Widgets on the Home Screen Increase iOS App Engagement

iOS 14 Widgets on the home screen

What is a Widget?

A Widget is a component that can be used to display a small amount of timely, relevant information, so people can see it at a glance. It is like a small window into your app’s content.

Widgets increase app user engagement

The main purpose of a Widget is to display information for a user to “glance” at without having to actually open an app. As an app developer, it might seem counterintuitive to be excited about something that reduces the need to launch an app. But a Widget delivers value to a user at the moment they need it, and creates an opportunity for repeat app engagement.

What are some good use cases for Widgets?

Virtually any app can benefit from a Widget on the home screen to improve user experience and help businesses re-engage with their customers.

How app developers build an iOS Widget

Widgets may be presented in three different sizes — small, medium, or large. They can be displayed on the iPhone and iPad home screens, and on the Mac Notification Center.

  • A SwiftUI view to display the content.
  • A timeline provider, which provides a list of timeline entries (structs that implement the TimelineEntry protocol) to be displayed. These entries contain information about when the Widget should be updated and which content to display. This list can be updated by the app when it is running, by the system when there are no more items on the list provided, or at a specified time. You may also tell the system not to request updates if you only want to provide updates when the app is running.

Widgets vs App Clips

Both Widgets and App Clips offer up valuable information at the moment users need it. In terms of functionality, Widgets and App Clips are very different. Widgets help increase repeat engagement from existing users by extending an app’s functionality to the home screen with glanceable information. As we wrote on our blog, App Clips for iOS help increase app discovery and encourage new users to try an app without downloading the full application.

Want to create a Widget for your app?

Contact us to learn more about Widgets, App Clips, or any of the exciting features coming in iOS 14 this fall. Our iOS app developers are happy to provide an overview of the key takeaways that matter most to your business.

We help companies forge meaningful connections with their customers and employees through lovable apps and digital products. Learn more at arctouch.com.

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