One of the biggest changes to iOS 14 is the new home screen widgets and third-party integration with the new feature will unlock lots of great potential. In a WWDC talk today, Apple has detailed WidgetKit including sharing what the focus and experience should be like and that widgets should not be designed as “mini-apps.”
While much of the focus is on home screen widgets for iPhone, the new feature is also present on iPad as well as Macs with macOS Big Sur (just in different implementations). Here’s how Apple describes WidgetKit:
Easily build widgets and make them available across iOS, iPadOS, and macOS using the WidgetKit framework and the new widget API for SwiftUI. Widgets now come in multiple sizes, and users can visit the new widget gallery to search, preview sizes, and place them anywhere on the Home screen to access important details at a glance. They can also add Smart Stacks — sets of widgets that use on-device intelligence to surface the right widget at the right moment, based on factors like time, location, and activity.
In the WWDC talk “Meet WidgetKit” Apple highlights the focus of widgets as developers start working on their third-party versions. The three main goals to keep in mind are that widgets should be “glanceable, relevant, and personalized.”
Along with that, Apple specifically wants them to not be “mini-apps” with buttons and a complex UI. After a general overview of WidgetKit and what the experience should be like, the WWDC talk also walks developers through creating a widget with both static and intent configurations.
You can find all the resources to get started with making a widget below and on the Meet WidgetKit talk page.
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