Widgets aren't exactly new technology; they've been around on Android phones for quite some time, but are only now starting to become a more mainstream feature on iPhones and iPads.While the app icon is motionless on your home screen, app widgets give you an overview of everything that's happening within the app.
While many iPhone widgets work well on the iPad, not all of them work.So here's a list of the best widgets to try out on the iPad.
1. The Calendar Widget
If you use a digital calendar, then you need to use the Apple Calendar widget.There are plenty of other calendar apps and corresponding widgets in the App Store, but Apple's built-in calendar widget is still one of the best.
There are many different gadget sizes and configurations to choose from, and they can be personalized for the different calendars you sync.
If you just want to see your work or personal calendar, then add the widget to your home screen.Next, long-press the widget and tap Edit widget.Make sure the Mirror Calendar App is closed, then click the Calendars option below.Here, you will be able to choose the calendar you want to see in the gadget.
If you want to see all events in all calendars then keep Mirror Calendar App open.
2. The Shortcuts Widget
If you want to get the most out of your iPad while increasing your productivity, then you need to take advantage of Shortcuts apps and widgets.Apple's Shortcuts app allows you to automate certain programs and activate a chain of commands with a single tap or Siri command.
If you're not already using Shortcuts, open the Shortcuts app and play with some of the pre-built Shortcuts before you add the gadget to your iPad.When you're done, go back to the home screen and add a "Shortcuts" widget for easy access to those shortcuts.
3. The Google Drive Widget
If you use Google Drive, the corresponding widget will be a handy addition to your iPad's home screen.You can configure the Google Drive widget to display your recent files, or you can set it to display shortcuts to frequently used Google Drive actions.
You can select small, medium or large widgets and configure them by long-pressing and selecting Edit widget.Toggle "Show Selected Files" to see recent Google Drive files, or toggle it off if you want your widget to act as a shortcut to common Google Drive actions.
Download: Google Drive (Free, subscription available)
4. The Google Maps Widget
If you commute a lot, then the Google Maps widget should have a place on your home screen.
You might be wondering why Apple Maps isn't the preferred map recommendation, but the truth is, you can't do much with the Apple Maps widget.The Google Maps widget, on the other hand, lets you see real-time information on pinned itineraries, and it can also be configured to show you the latest traffic conditions or help you find nearby places.
If you want to set up a Google Maps widget to display real-time data on your commute or journey, then you'll need to pin your tips in the Google Maps app first.To do this, get the directions for your journey and tap the Pin in the bottom right corner of the screen.Once you've added the Google Maps widget to your home screen, you can now long-press the widget, tap Edit widget, and select the fixed itinerary for which you want the widget to display data.
Download: Google Maps (free)
5. The Mail Widget
Next, we have the Apple Mail widget.If you work on an iPad, this widget is a great way to see your unread emails or a specific inbox.
Once you've added the widget to your home screen, long-press the widget, tap Edit widget, and select the mailbox you want to view.You can also choose to view all inboxes or just your unread messages.If you're using focus mode on your iPad, then you can set your home screen to show work emails in one focus and personal emails in another.
6. The World Clock Widget
This one might not be of interest to everyone, but it's a lifesaver for those who work in multiple time zones.The World Clock widget is just one of the clock widget options that allow you to view up to four different clocks, set at a location of your choice.
Once you've added the widget to your home screen, long-press, tap Edit widget, and select the city you want the widget to display.You can also rearrange cities by holding down the three lines next to each city and dragging them up or down in the list.
It's not the prettiest clock widget, but it's pre-installed on your iPad and you don't need to download any new apps to access it.
7. The Flip Clock Widget
If you don't like the beauty of the Clock app widget, then you might prefer the minimalist view of the Flip Clock.Before you add anything to your home screen, download the Flip Clock digital widget app and open it to customize your widget settings.The app is free, but if you want to remove ads or access advanced color options, then you'll need to upgrade by paying a one-time fee.
If you like black and white and don't plan to use the app for anything other than gadgets, the free version will suffice.
Open the app and tap the gear icon in the upper right corner.Then click Gadget Settings.Here you can customize your small, medium and large gadgets.Choose a 12-hour or 24-hour clock, decide whether to show seconds or not, and pick from a handful of free color themes.
When you're done, go back to your home screen and you'll be able to add your new custom flip clock widget.
Download: Flip clock (Free, in-app purchases available)
8. The Reminders Widget
There's no shortage of to-do list apps on the iPad, and while some have decent widget options, most aren't quite as good or are worth the effort to set up.While the preinstalled Apple Reminders may not let you customize the colors, it's better than most in terms of features, and best of all, it's free
As with most gadgets, reminders are as good or bad as you choose.While you can set it to just show all tasks, if you want to get the most out of your gadget, you'll want to set up a list in Reminders.
Lists enable you to customize your gadget experience and segment your tasks.For example, you can set up one widget to display work-related tasks, and another one for home.
9. The Apollo Widget
If you use Reddit, then you need the Apollo app and its associated gadgets.Apollo was created with iOS in mind, so it feels right at home on the iPad.While it's not an official Reddit app, it has more to offer its users.Download the Apollo app for free, then step into your gadget and see its magic.
Not only can you add a widget to display recent posts in a feed of your choice, but you can also add a wallpaper widget that rotates through image-dense subsections.Alternatively, add a subsection widget that takes you directly to where you spend the most time, or add a joke widget or shower idea widget for a little quick fun.
Download: Apollo (Free, subscription available)
What will you do with the widgets on the iPad?
Whether you're working on your iPad, sharing it with your kids, or splitting use between work and play, using widgets will improve your user experience.There are tons of different widgets you can add to your home screen, and we think the options above are the best.
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