Apple has revived the beloved wheel-style time picker

Apple has revived the popular iPhone time picker on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that lets you spin the wheel, but with a twist allowing you to switch back to the inline selector with a tap. Let me tell you all about it.

iOS wheel-style time picker on iPhone

Say hello to the wheel-style dial picker

With iOS 14, Apple ditched iOS 13’s popular wheel-based picker for dull inline boxes.

While some people loved the inline time selector, for many others it was cumbersome and slower to use than the wheel-based approach. That’s why Apple with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 brought back the beloved wheel-based dial for adjusting the time in apps like Reminders. The wheel-style scrolling time selector has continued in iOS 16.

Aside from a refined design, the iPhone time picker also includes a secret feature — tapping the wheel brings up the hidden number pad for inputting digits, if that’s what you prefer.

iPhone screenshot showing the wheel-based time dial picker selector for Apple Reminders on iOS 15
Time dial on iPhone

Wheel-style picker vs. inline one

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 replaced Apple’s popular wheel-style selector with an inline version that displays a combo box for the time and a full-blown calendar picker for the date. If you’ve ever set up alarms in iOS 14’s Clock app on your iPhone, then you’re used to having to input specific hours and minutes into those boxes using the numeric pad that appears by default.

You could also scroll across the boxes vertically to set those values. That said, many people have found iOS 14’s inline selector more cumbersome to use than iOS 13’s wheel-style dials.

iPhone screenshot showing the date picker selector for Apple Calendar on iOS 15
iOS date picker

Whichever method you like better, Apple is trying to please both camps. Prefer the old wheel-based time picker? iOS and iPadOS 15 and later have you covered! But if you’re the type who likes to input digits, you can also tap the dial picker to instantly use the numeric pad.

You can use this new picker to adjust alarms in the Clock app, edit event times in the stock Calendar and Reminders apps, and so forth. As a matter of fact, the new wheel-based dial will automatically appear in any other apps that present the time picker to the user.

Clock Alarm Time Picker on iPhone
iOS 14’s inline time picker with the numeric pad on iPhone

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