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You Should Unlock iPhone Lock Screen Widgets Now

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Apple/How-To Enthusiast

If you have an iPhone and haven’t added some widgets to your lock screen yet, you really should. I ignored the feature and now I’m using it, can’t forget how much time and attention savings it was.

Lock Screen Widgets Are New, Here’s a Nudge

Apple released iOS 16 on September 12, 2022 and it has a number of new features including lock screen widgets. As of this writing, the feature is about a month old, so you could definitely be forgiven for not even being aware of lock screen widgets (stop playing with them).

Even if I am aware of them, I will admit that I do not pay much attention to them. With the release of iOS 14 in 2020, iPhones finally got home screen widgets.

It took me a while to adopt these too, and when I finally did I found them really helpful. But when the lock screen widgets arrived, my attitude was: “Who cares? I already have the widgets.”

Recently, however, I’ve been trying to change some phone-related habits and didn’t know how much lock screen widgets could help them.

They’re Not Just Helpful, They Can Help You Focus

Of course, there’s a fundamental benefit to putting some information on your lock screen: You don’t have to unlock or unlock your phone to get this information. However, I found lock screen widgets to be of greater benefit because they helped me change less productive phone behavior patterns than that.

First of all, I try to open the phone less because opening your phone is an attention trap. You might think you’ve unlocked your phone and opened the home screen to check the weather or check your to-do list, but once that magical portal of distraction opens, who knows what will happen?

A simple “Will it rain tonight?” It can be a distraction-filled dive to browse social media or random things on Google.

Second, and directly related to this first point, I’m trying to jump straight into the app I need without any pauses in between. I’m sure they’ll let them open their phone outside, see all the brightly colored app icons, and immortality Think of ten other things that have nothing to do directly, indirectly, or at all with the task at hand, I am not one of them and I am sure many of you can relate.

For these purposes, iPhone lock screen widgets are not only great in the general “oh, I can see things without unlocking my phone” sense, they’re great for my purposes.

In my case, putting one of the many Carrot Weather widgets (really, they have 19 widgets, including one you can customize with any combination of 18 data points) and the Todoist widget meant how many times I had to unlock my phone. and navigate on the home screen and various apps dropped significantly.

Now when I look at my phone I can see the time and weather (with one 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 out, add more, or see them in more detail, it’s a single tap that takes me straight to the daily to-do list. .

It’s a simple thing, but by adding just two widgets, the number of times I turn on my phone per day to access my to-do list and finally get distracted by something else has dropped. In fact, opening the phone to the home screen to use other apps feels like a conscious choice rather than the “well, here we are on the home screen for the 200th time today” routine.

While your experience with lock screen widgets may not be that dramatic, I can’t promise you that they will magically help you interact with your phone in a different, less distracting and more purposeful way.

But I recommend checking out this guide for adding widgets to your iPhone lock screen to see native iOS widgets, widgets your favorite apps have, and how they can put the information you want right in front of you.

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