ($5/£5)

About the app: Infuse good habits into your routine by defining a handful of new ones and using Streaks to keep tabs on your efforts.

About the widgets: You get the choice of giant app icons that show a task’s progression or several alternatives that help you track how your streaks are progressing.

Download Streaks

Streaks Workout ($4/£4)

About the app: Exercise without the need for a personal trainer, gym or even equipment. Customize workouts to suit your needs and available time.

About the widget: Just one widget here, displaying your streak count, and giving you single-tap access to the main app.

Download Streaks Workout

Weather Line (free or $4/£4 per month)

About the app: This striking weather app details upcoming conditions with a line-based visual approach that’s easy to process.

About the widgets: Hourly (three sizes) and daily (two sizes) options are available, the larger ones of which show a wealth of info alongside their wiggly line forecasts.

Download Weather Line

Widgeridoo (free + $4/£4 IAP)

About the app: Fashion your own multi-purpose widgets (health; text; events; dates), utilizing a building block approach that makes the going easy.

About the widgets: Select a size (small/medium/large) and then edit the widget to decide which of your creations is displayed in that particular slot.

Download Widgeridoo

Widgetsmith ($2/£2 per month)

About the app: Browse widget templates, customize them to your needs, and set them to appear based on rules you define.

About the widgets: As per Widgeridoo, you get three different sizes of widget to add to your Home Screen, and use Edit Widget to decide what’s displayed in each.

Download Widgetsmith

Wikipedia (free)

About the app: With 40 million articles in the palm of your hand, Wikipedia ensures you’ll never want for general knowledge.

About the widgets: Picture of the day, on this day, and top reads are all available in three different sizes. Instant brain food!

Download Wikipedia