How to Use Interactive Widgets on iPhone with iOS 17

In iOS 17, Apple has introduced interactive widgets, transforming the user experience significantly. Unlike previous versions, these widgets not only display information but also let users interact with them without opening the corresponding app. This step-by-step guide will walk you through how to use this powerful feature.

Setting Up Interactive Widgets

  1. Enter Edit Mode:
    Tap and hold on an empty space on your home screen until the icons and widgets start to jiggle, indicating that you're in edit mode.
  2. Access the Widgets Menu:
    Tap on the '+' button located at the upper-left corner of the screen. This will open the widgets menu where you can select from various widgets.
    Setting Up Interactive Widgets on iOS 17
  3. Choose a Widget:
    Select the widget you wish to add. For instance, you can choose Apple's Reminders, Music, or Podcasts widgets to experience interactivity. It's worth noting that only a few apps currently support interactive widgets, primarily system applications like Music, Reminders, and Phone, but more apps are expected to gain this support as they're updated for iOS 17.
    choose an Interactive Widgets on iOS 17
  4. Select Widget Size:
    After selecting a widget, you can choose the size you prefer. Widgets come in small, medium, and large sizes.
    choose size of Interactive Widgets on iOS 17
  5. Add Widget:
    After choosing the size, either drag the widget onto the Home Screen or tap 'Add Widget' at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Finalize Placement:
    The app icons and widgets will continue to jiggle, indicating that you can move the new widget to your desired location on the home screen. When you're happy with the widget's placement, tap 'Done'.
    clock Interactive Widgets on iOS 17

    Using Interactive Widgets

    1. Interact with Widgets:
      You can now interact with the widget directly from the home screen. For example, in the Reminders app, you can tap on a task within the widget to mark it as completed, eliminating the need to open the Reminders app. The Music and Podcasts widgets feature a play button, allowing you to start or pause media playback right from the widget.
    2. Customize Home App Widgets:
      Interactive widgets also extend to the Home app. Apple has introduced two widget sizes for the Home app, a 2x2 widget for quick access to four HomeKit accessories and a larger version that shows up to eight accessories. You can choose 'Recommended,' and iOS 17 will intelligently select which HomeKit accessories you control at different times of the day. Alternatively, you can disable the 'Recommended' option and manually choose which HomeKit accessories and scenes appear in the widgets.

      Advanced Customizations

      1. Custom Home Screens for Different Focus Modes:
        If you use custom home screens linked to Focus modes, you can have different versions of the widget for each Focus Mode. For example, you can set up a version of the Home app widget that shows accessories you commonly use at night and first thing in the morning for the 'Sleep' Focus mode.

        With these simple steps, you can add and use interactive widgets on your iPhone running iOS 17, improving your device's usability significantly. Keep in mind that iOS 17 is in its beta stage, so you might encounter some bugs, but these should be fixed by the time the full update is released.

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