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Google’s new Gmail widget highlights the issues with iOS widgets

Google’s new Gmail widget highlights the issues with iOS widgets

Google’s Gmail utility has been up to date for iOS 14 with a brand new widget — nevertheless it’s most likely not the form of Gmail widget you might have been hoping for.

Proper now, there’s only a single iOS 14 Gmail widget that simply does one factor: supply fast hyperlinks to your inbox, the compose menu, or search. There’s no actual preview of your inbox content material, no potential to triage mail by means of archiving or deleting with out opening the app, or any approach to learn an incoming message. Essentially the most interactive aspect is an easy “unread” counter, one thing that the app icon has already been able to for years.

A part of that’s on Google — different electronic mail apps, like Spark, have created extra strong widgets. However a giant a part of the blame lies on Apple’s shoulders, with its strict limitations on what iOS widgets can do. Particularly, Apple’s widgets are designed to be non-interactive. It’s why you possibly can’t examine off to-do listing gadgets on a reminder widget or why the Spotify or Apple Music widgets don’t supply merely play and pause controls.

Because the firm’s developer pointers word: “Widgets current read-only info and don’t assist interactive components reminiscent of scrolling components or switches.” Apple does supply the choice for builders to permit widgets to maintain themselves up to date by periodically refreshing within the background, nevertheless it’s a far cry from permitting really interactive components.

It’s attainable that Apple might relent on what it permits builders to do with widgets in future variations of iOS; iOS 14 marks simply the primary iteration of the characteristic, in spite of everything. However until the corporate fully adjustments course on what sort of performance it envisions widgets offering, it appears we’ll be caught with these extra restricted widgets for the foreseeable future.

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