DiscoveriOS Today (Audio)iOS 705: Upgrade Your iOS Widgets - Sleep++, Fantastical, Cloud Battery, Peak, CARROT Weather
iOS 705: Upgrade Your iOS Widgets - Sleep++, Fantastical, Cloud Battery, Peak, CARROT Weather

iOS 705: Upgrade Your iOS Widgets - Sleep++, Fantastical, Cloud Battery, Peak, CARROT Weather

Update: 2024-05-30
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This episode of iOS Today dives into the world of widgets, offering practical advice on how to enhance your iPhone and iPad experience. Hosts Micah Sargent and Rosemary Orchard discuss various apps and their widget functionalities, providing insights into how to optimize your home screen for productivity and convenience. They cover a range of topics, including sleep tracking with Sleep++ widgets, calendar management with Fantastical, battery monitoring with Cloud Battery, fitness tracking with Peak, media management with TV Forecasts, weather updates with Carrot Weather, RSS feeds with NetNewsWire, note-taking with Bear, and even creating custom dashboards with WidgetSmith. The episode also features a Shortcuts Corner segment where Rosemary provides a detailed solution to a listener's request for controlling hallway lights using Acara buttons and Shortcuts. The hosts emphasize the versatility of widgets and how they can transform your device into a personalized hub for information and actions.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces the topic of the episode: leveling up your widget game on iPhone and iPad. Hosts Micah Sargent and Rosemary Orchard welcome listeners and set the stage for the discussion.

00:01:23
Understanding Widgets

This Chapter delves into the concept of widgets and how they have evolved over time. The hosts discuss the different types of widgets available and how they can be used on various Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

00:02:29
Widget Strategy

This Chapter explores a strategic approach to widget selection. Rosemary shares her method of identifying frequently used apps and determining which ones can be replaced with widgets for better accessibility and efficiency.

00:05:32
Widget Upgrades

This Chapter focuses on specific app widgets that offer upgrades to Apple's built-in options. Rosemary highlights Sleep++ for sleep tracking, Fantastical for calendar management, and Cloud Battery for battery monitoring.

00:13:38
Fitness Tracking Widgets

This Chapter delves into fitness tracking widgets, featuring Peak as a recommended app for comprehensive fitness data visualization and goal setting.

00:16:12
Media Management Widgets

This Chapter explores widgets for managing your media consumption. Rosemary recommends TV Forecasts for tracking shows and movies across various streaming services.

00:19:56
Weather Widgets

This Chapter focuses on weather widgets, highlighting Carrot Weather for its snarky personality, customizable designs, and integration with Apple Watch complications.

00:23:06
Dashboard Widgets

This Chapter discusses the resurgence of dashboard-like functionality through widgets. Rosemary recommends NetNewsWire for creating personalized RSS feeds and curating news content.

Keywords

Widgets
Small, interactive applications that provide quick access to information and actions from your home screen or lock screen. Widgets can display data, control settings, launch apps, and more.

iPhone
Apple's flagship smartphone, known for its sleek design, intuitive interface, and powerful performance. It runs on iOS, Apple's mobile operating system.

iPad
Apple's tablet computer, designed for productivity, entertainment, and creativity. It runs on iPadOS, a version of iOS optimized for larger screens.

iOS
Apple's mobile operating system, powering iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. It's known for its user-friendly interface, robust app ecosystem, and security features.

Home Screen
The main screen on your iPhone or iPad, where you can arrange apps, widgets, and folders. It's the starting point for accessing your device's features.

Lock Screen
The screen that appears when your iPhone or iPad is locked. It displays the time, date, notifications, and widgets.

Apple Watch
Apple's smartwatch, designed for fitness tracking, communication, and convenience. It runs on watchOS, a specialized operating system.

Shortcuts
Apple's automation tool that allows you to create custom workflows by combining actions from different apps. Shortcuts can be triggered by voice commands, buttons, or other events.

HomeKit
Apple's home automation platform that allows you to control smart home devices using your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. It integrates with various third-party apps and accessories.

WidgetSmith
A popular third-party app that allows you to create highly customizable widgets for your iPhone and iPad. It offers a wide range of designs, data sources, and interactive features.

Q&A

  • What are some tips for choosing the right widgets for your iPhone or iPad?

    Rosemary suggests starting by identifying the apps you use most frequently and then considering which ones can be replaced with widgets for better accessibility and efficiency. She also recommends thinking about the information or actions you need at a glance and selecting widgets that provide those.

  • What are some of the best widget apps for sleep tracking, calendar management, and battery monitoring?

    Rosemary recommends Sleep++ for sleep tracking, Fantastical for calendar management, and Cloud Battery for battery monitoring. These apps offer customizable widgets that provide more detailed information and functionality than Apple's built-in options.

  • How can I use widgets to create a personalized dashboard on my iPad?

    Widgets can be used to create custom dashboards on your iPad by combining widgets from different apps to display information and actions relevant to your needs. For example, you could use widgets for RSS feeds, note-taking, weather updates, and more to create a central hub for your daily tasks and interests.

  • What are some of the creative ways to use WidgetSmith to customize your home screen?

    WidgetSmith allows you to create highly customized widgets with different designs, data sources, and interactive features. You can use it to display time zones, countdowns, photo galleries, weather information, and more. You can even set up timed widgets to change the appearance of your home screen throughout the day.

  • How can I use Shortcuts to control my hallway lights with Acara buttons?

    Rosemary provides a detailed solution for controlling hallway lights using Acara buttons and Shortcuts. She explains how to create a shortcut that checks the power state of your lights and then sets a scene based on whether they are on or off. She also discusses the limitations of Shortcuts for dimming lights and suggests alternative solutions like Home Assistant or Homebridge.

Show Notes

If you've been rocking the standard, default, first-party widgets from Apple, your widget game needs an upgrade! Rosemary Orchard and Mikah Sargent share some of the best widgets to stay updated, informed, and in control on your iPhone and iPad.


Hosts: Mikah Sargent and Rosemary Orchard


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Club TWiT members can discuss this episode and leave feedback in the Club TWiT Discord.


You can also contribute to iOS Today by sending an email to iOSToday@TWiT.tv.

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iOS 705: Upgrade Your iOS Widgets - Sleep++, Fantastical, Cloud Battery, Peak, CARROT Weather

iOS 705: Upgrade Your iOS Widgets - Sleep++, Fantastical, Cloud Battery, Peak, CARROT Weather

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