The way to flip no matter app you need right into a Lock Display screen widget on iOS 16 • TechCrunch


For these of us who love customization, the Lock Display screen widgets characteristic on iOS 16 is tremendous thrilling. But it surely’s on builders to engineer their very personal app widgets, and with iOS 16 solely out for a number of days up to now, there aren’t a ton of choices outdoors of native Apple apps. Happily, firms like Google are engaged on widgets — excellent for somebody like me who lives on Google Calendar, not Apple’s personal app. Plus, we already rounded up dozens of apps that additional customise the Lock Display screen.

However apps like ShortFlow and LockFlow allow you to take customization a step additional through the use of Apple’s Shortcuts to make new Lock Display screen widgets. The apps seem fairly equivalent (fishy?), they usually debuted within the App Retailer on the identical day. Personally, I used ShortFlow to make widgets that open Spotify and my beloved Libby, the digital library app that I exploit to take heed to audiobooks (#notsponsored, I simply love libraries).

Lockflow ios widgets

Picture Credit: ShortFlow, screenshots by TechCrunch

These apps take a teeny little bit of finagling — particularly if you’re an unintended luddite like me, who didn’t beforehand use Shortcuts — nevertheless it’s easy sufficient. So easy that it’s a marvel why Apple didn’t simply engineer this by itself.

First, it’s a must to arrange your shortcuts in Apple’s Shortcuts app. Shortcuts might be so simple as simply opening an app, or they’ll get a bit extra concerned.

Right here’s the place LockFlow and ShortFlow diverge. On LockFlow, you possibly can import your shortcuts immediately, and on ShortFlow, you’ll want to (gasp!) manually kind the identify of the shortcuts you wish to use. However I didn’t thoughts the additional steps on ShortFlow, since I simply needed to kind out “Open App” and “Open App 1,” that are the very artistic names of my shortcuts. It was not that tough.

To customise your Dwelling Display screen, navigate to Settings, scroll all the way down to Wallpaper, then hit Customise. From there, while you click on in your widgets, you possibly can scroll to the underside of the menu and discover ShortFlow or LockFlow — whichever you selected — and add your customized widget.

One other distinction is that LockFlow enables you to make wider-sized widgets, however I don’t actually see the purpose of this characteristic, since you possibly can’t add extra information to your larger widget anyway. For instance, I’d love if I might see the guide I’m studying on Libby in a wider widget, however that’s for the app itself to develop, not LockFlow. In the meantime, ShortFlow solely enables you to make 4 widgets at a time, however that isn’t too massive a deal, since you possibly can solely place 4 widgets in your Lock Display screen anyway. However if you wish to continuously change issues up, possibly LockFlow is a greater guess — I imply, what occurs after I take heed to a guide on as a substitute of Libby? I’ll have to make a brand new widget!


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