Apple has been making headlines for many reasons. From court cases to hardware changes, there is a lot going on in the Apple ecosystem. For apple fans and the general tech industry, it’s an exciting time to see companies progress and innovate in both software and hardware development. I have not been especially excited about recent iOS updates but the addition of active widgets is something that caught my attention a number of weeks back. iOS 14 is looking to reinvent the homes screen experience and there are many potential use cases that could make all the difference for iOS users in the coming months.
Typically the home screen on iOS is pretty simple and this is beneficial for those seeking simplicity. One can organise icons into folders however they wish and it’s a pretty clean and uniform setup that fits in with the general apple UI. Yet beyond customisation, utility is an area that Apple have decided to encourage through the introduction with live widgets that serve as miniature gateways to applications. Widgets have been around for a long while but it hasn’t been done in Apple’s way before. With time, user bases become mature and perhaps the company have identified that the current market are ready to do more with the apple experience to improve productivity and get access to everything they need from the home screen.
Smart Stacks allow rotation between preferred widgets based on a user’s preference. Pick the desited apps, resize them and let iOS do the rest. It’s a highly customizable experience that brings real-time updates to the apple home screen and I imagine that a number of app developers will begin to consider this when building their apps. A highly of what’s going on for instance on social media apps would no longer need a person to open and load an app, it’s all happening throughout the day and can be digested quickly via the widget system. Perhaps the widget system will create a new wave of innovative uses that goes beyond just accessing key information. Interaction via widgets may be another area that brings utility. I also appreciate that widgets are not the new norm, they complement the existing UI and are not forced on a user. For those who feel that widgets are not needed on their clean icon arrangements or find them fiddly, it’s a completely flexible solution that caters to those who are looking to get a little more from their home screen.