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Smartphones & gadgets

How to use widgets on iPhone to customize your home screen

The latest iOS update gave iPhone users tons of new features. That’s probably why there was so much hype around the rollout of the updated operating system.

After all, who doesn’t want access to things like new privacy features and more customization options that come with iOS 14? Unfortunately, those new features weren’t all that Apple rolled out with iOS 14. There were plenty of bugs that came with iOS 14, too.

Let’s focus on the good for now: new features. The new iOS 14 operating system has finally added widgets to Apple devices. Android users have known how useful these widgets can be for a while, but they’re brand new for iPhone users. Let’s take a look at what they are, why they’re useful and how you can put them to work on your phone.

How widgets work and how to use them

If you’ve never experienced widgets you may not be as excited about this new feature as some of the other ones, but you should be. Here’s the thing. Widgets are really useful.

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They can give you a quick glance at weather, your calendar, news or any other info you get from apps on a regular basis. The nice thing about widgets is you don’t have to open the app to see information if you’re looking for. It’s just right there at your fingertips on the home screen of your device.

That’s not all widgets do, though. iPhone widgets allow you to personalize your home screen. You can organize your home screen and place important information you need access to right up front and center. You can also make them larger or smaller as necessary.

Adding widgets to your phone

Adding widgets to your iPhone may be new, but it’s very easy. Follow these simple steps to add them to your home screen and Today View.

To add widgets to your iPhone home screen:

  • Go to your home screen. Touch and hold a widget or empty area until all the apps start to jiggle on your screen.
  • Look in the upper-left corner and tap the Add button. (It looks like a plus sign.)
  • Choose the widget you want, then select a widget size (there are three options – small, medium and large). Next, pick Add Widget.
  • Select Done.

To add widgets to Today View:

  • Start from your Today View screen (swipe right from your main home screen.) Select and hold a widget until the quick actions menu opens. 
  • Choose Edit home screen
  • Select and drag your chosen widget to the right edge of the screen until it shows up on the home screen.
  • Click Done.

To edit or change the size of your widgets:

  • Touch and hold a widget to open the quick actions menu.
  • Tap Edit Widget.
  • Make your changes, then tap outside of the widget to exit.

You can also move your widgets around to put your favorites where they’re easier to find. Just touch and hold a widget until it jiggles, then move the widget around on the screen.

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What widgets can you add with iOS 14?

Not all apps have Widgets yet, but there are still tons to choose from right now. There are dozens of fitness and nutrition apps with widgets, as well as calendars, finance, creative and travel widgets. You can check whether your app has a widget by looking at the description in the app store.

There are also plenty of third-party widget customizers or organizers you can find in the Apple store. Take, for example, the third-party app called Color Widgets. Color Widgets lets you add unique widgets with customizable colors and fonts directly onto your home screen. You can choose from premade designs or create your own.

If you’re trying to figure out how to make customized iPhone widgets you’re seeing all over the internet, you’ll have to download Widgetsmith. Widgetsmith is a free app, but if you want some of the exclusive features like weather info, you’ll have to pay up for Widgetsmith Premium which comes out to $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year.

However, the free version of Widgetsmith still offers plenty of customizable widgets for apps and features like photos, calendars, reminders, and Apple Health activity.

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