Widgets—little utilities from installed apps that used to appear in Notification Center—have been around since iOS 8. But with iOS 10, they have broken free of Notification Center and set up shop in their own Widgets screen, making them more obvious and accessible.
On the iPhone and on iPads in portrait orientation, your widgets appear in a single column. However, flip your iPad to landscape orientation and you see two columns so that you can use the horizontal space on the screen more effectively. The iPad may also lead each column with the current weather conditions and date.
In iOS 10, you bring up the Widgets screen by swiping right on the Lock screen or the main Home screen. What appears there depends on what apps you have installed and which widgets are active. Scroll to the very bottom of the list and tap the Edit button to show the Add Widgets screen, which iOS divides into two sections: widgets to show and widgets you can add.
- To remove a widget from the Widgets screen, tap the red button to the left of its name, and then tap Remove.
- To add an available widget to the Widgets screen, tap the green plus button to the left of its name.
- To organize the Widgets screen so your preferred widgets appear at the top, drag the handles at the right of each widget’s name to re-order the list.
Be sure to tap Done when you’re finished to save your changes. Once your Widgets screen is showing the desired widgets, you just have to train yourself to become accustomed to using it. We recommend putting a widget whose information you care deeply about at the top—perhaps Apple News headlines or your favorite weather app—so you’ll be rewarded for each visit.
Although it’s impossible to know which of your third-party apps might provide a widget that’s compelling for you, many of Apple’s apps provide useful widgets. You might particularly like:
- Find Friends, which shows the locations of your Find My Friends people
- Mail, which provides buttons to show messages from each of your VIPs
- Maps Destinations, which displays locations for upcoming events; tap one to get directions
- News, which shows you Top Stories
- Reminders, which lists your to-dos, and you can even mark them done from here
- Up Next, which displays the next event on your calendar
Note that some widgets, like Activity (for Apple Watch users) and Find Friends, show their data only when the iOS device is unlocked. So if you’ve entered the Widgets screen from the Lock screen, you must use Touch ID or enter your passcode to get them to work—for Touch ID users, that means merely resting your finger on the Home button.
Regardless of what device you have, if you’re using iOS 10, take a few minutes to play with the Widgets screen. It makes accessing widgets so much easier, and you’ll be surprised at how many of your apps come with widgets that can make your iOS life just a little better.
Twitter: iOS 10’s new Widgets screen makes it surprisingly easy to access a custom set of tiny apps at any time. Learn more about it:
Facebook: If you’re running iOS 10, try the new Widgets screen, where you can access a custom set of useful little apps from the Lock screen or the Home screen. It takes only a moment to set up and is one of the best new features in iOS 10. Learn more on our blog at: