Why interactive widgets might be the best improvement in iOS 15 [Updated]


iOS 15 widgets concept
The single best change Apple could make in iOS 15 is interactive widgets.
Concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Update:  iOS 15 was unveiled at WWDC 2021 and there was no mention of interactive widgets. Maybe in 2022…

It’s high time iPhone Home screen widgets grew up. They were one of the best additions to iOS last year, but they are still too limited. Fortunately, iOS 15 will reportedly make widgets much more interactive.

There are a few other changes expected in the new iPhone system software update, but none are as important as this one.

Widgets go interactive

Widgets actually debuted in iPadOS 13, then made the jump to iOS in 2020. But Apple has yet to make them interactive.

The current version gives fast access to useful information. A widget is convenient for seeing what’s coming up on your calendar, or checking the weather. But they can’t do anything.

That’ll change with iOS 15, according to PhoneArena. If correct, we may soon see widgets that let you change tracks in Apple Music, create a calendar event, write a note, send a tweet and much more.

Widgets changed the way I use my iPhone. And I’m ready for them to get even more useful.

Other welcome changes coming in iOS 15

So far, Apple has pretty thoroughly kept the wraps on what’s coming in the next iOS version. But some details have supposedly leaked out, so we’re expecting more than just interactive widgets.

The Messages application and the iMessage service will be upgraded to make them stronger competitors for WhatsApp, according to Mark Gurman from Bloomberg. Adding Android support seems unlikely, though.

You supposedly will be able to tell your iPhone that you’re driving, working or sleeping, and that will control what notifications you receive and how. This already works when driving, but Bloomberg says Apple will expand the feature in iOS 15.

iOS 14 allows users to change their default web browser, email application and music player. The next version will extend that to additional types of apps, according to PhoneArena.

Apple allegedly will drop support for the A9 processor in this update, leaving out the iPhone 6 and 6s Plus, as well as the original iPhone SE, according to iPhoneSoft. Still, that means the upgrade will be available to the iPhone 7 and every model introduced since that one.

iOS 15 will almost certainly be unveiled at Worldwide Developers Conference 2021 on June 7 — one week from today. Also expected to debut at WWDC are macOS 12, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8 and tvOS 15. All five are likely to be available in beta form next week, but the full release isn’t expected until autumn.


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