The 10 Best iPhone Widgets (And How to Put Them to Good Use)
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The iPhone is better than ever, meaning more people use it as their primary way to work and play. And a useful feature you might not have heard a lot about—widgets—provides a great way to view important information from the apps and services you use the most.

We’re taking a closer look at widgets and highlighting some of the best options for your iPhone (and iPad too).

The Wonderful World of iPhone Widgets

Once confined to just the Notification Center, Apple made a great decision starting in iOS 10 to give widgets their own screen—the Today View.

Giving widgets a separate screen and making it easier to reach has made the feature much more useful. More developers have jumped on board to create widgets for their apps.

You can access widgets by swiping right from the lock screen or home screen on your iPhone. To edit widgets, scroll to the bottom of the widget screen and tap Edit.

On this screen, you can see all available widgets. It’s also the place to go to add, remove, and reorder widgets.

Apple includes widgets for a number of built-in apps. For example, the Notes widget shows recent notes and allows you to create one with just a tap. The News, Calendar, and Reminders widgets also provide a quick bite of information from those apps.

But the widget options from third-party developers really help make the feature indispensable. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Pedometer++

Pedometer++ Widget

Pedometer++ takes a simple approach to activity tracking. The app uses your iPhone, or even an Apple Watch, as a step counter. According to most health experts, taking 10,000 steps per day is a great way to remain active and healthy. This app helps anyone keep track of that important metric.

From the widget, you can view an up-to-date step count along with the number of miles and floors walked. Hitting the Show More button will provide a graph of steps taken every hour.

Download: Pedometer++ (Free)

2. Shazam

Shazam Widget

Shazam is a great app to identify music and other types of media, with one big caveat. You need to be fast on the draw to open the app before the song ends. Its widget helps makes that process much easier.

Along with one-tap access to the app itself, there’s also a button to snap a picture or search for something specific. The Show More section will show recently identified songs.

Download: Shazam (Free)

3. Fantastical 2

Fantastical Widget

Keeping track of your calendar can become as difficult as juggling the daily deluge of email. Fantastical 2 is a great all-around option for keeping your calendar under control. The app’s widget is completely customizable, so you can select what to see at a glance.

You can select from four different options—timeline, calendar, event, and reminders. On the widget, the smaller view will show any events scheduled for today. The Show More view is a full, interactive calendar.

Download: Fantastical 2 for iPhone ($5)
Download: Fantastical 2 for iPad ($10)

4. Carrot Weather

Carrot Weather Widget

Apps can make even the weather entertaining 5 Apps That Make the Weather More Entertaining 5 Apps That Make the Weather More Entertaining Find the weather too boring? Check out these apps for Android, iOS, and the web that make the weather more entertaining. Read More . One of the funniest is Carrot Weather. It delivers the usual weather with a hysterical dose of sarcasm and humor.

Using the app, you can customize the widget to provide the forecast and other details shown. There are four different slots in the widget to display different information like wind speed, precipitation chance, and more. You can even see a dose of the app’s snark on the widget.

Download: Carrot Weather ($5, subscription available)

5. ESPN

ESPN Widget

As you could probably guess, the ESPN widget is all about sports scores. First make sure to select your favorite teams in the app. Then with the widget, you can view live scores and upcoming game information for those favorites.

Download: ESPN (Free, subscription available)

6. ETA

ETA Widget

Traffic is an inconvenience most of us have to deal with on a daily basis. And the simple ETA app wants to make that a bit easier. Using the app’s widget, you can see travel times—by car, mass transit, or walking—to a number of different customizable locations.

Along with showing traffic conditions on a route, selecting the location in the widget will automatically bring up directions in Google Maps or Apple Maps.

Download: ETA ($3, in-app purchases available)

7. FlightStats

FlightStats Widget

Even the most well-prepared traveler must battle with flight delays and cancellations that can throw plans into disarray.

Travelers can use a number of different apps to find real-time tracking information. FlightStats is a great option and its widget will show you up-to-date information about a selected flight, including departure or arrival gate.

Download: FlightStats (Free)

8. Deliveries

Deliveries Widget

With the prevalence of online shopping, nearly everyone has a package or two in transit. Instead of wondering when your package will arrive, Deliveries is a great way to help keep track of your purchases.

The app’s widget will show any packages in transit and when to expect them.

Download: Deliveries ($5)

9. Launcher

Launcher Widget

Instead of providing you with quick information from an app, Launcher is a bit different. As you might have guessed by the name, the widget allows you to launch a number of different apps with just a quick tap.

You can even customize specific actions to appear in the widget, like calling or messaging a specific person.

Download: Launcher (Free, premium version available)

10. Steve—The Jumping Dinosaur!

Steve the Jumping Dinosaur Widget

Another unique widget, Steve—The Jumping Dinosaur! lets players get their game on. In this endless runner, you’ll try to jump over obstacles to garner a high score.

You can unlock a number of other characters like a unicorn, zombie, panda, and even a donut. Sync with Facebook and try to best your friends’ high scores if you like.

Download: Steve—The Jumping Dinosaur! (Free, in-app purchases available)

Widgets: Another Great Feature for iPhone

Once you fully customize the widgets screen on your iPhone, it’s a great place to view information and interact with apps you use the most. That makes it one of the most underrated features on iOS.

If you’re looking for another way to improve productivity on an iPhone, take a look at our guide to Siri Shortcuts. How to Master Siri Shortcuts and the Shortcuts App in iOS 12 How to Master Siri Shortcuts and the Shortcuts App in iOS 12 The new Shortcuts app and Siri Shortcuts feature in iOS 12 provide awesome ways to automate your iPhone or iPad. Read More They let anyone accomplish everyday tasks faster by using Siri.

Explore more about: iOS Apps, iPhone Tips, Transportation, Travel, Widgets.

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  1. Mridul
    October 17, 2016 at 6:20 am

    iOS 10 is great and is much smarter than other operating systems.The list of apps mentioned here is very useful.Thanks for the informative article

  2. Toby W
    October 10, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Good article! I love the Shazam Widget. My other Widgets are "Contact Shortcuts" and "Launcher". Widgets in iOS 10 are so cool :)

    • Dann Albright
      October 21, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Contact Shortcuts seems like a great idea!

  3. TJ
    October 8, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Currently have Dark Sky, Do!, Unspent, and Tinycalc.

    • Dann Albright
      October 21, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Not familiar with Unspent . . . is it like Level, where it shows you how much you have left to spend in a given amount of time?

      • TJ
        October 21, 2016 at 10:54 pm

        It's much simpler than Level, like bare bones, but it works for me. No bank info required,. No decimals either so I round up my entries.

        • Dann Albright
          October 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm

          No bank info required? Do you enter all of your transactions manually?

        • TJ
          October 26, 2016 at 11:20 pm

          Yes and yes. I do use it along with Mint.com app (which I've been on since it started) to track budgets and trends at the end of the month.

        • Dann Albright
          November 12, 2016 at 11:08 pm

          I've never tried one where transactions are entered manually. Just seems like more work than I'd be willing to put in. :-) I'm glad it works for you, though! I've also started using more than one app to track everything, and that's helped a lot. I would have thought it would complicate things, but it's actually reduced my financial stress.

  4. Devinder Maheshwari
    October 8, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Well, thanks for this informative article. I was really not sure why people are going mad over iOS 10 widgets, and now I know why!

    • Dann Albright
      October 21, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      Glad you found it useful! I've only been using a couple, but they're pretty awesome.