Concept imagines how Apple could implement Home screen widgets in iOS

By , May 30, 2014

iOS widgets concept (Jay Machalani 001)

Ah, the widgets. Among the defining Android features, widgets regularly find themselves on top of many people’s wish list for iOS. Apple does not provide iOS widget functionality, though it’s a non-issue to folks who are jailbroken thanks to literally hundreds, if not thousands, of widgets in Cydia.

I guess you could go as far as saying widgets are one of the prime allures of jailbreaking. While no one outside Apple can’t really tell whether or not the company will ever allow widgets into the App Store, we can always speculate: there’s (some) hope for widgets in iOS as Tim Cook alluded to opening up iOS a little bit more for third party developers in the future.

Until that day comes, non-jailbreakers are stuck with a bunch of concepts. Enter Jay Machalani, the brains behind this remarkable concept envisioning widgets in iOS. ‘iOS Blocks’, as he calls them, resemble Live Tiles in Windows and can be moved around and placed anywhere on the Home screen with a simple gesture…

The images in  this article depict Jay’s idea (via The Verge) of how Apple could theoretically implement widgets on iOS, if it wanted. An iOS widget, he explains, would consist of an app icon, a tap zone and a content area.

Here, check out iOS Blocks on the iPhone…

iOS widgets concept (Jay Machalani, iPhone screenshot 001)iOS widgets concept (Jay Machalani, iPhone screenshot 002)

…and the iPad.

iOS widgets concept (Jay Machalani. iPad screenshot 001)

What really blew my mind is the implementation.

It couldn’t be easier. In his mind, a user would simply pinch a regular Home screen app icon and boom – it’d instantly enlarge and turn into a widget on a 2×2 icon area.

“There’s no menu, no hidden options and no weird gestures to do,” he explains in a blog post. “You literally make the icon bigger with your finger if you want more; it can’t be simpler and more intuitive than that.”

Here’s another video explaining how ‘iOS Block’ could work.

He writes:

When you pinch the icon, you will see the transformation/transition into a Block and at that point you have two choices: Either you pinch it back to an icon since you got the information you need or you release your fingers and the icon will remain a Block on your iOS screen.

How do you like Jay’s striking ‘iOS Block’ idea?

Does his concept one-up Android’s widget implementation, do you think?

And finally, do you want widgets in iOS at all?

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  • Jonathan

    No offense, but it could still use some work. Looks kinda ugly.

    • jack

      double tap is better than pinching a miniscule thing

      • Jonathan

        If that were the case, tapping once to launch the app, there would be a pause to see if you meant to do a double tap or not.

      • jack

        it already happens with the home button (go to HS, Siri or multitasking UI ?).. apple is smart enough to overcome this

      • Jonathan

        Hmm, true. Very true.

    • Ken

      I would have to disagree with you. It looks very well put. Aesthetic fit with iOS 7.

  • Litchy

    The idea is kinda great but it just doesn’t look right…

  • Framboogle

    Someone seriously needs to make this into a tweak.

    • shmoops

      According to r/jailbreak on reddit, a couple devs got permission from these guys to start working on it.

  • Ahmed Karoui

    Looks like a new version of Velox :p

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Well lets hope that unlike Velox whatever developer undertakes the development of this tweak won’t forget about it come the iOS 8 jailbreak…

  • Carson Greene

    As for whether this does one up Android, I think it does. And I’m saying this as the proud owner of both a Nexus 5 and a Nexus 7. On Android, to access widgets, you must tap and hold on the homescreen, hit “Widgets”, then scroll and find the widget you want through the many pages available, and then finally tap and hold on the widget you want and place it where you want it to be. In this concept however, you just pinch. THAT is simplification at its finest.

    • Burn gurus

      Well actually that’s a generalisation, you can install different launchers which give you different access to the widgets. And anyway even if it’s easier to add the widgets on this the actual widgets themselves are much more useful on android due to the openness of the OS.

      • Carson Greene

        I agree. But this is still an elegant solution nontheless.

    • grumpyfuzz

      psssst that’s not how you access widgets on android… that’s how you access widgets on the google now launcher. aosp launcher or any other launcher (most) have them in the app drawer.

    • BozzyB

      this is how you SET a widget – not access or view it. If you want to view a widget you just look at it. Thats the simplest way.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    You should be a jailbreak tweak!

  • Ethan Humphrey

    I didn’t belive in widgets until this!

  • Jon20

    Not for nothing but this is actually a good idea. It is the best of both worlds and at the same time simple to use. And we all know how Apple likes to make things simple to use. Apple should check this kid out.

  • Sokrates

    Tweak potential, but not more!

  • Mukund Bhatla

    Is it just me but this somehow is a borrowed idea from windows phone because of the blocks (Just Sayin’) anyways it needs some work and will look great with some minor touches, if apple implements it in future, they better be ready

  • Vitor

    i just want this
    someone make a tweak and i pay whatever

  • Tom

    I want that wallpaper!

    • Jonathan

      ….

  • Christopher

    Wallpaper please!

    • Jonathan

  • justme

    someone could please share the wallpaper used on this video? ( iPad & iPhone )
    thanks in advance!

    • Jonathan

      Found it through Google Images

      • justme

        Thank you!!
        it looks stunning!

    • Guest

      ..

      • Jonathan

        COME ON I deleted this comment and now it’s posted as a guest. *Sigh*

  • regkilla

    That looks so real.

  • Rafeh babar

    This is very similar to windows phone

    • shmoops

      Except it’s not. You can’t interact with live tiles or control what info is displayed. They just take you to the app.

      • whatsa2

        Yes you can… lots of apps let you select what is displayed.
        also the layout is better with the 6 item row rather than 4.
        (kind of why wp8.1 will allow the 6 item /3 column on any phone.)

        I think the problem is you end up with a very long list of stuff as all the widgets and icons are jumbled up together..
        I think its cool that its been added and is a nice first step for the jailbroken crowd.

        I just dont know if apple would go away from their ingrained inferface. They have never really done this in the past unless its a major redesign/overhaul.

  • Nirvana

    This looks pretty much like Live Tiles on Windows

  • http://www.issuu.com/vicener Vicener

    This has a huge tweak potential, but I’m not sure if this is something Apple would ever implement. Widgets are something that the community has been asking and implementing with tweaks ever since Jailbreak has existed. It would be great if Apple decided to give us something official, but I still don’t really see it happening. Then again Apple has recently surprised us with things they would’ve never done in the past so I guess it’s 50/50.
    All that aside, this concept looks great and if we get an iOS 8 jailbreak I would LOVE to have this on my iPhone.

  • Matt

    Can this this be a jailbreak tweak by any chance?

    • grumpyfuzz

      If some dev takes the challenge to do this.

      • Matt

        I’d pay $10 if necessary :D

      • grumpyfuzz

        lol, I’m sure a lot of other people would too. only thing is, if some dev made this, it would probably be more dependent on the app as that’s what has the widget. it would cause a ton of apps to not have widgets, and they would have to make them individually (even more of a challenge) lol

  • Decio Arruda

    I love the concept, but the thing I most want in it is for Apple to implement that DOCK!!!! A slightly dimmer filter with NO BLUR would make ALMOST EVERY WALLPAPER LOOK GREAT ON iOS 8!!!!!

  • M_thoroughbred

    I hope this turns into a tweak fast I don’t know what some of you are saying but this is kind of neat.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    Looks kind of lame

  • Kash Gummaraju

    This is Android+Windows phone OSes copying to the next level. The color scheme, multitasking, control center, and lockscreen are already borrowed features and designs(not verbatim). But this should it be implemented in some method by Apple, would demonstrate the lack of truly groundbreaking original ideas at Apple. It have a different mechanism or instructions, so long as it looks and overall works(displaying info, being rearranged, having the info customized, etc) like a Windows live tile and/or an Android widget. It is a 75% copied feature, sure there’s something original in it here and there, but as an overall actual feature it’s not. It even to a certain extent emulates Android notifications- you have to use some sort of gesture for them to reveal more information without actually opening up the corresponding app.

    • shmoops

      Are you saying that android invented widgets? Have you ever used technology prior to 2007?

      • Kash Gummaraju

        No, I have not stated that. Saying that would be akin to saying Apple invented tablets.

  • nonchalont

    Might be an added benefit for some cases, however, just clicking the app opens immediately. Ios is pretty darn snappy where u don’t need widgets. Just clicking the app opens the info I need at full screen and can easily multitask between apps at a fast pace.

  • Johnny

    iPhone 5S wallpaper size.

    Enjoy :)

  • Johnny

    Adjusted the color.

  • http://www.datpiff.com/profile/Nuff_Saidd Nuff Said

    I don’t even use the home screen to even take advantage of this.

  • john

    hey jefff what program do you use to record your iphone screen?

  • Guest

    No, sorry.

  • dana mohammed

    A good idea for a cydia tweak or so. Cuz apple aint gonna adapt those silly widgets. As always stay original apple pleaseeeee dont change

    • wael abdo

      for the love of God, why you even bother being here! lol

      • dana mohammed

        Who r u again

      • dana mohammed

        Who r u again

  • iTumbledSea

    just wait

  • JacK_XP

    SO BEAUTIFUL!!! REALLY!!

  • Armed in the Villa

    I dunno, it could use some practical refinery, but the idea behind it is awesome and a step in the right direction.