Apple made a significant leap forward with the release of iOS 14 in 2020, introducing new widgets that can be placed anywhere on users’ home screens. These small app-like panes display select information, and with Smart Stack, widgets can be aggregated and scrolled through, offering a “round up” of the day ahead or an insight into business performance.
Whilst third-party widgets have been offered on Android for years, they’re brand spanking new on iOS, and developers are jumping at the chance to build their own into their apps.
Below, we’ve put together four reasons why you should consider adding one to yours…
No need to open the app
Whether you run an ecommerce app that sells women’s clothing or your enterprise app serves as a CRM to connect employees to customers, a widget means you can engage with users without them having to physically tap on your app icon. Although consumers are spending more time on their phones than ever before, they’re using third-party apps less, favouring social media and messaging platforms like Messenger, Signal, and WhatsApp. With widgets, you can command screen real estate and engagement outside of your app.
Offer information and functionality
Although iOS apps are limited in their current form (developers can only offer information on panes and not interactivity such as play and pause buttons), they’re great for displaying new updates on your business. News apps, for example, can display the latest headlines and let users tap on them to view the full story. B2C apps can utilise this to push new products and services; enterprise apps can treat widgets as company notice boards or add app shortcuts.
Prepare for future updates
What’s important to note is that Apple will continue to expand upon the success of widgets on iOS, and in the years that will follow, we’ll likely see more advanced functionality added. Baking a widget into your app now will drive engagement and help to futureproof your app. For example, users might be able to scroll through your ecommerce catalogue in a future widget update and buy a new outfit without having to enter your app at all – conceptualising features now will make it easier to integrate them in the future should it become possible.
Adding an iOS widget to your app is another way to boost retention and encourage users to tap back through into your app on a regular basis. The more information and features you can give to your users, the more likely they are to keep your app installed, check back often, and recommend your tools to friends and family, and leave a favourable App Store review.
Gain a competitive edge
Utility app Widgetsmith launched off the back of Apple’s iOS 14 launch in 2020 and attracted more than two million downloads in a month. Although the dust may have settled on the initial widget craze, introducing one as part of your app will still give you a competitive edge. Anything you can do to make your app more attractive and downloadable is surely a winner.
Looking for assistance with iOS app development? Let Zudu help. Call our team on 01382 690080 to discuss your project in more detail and let’s create something great together.