Best Widgets to Organize Your iPhone

Widgets have been available on the iPhone’s Home Screen since iOS 14, but many of us don’t take full advantage of them, despite certain apps’ pleas for us to add them to our Home Screens. Widgets may seem like bigger distractions, taking up screen real estate and demanding our attention, but in reality, they can offer helpful information at a glance and allow us to interact with the apps without fully opening them or getting lost in other app notifications as we scroll to find one. Here are the best ways to utilize widgets to keep your display streamlined and efficient, plus a few team favorite favorites for you to try out.

Why Use Widgets?

Widgets display helpful information from an app at a glance right on your Home or Lock Screen without having to even open the app. Personally, I am a huge fan of widgets and use them every day. You can download apps or use Apple native widgets, both of which offer an amazing selection to choose from. Here are some favorite widgets from iPhone Life Feature Writer Rachel Needell.

Best Third-Party Widgets

Kindle - (Free)

I love the Kindle widget because it clearly displays the cover, title, and author of the book I’m reading at any given time. It makes it easily accessible and is a great reminder to get reading again.

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Spotify - (Free)

I love the Spotify widget, specifically the largest one because it allows me access to my most recent playlist, as well as my favorite albums or most frequented playlists without having to open the app.

Widgetsmith - ($1.99/month)

Widgetsmith is the best third-party app for creating useful or decorative widgets that are fully customizable. You can create and customize calendars, clocks, images, icons, and more. Because I use the app so frequently, I subscribe to premium. I think it’s worth it for the number of customizable options the app allows. I love making my widgets look like it’s Halloween or Christmas over the holidays!

Vocabulary - ($30/year)

This may not be for everyone, but personally I love this app. I love having a new word and its definition displayed on my iPhone Home Screen. I am a writer, so I love words. I also love this app’s many customization options to make the exact look and aesthetic that I want.

Best Apple Native Widgets

Batteries - (Free)

The Battery widget is amazing because it displays the battery life of any device you have paired with your iPhone. This includes the Apple Watch and Bluetooth devices. It can display up to five paired devices depending on the size of the widget you choose.

Sleep - (Free)

My most beloved Apple widget is the Sleep Widget. At a single glance, I can easily see how long I slept and what my sleeping pattern looked like without having to open the health app and then go to the sleep section.

Find My - (Free)

Convenience is key with the Find My widget. You don’t even have to open an app to see the location of your most recently searched person. Additionally, the widget automatically opens to the Find My Friends tab if you want more information.

Get Your Widgets on Lock (Screen)

Widgets on your Lock Screen are the easiest way to access them—you don’t even have to unlock your phone! Lock Screen widgets provide the perfect at-a-glance experience of your most used apps and even lets you access them quickly before you open your whole phone. To add a widget to your Lock Screen, long press on your Lock Screen, then scroll to the Lock Screen you want to add a widget to. Tap Customize. Tap Lock Screen, then tap the box below your time display (your background might make this hard to see, so if you don’t see a box, just tap the space below your clock), then select the widgets you want to add. Your iPhone will offer suggestions, or you can scroll your list to find the ones you like best.

Stack Your Widgets

Just like with apps, you can stack or group your widgets together to make more of your Home Screen’s precious real estate. If you want many widgets, but don’t want to use up that much of your Home Screen, you can easily create a stack. To swipe through your widget stack, either swipe up or down or left or right, depending on the size of the widget. Add two or more widgets of the same size to your Home Screen by following the instructions above. Next, long press on one of the widgets until it enters Jiggle Mode. Then, drag it on top of the other widget and release to create a custom widget stack.

Enjoy Smart Widget Stacks

A Smart Stack is a Widget Stack made of widgets your iPhone thinks you will find interesting. For example, if you check the news and weather every morning, it will probably include those widgets in your Smart Stack. If you look through your photo library a lot, you may find Featured Photos as part of the lineup, too. To add a Smart Stack to your Home Screen: Long press on a blank part of your Home Screen until it enters jiggle mode. Tap the Add button on the top left of the screen. Scroll through the widget options that appear until you see Smart Stack. Tap it. Swipe to choose the size of your Smart Stack. If you have a lot on your Home Screen, you might want a smaller, more compact option. If you want the widgets to be highly visible, a larger version might be right for you. Tap Add Widget.

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Author Details

Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and a poet and author. With 10-plus years of experience working with Apple devices, she specializes in all-things iPad and is a Notes App expert, having worked on both the 2023 iPad Guide and the Notes App Guide. You can usually find her writing in the Daily Tip newsletter as one of our senior Tip writers. Rachel received her Master’s degree in English Literature in 2021 and her most recent work appears in the Winter ’21 edition of New Note Poetry. When she’s not obsessing about Apple products, you can find her voraciously reading fantasy books with her cat in Asheville, North Carolina.