How widgets can make your life easier, not harder

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by matttye, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. matttye macrumors 601

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, England
    #1
    This is how I use widgets on android...

    Lock screen:

    [​IMG]

    Main home screen:

    [​IMG]

    Some may say that looks cluttered, but it has everything I need most often right on the screen. I put the spotify widget on the lock screen so I can change tracks without unlocking the phone. The SMS/calls/gmail bits light up when I have a new message/call/email and I can tap to go straight to the app.

    The little square icons that I've blurred out automatically call/text my favourite contacts when tapped. The large calendar widget has another view which lets you see your agenda for the day (one of those buttons switches between the views).

    A lot of the time I don't actually need to leave my home screen to do things!

    As far as accessing the app drawer goes, the launcher I use allows custom gestures, so I swipe up to access to app drawer, and swipe down (anywhere on the screen) to access the notification bar.

    Widgets are a great thing to have when used correctly. Not everybody uses those massive weather/clock hybrids that so many people find so ugly. Some widgets have simple but time saving uses. If I want to see my agenda or add to it, I simply need to unlock my phone and look at the main screen. To add something, I just press the "+" button.

    Widgets like the ones shown here are fairly static and don't use any data, so they're not battery hogs.

    I think ios needs widgets badly. When used correctly they can only make the user experience more intuitive, not less so. In my opinion the purpose of widgets are to put the most commonly used things in the most convenient place.
     
  2. DroidRules macrumors 65816

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    Aug 10, 2010
    #2
    Well I don't need widgets, don't care to have them. I wouldn't be apposed to apple implementing them but iOS does not NEED widgets. Millions of iPhones sold proves you wrong, not right.
     
  3. matttye thread starter macrumors 601

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    #3
    There is no such thing as a wrong opinion my friend. In my opinion it needs widgets. Not because of sales numbers, but because I won't buy an iPhone until it supports widgets.

    Having to go into an app for even the most basic of features is counter-intuitive.
     
  4. Hexiii macrumors 65816

    Hexiii

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    Prague, Czech Republic
    #4
    But the theme looks terrible. I think I will stay with iOS.
     
  5. matttye thread starter macrumors 601

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    #5
    *theme* being the correct word there. You can change it all. :)

    I happen to like the colour blue, but you don't have to use it.
     
  6. thenerdal macrumors 65816

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #6
    iOS does need someway to view content without the need of opening apps. There are Widgets for Android and Tiles for Windows Phone, but there is nothing like that on iOS.

    It's better, it's not my opinion, it's a fact. If you want to check your FB feed, in Android, there is a Widget for it and you can just check it by unlocking the phone and it's there. In Windows Phone, there are live updates in the Tiles, so it's there.

    In iOS, you have to open the app to check your feed.
     
  7. aphexacid macrumors 6502a

    aphexacid

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    Jul 31, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    I definitely don't want damn widgets.

    The only thing i wish apple would do is try to expand on the notification center a bit and let you integrate a few more things in there. Also let you check it from the lock screen.
     
  8. 3bs macrumors 603

    3bs

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    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #8
    Which is why I'm jailbreaking whenever a jailbreak is available for a 4S. Intelliscreenx let's you do just that.

    And I don't understand why people are against widgets. I'd love to have them
     
  9. matttye thread starter macrumors 601

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    #9
    Are you against things being made more simple? :p
     
  10. aphexacid macrumors 6502a

    aphexacid

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    #10
    Weren't you just beating the "your opinion, my opinion" drum a couple minutes ago?

    I obviously don't agree.
     
  11. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Shropshire, UK
    #11
    Personally, I prefer iOS's lock screen where pertinent information and alerts are displayed rather than specific widgets.
    As for widgets on the main screens, some can be quite useful but ultimately, I don't really see much difference between scrolling to a screen that has my facebook feed on it in a widget and opening the facebook app.
    It's the same with e-mail, SMS, etc - it's just not an issue to open an app up IMO, and I don't need all that information in my face all the time
     
  12. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #12
    Why the hard sell?

    People's tastes and desires differ. Enjoy your set-up, and have the courtesy to allow others to enjoy their own.:D
     
  13. M Quick macrumors 6502

    M Quick

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    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #13


    You can access spotify from the lock screen, you always could, if you didn't know.. Same goes for pretty much any music playback, even youtube videos (but is only functional for audio playback Obviously.).

    Just start spotify, play any music and then double tap the home button and there you have it.. Otherwise you can use the remote on the headphones to change track. All without unlocking the phone.

    SMS/Calls/mails also show up right in the lock screen, without unlocking, you can access them easily from there too, without unlocking the phone but rather go to the inbox of either straight away.


    I guess you missed these features in iOS5? Or you never had an iPhone to begin with before you wrote your post?


    So no need to be waiting for those features, because they're already there..
     
  14. jonter19 macrumors member

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    Jan 17, 2011
    #14
    OP, I have to agree with your post. I used an Android phone on Verizon many years before switching to the iPhone. While I didn't use a ton of widgets, I loved having my calendar on my lock screen and then another widget on my home screen that showed me my next 5 upcoming calendar events.

    It always amuses me that people get up in arms when someone mentions widgets as if Apple would hold a gun to your head and force you to use them. The key word is "customization." If Apple implemented widgets (and I think they will at some point) you don't have to use them if you don't want to. You could use the widgets or choose to keep your iPhone with the stock icons look.

    I hardly use notification center. Since it doesn't put any sort of icon or alert in the bar at the top it seems kind of useless to me. But just because I don't use it doesn't mean I'm not glad it's there in the event I MAY want to use it some day. Just because I don't use it doesn't mean I think Apple wasted time developing it. It's just a matter of personal taste.

    Widgets aren't for everyone. Then again, having to dig into settings just to turn on bluetooth or clicking icons just to look at my calendar isn't for everyone either.
     
  15. ckorhonen macrumors regular

    ckorhonen

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    Sep 18, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    In the second screenshot, why waste a quarter of the screen real estate with a second clock? There is already one in the top status bar.

    That is something that has always confused me when i see screenshots of android widgets, they all seem to include oversized, duplicate clocks!
     
  16. sneaky butcher macrumors 6502

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    Nov 8, 2011
    #16
    1. it looks nice and is big and easy to read
    2. on most clock widgets if you tap it - it takes you into the clock settings for things like alarm settings or stop watch etc so its a nice looking shortcut

    its cutomization, you might prefer to fill your homescreen with rows of square icons you can do that if you want.
     
  17. Danno21 macrumors regular

    Danno21

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    Apr 21, 2011
    #17
    The one I do miss from Android are widgets. Used to be able to see all the latest news, update Facebook status, etc. without having to actually open up the applications.

    It's a nice feature that I hope Apple someday implements better. Some people don't like them, but at least give us the option.
     
  18. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #18
    Steve Jobs said that he loved widgets and used widgets all the time on his Mac.

    The so-called "iPhone patent" even listed a Widget Creator as one of the original apps, so apparently it was on their minds.

    As I understand it, the main holdup right now is that, unlike Android, iOS wasn't designed with a cross-window security model. This is required to safely let background apps have access to the homescreen.

    However, that security model is a cause of lag at times. If Apple can figure a way around that, then we might expect iOS to support widgets sometime in the future.
     
  19. M Quick macrumors 6502

    M Quick

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    #19
    How come so many people have missed these features that are right there in iOS5?!

    I have all that.. Just enable and configure them in the notification center..

    I don't understand what the problem is here..
     
  20. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a

    Buckeyestar

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    Sep 17, 2011
    #20
    Screen full of widgets or screen full of squares, it's all the same. Tap on the clock to access more features, kind of like tapping the clock app to acces the same features. You can keep your widgets.
     
  21. mrochester macrumors 65816

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    Feb 8, 2009
    #21
    I think the OP may have missed these functions in whatever iOS 5 device he uses. The music controls have been there for as long as I can remember, and the slide to go straight to the respective app on the lock screen notifications is a great addition. I believe it was HTC's Sense skin that first came up with these rather than Google. I use them all the time.
     
  22. M Quick macrumors 6502

    M Quick

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    Nov 9, 2011
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    #22
    Yeah, i've seen the music controls been there all the time, but the other is new for iOS5, but iOS5 is "old" now, so i'm stumped some in this thread has no idea what they are trying to complain about to begin with hehe..
     
  23. mrochester macrumors 65816

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    Feb 8, 2009
    #23
    That's going to depend entirely on your usage. My iPhone homescreen has 20 icons on it, shortcuts to my most used apps. IIRC, an Android home screen can have a maximum of 20 or 21 icons, which means there'd be no room for any widgets. To have any sort of sizable, usable widget, I'd have to relegate quite a lot of my most used apps onto a second home screen, or into folders, which would make them less convenient to access. I would simply have traded the 'convenience' of having a widget with the 'inconvenience' of not having such quick access to my most used apps. I can see how widgets would be useful for filling any exisiting gaps you have in your homescreen, but in my case the experience would be less intuitive because of the relegation of well used apps to somewhere less accessible.
     
  24. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    Mar 29, 2011
    #24
    For me the best use of Widgets are toggle widgets. Toggling sound settings or wifi or GPS is handy. The best toggle however must be lock screen toggles. Being able to toggle the lock screen on for security when going out and then being able to quickly toggle it off for when you're using your phone at home makes life easier. That's one thing that i sorely missed.
     
  25. lordofthereef, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011

    lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #25
    iOS5 doesn't have true widgets. You are either lying to yourself, or are simply misinformed...
     

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