If you have an iPhone and haven’t added widgets to your lock screen yet, you really should. I ignored the feature, and now that I’m using it, I can’t understand what a time and attention saver it is.
Lock screen widgets are new, so here’s a boost
Apple released iOS 16 on September 12, 2022 and comes with a slew of new features including lock screen widgets. As of this writing, the feature is about a month old, so you can definitely be forgiven for not even being aware of lock screen widgets (let alone playing with them).
Even knowing them, I confess that I did not pay much attention to them. In 2020, with the release of iOS 14, iPhones finally got home screen widgets.
It took me a while to adopt them too, and when I finally did, I found them really useful. But when lock screen widgets arrived, my attitude was, “Who cares? I already have widgets.
Lately, however, I’ve been trying to change some phone-related habits, and I wasn’t sure how much lock screen widgets could help them.
They’re not only helpful, they can help you focus
Of course, there’s a fundamental benefit to putting information on your lock screen: you don’t have to unlock or open your phone to get that information. But I found the lock screen widgets offered a bigger benefit because simply because they helped me change two less-than-productive phone behavior patterns.
First, I tried to open the phone less because opening your phone is an attention trap. You might think you unlock your phone and open the home screen just to check the weather or just reference your to-do list, but once that magical distraction portal is open, who knows what might happen. ?
A simple “Is it going to rain tonight?” could become a distraction-filled dive into social media or Googling random things.
Second, and directly related to this first point, I’ve tried jumping straight to the app I need without any stops in between. Although I’m sure there are people out there with the type of laser focus that allows them to open their phone, see all the colorful, glowing app icons, and not think of ten other things directly, indirectly, or not at all related to the task at hand, I’m not one of them, and I’m sure many of you can relate.
For these purposes, not only are iPhone lock screen widgets great in general “oh neat, I can see things without unlocking my phone”, but they’re fantastic for my purposes.
In my case, just putting one of the many Carrot Weather widgets (seriously, they have 19 widgets, one of which you can customize with any combination of 18 data points) and the Todoist widget meant the number of times that I needed to open my phone and navigate the home screen, and various apps dropped dramatically.
Now, by glancing at my phone, I can see the time and weather (just a tap to see more detailed weather). I can also see my daily to-do list entries without opening my phone, and when I want to check them off, add more, or see them in more detail, a simple tap takes me straight to the daily to-do list. .
It’s a simple thing, but by just adding the two widgets, the number of times a day I open my phone to access my to-do list and find myself distracted by something else has plummeted. In fact, opening the phone to the home screen to use other apps feels like a conscious choice instead of a routine “Well, here we are on the home screen for the 200th time today “.
Your experience with lock screen widgets may not be so spectacular, I certainly can’t promise that they will magically help you interact with your phone in a different, less distracting and more focused way. .
But I still encourage you to check out this guide to adding widgets to your iPhone lock screen to see native iOS widgets, widgets from your favorite apps, and how they can put the information you want right in front of you.
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