With iOS 10, Apple redesigned the lock screen and got rid of the slide-to-unlock gesture. Now, instead of unlocking your phone, swiping right takes you to the Today view where you can glance at and interact with widgets. You can also access these same widgets on an unlocked phone by swiping right on your home screen, but they are most useful for performing quick checks and actions without unlocking your phone.
Along with many of Apple’s stock apps, third-party apps are allowed widgets on the lock screen. Options abound; I tried many. After roughly a month with iOS 10, here are the 10 widgets that currently occupy a spot on my iPhone.
The Launcher widget provides the quickest way for me to call home, text my wife, FaceTime David Lee Roth and view Instagram. The free version of Launcher lets you program up to seven actions, from launching apps to calling or texting or FaceTiming specific contacts.
2. Fantastical 2
Fantastical 2 is a superior calendar to Apple’s stock calendar app, and its widget is superior to the stock calendar app’s widget. The Fantastical 2 widget shows you how many minutes remain until your next calendar appointment, and when you tap to expand the widget, it displays the current month where you can view any day’s appointments. It also integrates reminders from the stock Reminders app if you want to combine your calendaring and tasks.
I like to keep my calendar and reminders separate. The stock Reminders app has a lock-screen widget, but it shows only reminders set to remind you at a certain time; items without alarms set do not show up. The Todoist widget shows you all of your reminders for the current day. You can mark items as complete and add new tasks with the widget.
The stock Weather app’s widget shows the current conditions along with the expected high and low temperatures for the day, while the expanded view shows the hourly forecast for the next few hours. That’s more than the surprisingly lackluster widget for Storm, which had been my go-to weather app. I want more from my weather widget and turned to BeWeather because its widget lets you customize the information it displays, including current conditions, hourly forecast, daily forecast and text forecast.
Shazam remains my all-time favorite iOS app. If you told me 20 years ago that such a thing existed — that my cell phone would magically tell me the name and artist of any song I hear — I would flipped my phone shut and quickly walked away from such an insane-sounding person. With the Shazam widget, I can quickly get it to start listening and tell me what it is I’m listening to before the song ends.
I use the sadly discontinued Jawbone JamboxBluetooth speaker to listen to music in my home. My kids use it, too, so the speaker moves around my house and is rarely plugged in. Half the time, I don’t know where it is. And I never know how much battery life it has left, which is why I love the stock Batteries widget that shows me how much juice my Jambox has left. It also shows me the battery life remaining on my Apple Watch. And the widget smartly disappears when my Bluetooth devices are off or out of range.
My wife jokes that I can turn on the TV, turn on any game of any sport and have some sort of vested interest. And I don’t bet on sports! The ESPN widget gives me quick access to the scores (or the time and spread of their next game when they aren’t playing) of the favorite teams I selected in the ESPN app along with any notable games of the day.
When I’m not blogging or watching sports, I can be found in the kitchen. I like to cook, and theTimeglass widget lets me monitor multiple timers so I can keep track of what’s in the oven, what’s on the stove and what I have outside on the Weber grill. The free app gives you up to three timers, which is the maximum number of timers I need on any given night.
The Dropbox app received a recent update that improved its widget. Now, in addition to showing the four most recently added files, the widget has three helpful buttons: Scan Document, Upload Photo and Create File. I don’t think I’ve touched the Dropbox app itself since the widget added these buttons, and I use Dropbox daily to shuttle files around.
I keep DataMan at the bottom of my widgets to keep an eye at the end of my billing cycle where I stand toward my monthly 4GB data limit.
Have you come to embrace iOS 10’s lock-screen widgets? If so, let me know what your favorite widgets are in the comments below. And if not, learn how to use the new iOS 10 lock screen.