Google unveiled several new iOS 14 widgets for its apps, many of which are available now (or will be soon). These widgets look great and — unfortunately — put their Android counterparts to shame.
In a blog post, Google showed off widgets for Gmail, Drive and Google Fit on iOS. It also teased upcoming widgets for Calendar and Chrome.
Most of these widgets offer basic functionality. For example, Gmail’s widget lets you quickly search your emails and features shortcuts to compose a new email or jump into your inbox (it even lists how many unread emails you have). Google Drive is similar, with a search bar and shortcuts to recent documents.
Google Fit is a bit different, letting users quickly check their heart points and steps from the home screen. It even features a helpful graph for comparing progress over the week.
The upcoming Google Chrome widget is also very similar to the others, offering a search bar and shortcuts to common features, which include opening an incognito tab, starting a voice search or scanning a QR code.
The Google Calendar widget is perhaps the one I’m most excited for — it lists the day and shows upcoming appointments for that day. The Calendar widget will come later this year, while the new Chrome widget will arrive next year.
To add any of the new widgets, make sure the corresponding app is updated to the latest version. Then press and hold on the home screen to enter ‘jiggle mode’ and tap the ‘+’ icon in the top-left corner to open the widget gallery. From there, you can view and select the widgets you want to add to your screen.
My hope is that some of these new widget designs make their way to the Android versions of each app. While functionally there isn’t a huge difference between most of these widgets and what’s available on Android, the Android variants look rather dated in comparison. A nice design refresh would go a long way to improving the widgets on Android.