A Complete Guide to Adding and Using Widgets on iPad

Widgets aren’t new on the iPad or iPhone. You can use them in Today view on both devices. But with iOS 14 and iPad 14 , certain new functions have been added to improve their functionality. If you want to know how widgets work on iPad and how to use them, you’ve come to the right place.

Widgets have been part of Android since its inception. But they came late to the iPhone and iPad. Because of this, they are lacking certain features, but luckily Apple is adding more features to them over time. You can add widgets for Apple and third-party apps to your iPad.

Without keeping you waiting, we’ll show you how to add and use widgets on the Apple iPad.

What are widgets on the iPad?

Widgets are information boxes that display important content from the associated app without opening the app. Widgets not only provide useful information at a glance, but are also interactive. Tap the widget item to open it and access it directly. For example, you can view your recently created note in the Apple Notes app using widgets. You can also see the news directly with the Apple News widget. Tap any message to read the full article in a browser.

Widgets save time because you don’t have to search for and open the app. You can read more about the differences between a widget and an app.

How do widgets work on the iPad?

iOS and iPadOS 14 have given widgets new capabilities. The most important function is that you can add widgets on the iPhone home screen next to the apps. You can place widgets anywhere on your iPhone’s home screen. However, said functionality is only limited to the iPhone.

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On the iPad you have Widgets cannot be placed directly on the home screen . The widgets only remain in the Today view. However, you can activate a setting (Keep Today View on Home Screen) that shows Today View on the Home Screen of your iPad. For the uninformed, the Today view is the sidebar that appears when you swipe right from the left edge of the apps’ first screen. Alternatively, you can open it by swiping right on the notification panel.

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You can pin the Today view to the home screen so that widgets are directly available on the home screen (so to speak). However, you cannot move widgets from the Today view.

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However, pinning the Today view to the start screen only works with smaller app icons (more on this below) and in landscape format. When you rotate your device to portrait mode, the Today view disappears from the home screen, which hides the widgets. You will then have to use the old method of accessing the Today view, that is, swiping right from the left edge of the first screen.

In iPadOS 14, you get several new features related to widgets. For starters, widgets have been redesigned to be more beautiful and more data-rich. You can now resize widgets in three sizes: small, medium, and large, depending on the amount of information you want to see.

You also get a special type of widget known as a smart stack. Smart Stack combines different widgets into one and automatically switches between them to show relevant information. Stacks use on-device intelligence and machine learning to show you the right widget at the right time based on location, activity, and time.

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You can also manually switch between the different widgets in a smart stack by swiping on them. Alternatively, you can create a batch of widgets yourself. This saves space in your Today view and also helps you group similar widgets, if any. Check out our in-depth guide on how to add and edit the Smart Stack widget.

Now that you understand the basics of widgets, let’s see how to add and use widgets in iPadOS 14.

How to use widgets on iPad

Here’s how to do various widget-related actions like adding, editing, or deleting on iPad.

How to add widgets on iPad

You can only add widgets from the Today view on iPad. So open the Today view by swiping right from the left edge of the first screen. Tap and hold any widget until you see the menu. Tap Edit Home Screen.

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The widgets start shaking and a new add icon (+) will appear at the top.

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Tap it to go to the widget screen. Here you can find various widgets from Apple. You can also use the search above to find a widget. Tap the widget that you want to add.

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You will be shown different sizes available for the widget. Swipe between them to see the different sizes. When you have the widget size you prefer, tap the Add Widget button.

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The widget is added to the Today view. Tap anywhere on the screen or click the Done button above to save your changes.

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Add today view to the home screen

Now if you want to add the Today view to the iPad’s home screen, open the settings on your device and go to Home & Dock. Under App Icons, select More instead of Larger. Then enable Keep Today View on Home Screen.

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Now use the iPad in landscape mode and go to the first page of your home screen. You can find the Today view along with your widgets on the home screen. Swipe up on the widgets to see more widgets.

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You can also add more widgets from the home screen. Long tap an empty space on the home screen or an app icon and select Edit home screen. When the widgets and icons start ringing, you will see the add icon in the top left corner.

How to add third party widgets to iPad

As mentioned earlier, the add icon only lets you add widgets from Apple apps. To add third-party widgets, go to the edit mode of the home screen. When the icon and widgets start to wobble, scroll to the bottom of the widget list in Today view. Tap on Customize.

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You will be taken to another screen for adding widgets. Tap the green add icon next to the widget that you want to add. Or tap the red icon to remove the widget. You can change the position of widgets by dragging them to the correct size using the three-bar icon. Tap Done to save the changes.

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The third-party app widgets are listed under the Apple widgets in the Today view.

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How to remove a widget from iPad

To delete or hide a widget from the Today view, open the Today view. Touch and hold the widget that you want to remove. Tap Remove widget.

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Alternatively, in edit mode on the home screen, tap the small minus (-) next to the widget in the Today view to remove it.

How to Pin Widgets on iPad

If you want certain Apple widgets to always stay on top, you can pin them. To do this, touch and hold any widget in the Today view. Tap Edit Home Screen. At the top of the widgets you will see a dark gray box. Drag the widgets in to pin them.

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How to customize widgets

Certain widgets allow you to choose the data to be displayed. For example, in the Apple Notes widget you can select the note to open directly from a widget or change the location of the weather widget. You can customize this behavior by editing a widget. To do this, long tap on a widget in the Today view. Tap edit widget.

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Tap the available property to choose a different one.

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What’s up, Apple

It’s bizarre how Apple allowed iOS to add widgets to any home screen, but not on the iPad, which has more screen space. Widgets should be treated the same on iPad as they are on iOS. The discrimination is overwhelming. I really hope that Apple will also add the ability to place widgets anywhere on the home screen in the iPad.

Next Up:

Do you want to save space on your iPhone and iPad? Do this by outsourcing an app. Learn the difference between outsourcing and deleting apps via the next link.

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