How to Create Custom Widgets on iPhone

Khamosh Pathak

Traditionally, the iPhone home screen is thought of as something that’s not customizable. But thanks to home screen widgets, you can now put virtually anything on your home screen. Here’s how to create custom widgets on your iPhone.

iOS 14 and higher lets you put widgets on your iPhone home screen. And thanks to third-party apps, you can actually create your own widgets. Not only do you get new functionality on your home screen, but you can also create it in your own unique style.

RELATED: How to Add and Remove Widgets from the Home Screen on iPhone

Using widgets, you can add reminders, calendar, photos, battery, and a lot more to the home screen. In this guide, we will cover two such apps.

Widgetsmith provides you with a couple of templates that you can customize. It’s an easy to use app. If you are looking for something more complex, where you can actually create different layouts in a widget, try the block-based Widgeridoo app.

Create Custom Widgets on iPhone Using Widgetsmith

The Widgetsmith app lets you create widgets for display time, date, calendar, reminders, weather, health stats, tides, astronomy, and photos. Each widget can be customized in small, medium, and large sizes. Weather and tides sections are part of the paid $1.99/month subscription.

The process for customizing the widget is the same, so for this example, we are going to customize a Day and Date widget with custom fonts and colors.

To get started, open the Widgetsmith app and go to Settings > Permissions. Here, grant permissions for features that you want to use (Reminders, Calendar, or Photos app).

Now, go to the “My Widgets” tab and tap the “Add (Size) Widget” for the size of the widget you want to create. In this example, we will create a Medium widget. Once it’s created, tap on the widget.

Now, tap the widget preview.

In the “Style” tab, you can see all the different styles for date widgets. Pick a style here. We’re going with the “Day & Date” option.

Now, tap the “Font” option. We’re going with “SF Mono” here to give the widget a retro look.

Next up, go to the “Tint Color” section, and choose an accent color. We’re going with “Red” here, but you can choose between a dozen options.

Lastly, go to the “Background Color” section. Here, the default option is Black. You can stick to it if you are using an OLED iPhone with a pure black background. It will make your widget look like it’s floating on the screen. For this example, we’re going with the 90 percent option.

You can scroll down and choose a border as well. We’re going to skip that for now.

Hit the Back button and rename the widget so that it’s recognizable. We’re going with a simple “Red Date” title. Tap the “Save” button to save the name and then select “Save” once more to save the widget. The widget is now created.

To add the widget, go to your iPhone’s home screen and press and hold on an empty part of the screen to enter Jiggle mode. Here, tap the “+” button in the top-left corner.

Select the Widgetsmith app from the list of widgets.

Now, scroll over to the Medium widget and tap the “Add Widget” button.

As this was the most recently-created widget, you should see the Red Date widget here. If it’s not, you can tap on the widget for options.

Here, choose the “Widget” option.

From the list, select the custom widget you just created.

Now, swipe up from the Home bar or press the Home button to exit the home screen editing view.

And that’s it, you have just created and added an awesome-looking widget to your iPhone home screen. You can go back to the Widgetsmith app to create more widgets.

Create Custom Widgets on iPhone Using Widgeridoo

While Watchsmith is great for creating simple custom widgets, you can do some really complex things with Widgeridoo. The best thing about Widgeridoo is how it lets you bring multiple data types into a single widget. You build a widget using blocks, like Lego.

The free version of Widgeridoo lets you preview widgets. But to customize and add widgets to your home screen, you’ll have to upgrade to the $3.99 Pro plan (it’s a one-time purchase).

For example, you can create a widget that shows you the date, your daily steps, upcoming appointments, and your iPhone’s battery life, all in a single widget. Plus, Widgeridoo has support for fetching JSON URLs, so you can display news feeds in widgets as well.

After opening the Widgeridoo app, you’ll find a collection of pre-made widgets. As you’re starting out with the app, we recommend you customize the “Today” widget. Tap the “Today” widget to select it.

You can preview the widget in the small, medium, or large size. Let’s stick with the medium size for now. Tap the “Edit” button to customize the widget.

When you get into the editing view, you’ll notice that your widget has expanded to the Large size. You’ll find empty blocks with “+” icons. This here is the best, or the most frustrating part of Widgeridoo, depending on how you look at it.

This layout feature gives you a lot of freedom. You can add any data set to any of the rows or columns. You can keep on creating more rows/columns. But Widgeridoo automatically adapts the layout for different sizes, so you’ll have to tap the “Done” button to see the preview.

Tap the “+” button to see all the data sets.

Choose a data type to add to the block. In this example, we’re going with “Distance Today.”

After you choose one, you’ll see the preview in the widget itself. You can press and hold a block to drag it somewhere else.

Tap a block to see the customization options.

From here, you can change the alignment, font, the background color, and the foreground color.

Tap and hold a block for options. From here, you can delete the block or replace it with something else.

Once you have customized the widget, tap the “Done” button.

Now that your widget is ready, it’s time to add it to your home screen. From your iPhone’s home screen, tap and hold on an empty part to enter Jiggle mode. Next, tap the “+” button in the top-left corner of the screen.

Scroll down and select the “Widgeridoo” app.

Switch to the Medium size (or the size of the widget that you created) and tap the “Add Widget” button.

Once the Widgeridoo widget is added to your home screen, tap on it.

Tap the “Choose” button from the Selected Widget section.

Here, select the widget that you customized.

You’ll now see the customized widget on your home screen. Swipe up on the Home bar or press the Home button to exit the editing mode.

You can go back and customize one of the other widget templates.

Now that you know how to create custom widgets, create multiple widgets and stack them on top of one another!


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