The best widgets apps for iPadOS 13’s new Home screen

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The new Home screen widget panel on iPadOS 13.
Photo: Apple

In iPadOS, the old Today View has shuffled over a little, and now lives right on the Home screen. You can pin widgets there, and they will be permanently shown on the left edge of the Home screen (in landscape, at least — in portrait they will act more like a temporary Slide Over panel).

This changes how we use widgets. Instead of being temporary, quick-info panels, or shortcuts for app functions, widgets are now always visible, and always available to tap. A weather widget can be checked with a single glance, for instance. Ditto countdown timers. And — best of all — Shortcuts can be triggered with a single tap.

Let’s take a look at some great widgets for the iPadOS Home screen.

How to use iOS Spotlight like a launchbar for your iPad

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Let these shortcuts take care of your morning routine, so you can focus more on important things, like breakfast.
Let these shortcuts take care of your morning routine, so you can focus more on important things, like breakfast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Every morning, after I park my iPad in its desk stand, I start writing the same way: I play the same music playlist; I start the Focus app, which reminds me to take breaks; and I create a new Ulysses sheet to start typing in. And I do all of these almost without touching the screen.

You’d be surprised at how much you can do on the iPad with just the keyboard. Today we’re going to see some cool examples, plus a bonus Good Morning shortcut.

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For when the stock Camera app just doesn't cut it.
Photo: Unsplash.com

Focus Fades Non-Active Apps Into The Background

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I find the idea of “distraction-free” writing apps to be bunk: after all, why on Earth would the presence or lack of a menubar make any difference to your ability to concentrate? I am, however, a sworn enemy of clutter, and so I immediately downloaded the $0.99 Focus app, which is kind of like a virtual rug under which you can sweep your mess of Mac application windows.

Make Your Pics Cooler With Focus. Only $3! [Deals]

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Folks, this is a one-day deal that you would be an absolute fool to miss out on. The app is Focus, and it lets you mess with the focus and such of your pics. I was a skeptic at first. I have a gabillion photo apps on hand and thought, “do I really need another one?“.

Then I tried it.

I’m getting this app ASAP because at $3, it’s a steal and very, very cool. Even if the price doesn’t get you, the examples I did just now (in about 5 minutes) sure will.