iOS 16 Lock Screen Widgets: MacStories Roundup

As the release of iOS 16 was approaching, I felt a strong sense of déj vu. Testflight beta started arriving with lock screen widgets. Looks like it’s early 2020 home screen widget once again. This time, though, all those bets are about the lock screen widgets.

As covered by Federico His iOS 16 ReviewApple’s approach to lock screen widget support in its own apps differs from that of home screen widgets. When home screen widgets were launched with iOS 14, there are very few lock screen widgets available for system apps. Part of the difference is undoubtedly because the lock screen widgets are small and monochrome, but there remain gaps that are not so easily explained away. Luckily for us, third-party developers have stepped in with a long list of innovative widgets.

With so many options and only three to five lock screen widget slots to fill, it’s hard to know where to start, so I’ve compiled a list of my top recommendations from over 40 I’ve tried so far. Of course, this list doesn’t include the apps I covered last week, but it goes without saying widgetsmith, lock screen one, lockflowAnd carrot season If I had not written about them already, I would have been included in this list.

The name says it all. Link Hub lets you insert links on your iOS 16 lock screen. Links can be URLs that open websites or URL schemes that open and control apps. You can also use the app’s widgets to do things like initiate a FaceTime call or drop in your favorite message thread. What I love about Link Hub is that it harnesses the power of the web to expand what a lock screen widget can do. In the screenshot above, I’ve got an inline widget to open the Club MacStory website, a rectangular widget that triggers a shortcut that turns off my bedside lamp, and two circular widgets, one that opens the MacStory homepage and the other. Which opens the Shortcuts app.

Launcher is an app that has been around for a very long time, helping iPhone users automate a long list of tasks by reducing more complex tasks to a single-tap launcher. With the introduction of the app’s lock screen widget, it can now launch apps, play shortcuts, play music, call friends and family, start driving directions, and more directly from your lock. can do from the screen. One of the app’s coolest touches is that the launcher comes with over 3000 icon options for its widgets, far more than your average app, making it easy for you to choose meaningful glyphs. I have installed the launcher in the above screenshot to turn on the lights in my office with an inline widget. The other three widgets from left to right start a playlist of songs I’ve marked as ‘loved’ in Apple Music, open my iMessage thread with my wife Jennifer, and launch halide Camera App.

Lock Screen Widget is a natural extension of Home Widget, which is an excellent HomeKit automation app. The app offers a single circular widget that can control HomeKit accessories, trigger scenes, and more. One of my wishes is to add inline widgets to the app, but I expect four circular widgets to meet most people’s needs anyway. In the screenshot above, I have widgets to control a security camera, a light bar on my balcony, and two others for the lamps in my office and living room.

Just Press Record offers a circular widget, but it captures the essence of the app quite well. Just Press Record has always been about capturing audio quickly, so having a button on the lock screen that starts a new recording is perfect. Tap the widget, and the app opens and starts recording immediately. That’s all, but it’s a great example of deep linking into the core functionality of an app in a way that extends the usefulness of Just Press Record.

Christian Selig has created a great mix of lock screen widgets that take advantage of deep linking in Apollo along with some fun stats. First, statistics. Apollo can track the distance you’ve scrolled in the app, and oh boy, it adds up fast. If you want to see how far you’ve scrolled, you can with a circular widget that will remind you every time you look at your lock screen.

However, Apollo goes much further. There’s also a rectangular widget that shows trending posts and a widget that displays your Reddit Karma score, the number of unread items in your inbox that’s opened your inbox, stats about the performance of your most recent posts, and Second your most recent comment for performance. There are also widgets that will open a favorite subreddit or a random one. In addition, Apollo provides an inline widget for your scroll distance, karma score, or inbox count. It’s that much variety that makes it easy to track Reddit from your lock screen and drop in different parts of the Apollo.

I can handle a lot of tasks that I have to do on foot every week. It’s a great time to listen to podcasts, but because many of the trips are short, I’m jumping in and out of the same episode multiple times over certain days. With Overcast’s new Recent lock screen widget, I can resume an episode with a single tap, which I love. Another widget I really like is Playlists, which lets you choose one of your overcast playlists, and with a tap, drop it directly to start listening. The third widget is the Overcast Offers app’s icon, which simply launches the app from an inline or circular widget.

Marcos Tanaka’s app Musicbox has two lock screen widgets for saving links to Apple Music albums and songs. One lists music you’ve recently saved to listen to later, which is nice, but it’s the circular add music widget that’s the more interesting of the two. Add Music uses the ShazamKit framework to quickly add music to your after-listening queue by listening to what’s going on around you. If you hear a song you like, tap the widget, and it opens MusicBox’s Shazam UI and starts listening. Once the song is recognized, MusicBox asks you to confirm and lets you save the URL to your queue. The whole process is so simple and fast that I plan to use this widget a lot.

A lot of task managers have added lock screen widget support, but I like the combination of widgets the best. There’s a rectangular widget that shows you three tasks from any of your lists with the ability to filter by tag and specify whether tapping the widget goes to your inbox, the current list, or does nothing. There are also two circular widgets. The first one opens the UI for adding new to-dos, and the second tracks your task completion progress by filling in the circle around the checkmark as you check things off your to-do list. The Add New To-Do Widget is also available as an inline widget. With three widgets that make use of all the available types, Things lets you add tasks, see what’s next, and track your progress all in one go, which is a thoughtful combination I haven’t seen other apps have. have seen.

Package tracking app Parcel has highly customizable rectangular and circular widgets to track your delivery. The rectangular widget has the advantage of displaying the item you are tracking and its status. However, adding one to your lock screen after tapping on both lets you configure a number of options. My favorite is the ability to pin a delivery on the lock screen instead of just showing the next delivery, which is the default. There are also options to change the color scheme of the widget and specify whether the app opens in its main view or your package’s detail view.

Like Parcel, Countdown does a great job of matching viewable information with well-thought-out options. The app is perfect for widgets because it’s all about counting down the time before that big day that you want to remember. The app uses all three types of widgets, mixing and matching event details. You’re counting the time remaining before the event and the time remaining before the event graph. There are options to choose the next upcoming event, a specific event, or a random one, as well as whether to include the percentage of time elapsed on your countdown in widgets that include a graph.

Fun Media’s health and fitness tracker, Fitness View, allows users to track a wide variety of metrics compared to Apple’s own fitness app tracker. In addition to activity tracking like Apple’s apps, you can track specific goals you set in the Fitness View app using a combination of progress indicators, values, and iconography, which is a good way to focus on a specific goal.

Fun Media does a similar job with its apps waterminder And Ush, which are specialized to track your hydration and calorie intake, respectively. Both apps have multiple ways to log and track your goals, which helps you keep up with your efforts to stay hydrated and keep your calorie intake in front of your mind.

The tempo has really expanded over the past year or so. Tracking app for runners and walkers provides multiple ways to track distance logged over different periods. Tempo also has a widget for goal tracking and a bar chart of your last seven days of logged mileage. I’m in the early stages of running after my knee surgery last spring, and having widgets to remind me of my progress and goals is one of the ways I plan to stay motivated and on track.

When you’re traveling, there’s always something to do, whether it’s your next dinner reservation, tickets to an event, or a flight. Travel-planning app Tripsy lets you put that kind of information on your lock screen for quick reference with two rectangular, one circular and one inline lock screen widgets. Rectangular widgets track your next three scheduled activities for your trip and your next flight respectively. The circular widget lets you open Tripsy to a specific category for your travel activities, and the in-line widget displays the next activity on your schedule.

The Contacts widget lets you assign widgets to people whose information you have saved in Apple’s Contacts app. Widgets are designed in the Contacts Widgets app and are available when you customize your lock screen widget. You have several options for creating widgets that will give a voice or FaceTime call to a contact or leave you with them in a message thread. For each widget, you can specify an image for your contact, name, and whether or not the widget includes a background. The free version of the app lets you create up to three widgets. In-app purchases are available for unlimited widgets, but are currently not available in the app.


One of the things I come across frequently when testing lock screen widgets is what Federico said His iOS 16 Review,

The widgets on the lock screen are the ones that were viewable, not the ones two years ago.

I agree, and like Federico, I need more lock screen widgets as a result. It’s not an easy design problem to solve without obscuring the wallpaper, but adding the ability to change the flashlight and camera widgets and perhaps making the widget row swipeable would be a good place to start.

Until then, I plan to make more custom lock screens. Some will be associated with focus modes, but most I’ll switch on most of them manually because, as I’ve explained This week’s episode of AppStoriesCreating too many focus modes quickly backfires.

Of course, this is just the beginning of our coverage of lock screen widgets. Since starting this story, I’ve had a whole new pile of widgets to test and I’ll be writing about the best ones here, as well. MacStories Weekly’s App Debut Section For Club McStory Members,

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