iOS 17 could make Home Screen widgets way more useful

Widgets In Ios 14 On Iphone
(Image credit: Future)

Apple is likely to announce iOS 17 during the WWDC 2023 opening keynote in June and expectations are already beginning to grow. That keynote might still be a couple of months out, but we're seeing plenty of leaks already.

The latest leak suggests that the iOS 17 update will make a big change to the utility of iPhone Home Screen widgets, fixing one limitation that developers have been working around for too long already.

That change, we're told, is the ability for developers to make interactive widgets including switches and more.

Being tested, but far from confirmed

This latest information comes from a Twitter leaker with a growing record who says that "active widgets are in testing." They go on to qualify that by saying that they are "not confirmed by any means."

The good news is that if these interactive widgets do indeed ship as part of iOS 17 we can expect them to have plenty to offer. "Active widgets will bring one-tap buttons, sliders and more making widgets dynamic," the leaker says.

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Apple first introduced Home Screen widgets as part of the iOS 14 release and they haven't changed all that much since. They're only capable of displaying information right now and cannot be interacted with for the most part. Tapping a widget simply opens the app that it's associated with.

If that changes with the introduction of iOS 17 that alone could be one of the biggest iPhone improvements the software has to offer. And what's more, because we're expecting iOS 17 to support the same devices as iOS 16 you won't need to rush out and buy Apple's best iPhone just to get widgets that do things.

As for when the iOS 17 update will arrive, we're expecting it to debut at WWDC23 on June 5 and then be released to the public in September. That's the same month we expect the iPhone 15 lineup to be announced as well.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Wotchered
    Maybe they’ll actually be some use then ! Really though I have never seen the utility of widgets when you have to go to the app for full function. And if I have a fully active widget is it not an app ?