Android phones have had widgets for years, but Samsung’s One UI 3 has revamped the feature to make them more useful on phones like the new Galaxy S21.
At Samsung Unpacked on January 14th, we finally saw the new Galaxy S21 phone lineup, complete with new camera features and a huge price drop. Samsung has also shown a shift on the software side: widgets on many Samsung phones are being updated with the latest version of the Samsung One UI 3 – just as iOS 14 widgets finally arrived last year for iPhones and other Apple devices that offer that option. to customize your iPhone home screen with the app information you need.
While Android has had widgets for years, the December release of the Samsung One UI 3 for select Galaxy devices running the Android 11 operating system brought redesigned widgets to keep your home screen cluttered, aesthetically pleasing, and giving you access to more lock screen features. At Samsung Unpacked, the company unveiled new changes to the One UI 3 to make widgets even more useful.
What’s the difference between Samsung’s One UI 3 widgets and Apple’s iOS 14 widgets? We explain what you need to know.
Samsung One UI 3 Widgets
At Samsung Unpacked, the company unveiled new lock screen widgets that let you see more information without unlocking your phone, including screen time, Bixby routines, weather, music, and your calendar. You can also set these lock screen widgets to dark mode.
On the home screen, you can customize your widgets by size and transparency level. Message notifications are grouped at the top for faster access and you can switch between music apps.
One 3 UI is currently available on Samsung phones, including the new Galaxy S21 line, Galaxy S20 line, Galaxy Note 20 line, Z Fold2, Z Flip and Note10, Fold and S10 series (although there are some differences in availability depending on the market). It will hit Galaxy A devices in the first half of the year.
Apple iOS 14 Widgets
Apple finally added widgets for iPhones with the release of iOS 14 last June (Apple also introduced iPad widgets on iPadOS 14 and Mac widgets on macOS Big Sur at the time).
iOS 14 lets you place app widgets like weather, music, and workouts on your home screen. You can also customize your own Smart Stack widget on your home screen, which combines various app widgets for you to navigate (you can also let Apple manage this, based on how you use your phone).
You can download iOS 14 on supported iPhones (usually iPhone 6s to iPhone 11).
While Apple’s widgets are a welcome and very useful (and aesthetic) feature, Samsung’s One UI 3 widgets offer more through personalization. However, that could change when we get a glimpse of iOS 15, probably later this year.