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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!