When Apple introduced iPadOS in 2019, iPad users gained the ability to pin widgets on the front page. Tucked nicely into the Today View, you could keep widgets for apps you use often closer to your fingertips.
With iPadOS 14, Apple revamped that ability. You can pick from a variety of widgets, select the size, and take advantage of a Siri Suggestions widgets and Smart Stack. Apple also redesigned the widgets to be more attractive and useful.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to use widgets on iPadOS 14.
Using widgets on iPad
Widgets in Today View
As in the previous version of iPadOS, widgets still reside in the Today View area of your Home screen. And your Today View can remain on your Home screen or hide when you need more space. The setting for this feature is in a different location as of iPadOS 14.
Tap and hold anywhere on your Home screen until your icons jiggle. Above Today View, you’ll see the toggle for Keep On Home Screen. Be sure to enable that toggle if you want to keep Today View on your screen.
You can rearrange the widgets in Today View just like before. Tap and hold on your screen to get them jiggling and drag them where you want them.
To remove a widget, press and hold it then and select Remove Widget. Or if your screen is in edit mode (jiggling), tap the minus sign on the corner of the widget.
Remember, Today View will not display on your other screens. This handy tool is reserved for your iPad’s Home screen only.
Get More Widgets on iPad
If you want to see what other types of widgets you can snag, you can visit the Widget Gallery. Once again, tap and hold your Home screen until your icons jiggle. Then, tap the plus sign on the top left of your screen.
You’ll see the Widget Gallery pop open in its own window. At the top you have a handy Search box if you’re looking for something specific and below you’ll see suggestions for popular widgets.
You’ll find both Apple app widgets and those from third parties in the Widget Gallery. Widgets for Apple’s apps include Battery, Calendar, Clock, Reminders, Music, Photos, and more. Keep in mind if a widget is available for a non-Apple app you currently use, you may need to update that app.
When you select a widget, you’ll see dots beneath it if it’s available in different sizes; small, medium, or large. Simply swipe to view each style and tap Add Widget when you land on the one you like.
Siri Suggestions widgets
As you browse the Widget Gallery, you may see the Siri Suggestions option. This collection of widgets is based on your usage patterns with what Apple calls “on-device intelligence”.
You can pick from the App Suggestions widget, which will give you app launch recommendations or one of the Shortcut Suggestions widgets, which will give you applicable shortcut actions.
Smart Stack widget
Another option you’ll see in the Widget Gallery is a Smart Stack. This nifty tool rotates through a set of different widgets. Using that “on-device intelligence” technology again, you’ll see a widget in the stack when it pertains to the time of day, your current activity, or your location.
You also have the option to flip through the Smart Stack widgets manually. Simply swipe directly on the widget. You’ll see the small dots next to it indicating how many widgets are in the stack.
Customized widget stacks
Similar to the Smart Stack widget above, you can create your own widget stack. This is a great way to group related widgets together or those you use most often.
To create a widget stack, it’s easiest to put your screen into edit mode first by tapping and holding. Press and hold a widget you want in the stack. Then drag and drop it on top of another widget. You’ll briefly see an outline as you move one widget on top of the other.
To edit a widget stack you’ve created or a Smart Stack, press and hold it and select Edit Stack. You can then rearrange the order of the widgets by dragging and dropping within the list. To remove one, slide from right to left and pick Delete. And optionally, you can disable the Smart Rotate feature if you prefer to manually swipe through the stack.
Notes on iPad widgets and screens
As mentioned, you can only use the Today View on your iPad Home screen. And with that, you can only use widgets in Today View. So unlike iOS 14 on iPhone where you can drag and drop widgets on any screen you like, you are limited on iPad to your main screen.
One other small difference is that on iPhone, you can use the App Library. This feature isn’t available on iPadOS. For organizing your apps, this is something that would be nice on iPad as well. Maybe Apple will bring it along in a future update.
Wrapping it up
The redesigned widgets, various sizes and types, and third-party options give you more flexibility with your Today View. You can see your events, check your notes, or catch the current weather conditions with a simple glance. And now that you can use different sizes, you can create a Today View layout that works for you.
What do you think of the enhancements to the widgets in iPadOS 14? Do you like the changes? Let us know!