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  • Future of iOS Widgets


    The developer prerelease of Widge, a framework designed by Peter Hajas, has opened up the avenue to develop and design widgets for iOS devices. Undoubtedly the capability has a bright future and strong potential. Widge could bring a new outlook and feel to the iOS software and could potentially redesign how users use their iDevices. However, there are some valid concerns about the effect of widgets on iOS devices:

    • Battery life
    • Functionality
    • The amount of space it takes
    • Affect on RAM


    The designer world has not yet tapped into the enormous opportunity that Widge has to offer despite these issues. While the current issues can be fixed another important factor to consider is what the widgets will look like. How will they run within the iOS? Will they display elegantly and flow with the current iOS design? A recent concept design by Dilip James supports a vision that Widge is striving for.

    Since Dilip is one of the first designers to publicly share his vision and concept (image above or full res here) with the world and Peter Hajas/Kyle Adams, I spoke with him to see what drove him to create this design and what his outlook on Widge is.

    JOSH: What got you interested in developing your vision for Widge?
    DILIP: After having purchased my first Apple product, an iPhone 3G, I discovered the jailbroken world and have been exploring ever since. Now, on my iPhone 4, I chanced upon MobileNotifier by Peter Hajas and loved the tweak. I began to follow his work on Twitter and his blog (including your recent interview with him; it was really informative). I was completely taken in by the simplicity of the tweak, its minimalist design, and the fact that the idea was ingenious.

    JOSH: How long did it take to design your Widge creation?
    DILIP: Following Peter Hajas' work, I read about Widge and how it would explore the world of widgets on the iOS platform. After watching your video interview with Peter Hajas and hearing him speak about Widge, I had an idea of what Widge could like on our devices in the near future. I just jumped into Photoshop and tried to put it on paper so to speak. The entire design process must have taken me around 3 hours to complete.

    JOSH: What tools/experience were used to build this model?
    DILIP: As far as experience in the design field is concerned, I have almost none to speak of. Apart from a couple of posters I have worked on for societies in college, I just play around with image editing tools whenever I find some spare time. I am a complete amateur and simply wanted to contribute and be a part of the Widge Project any way I could.

    JOSH: Have you made contact with Peter Hajas/Kyle Adams about your idea?
    DILIP: After creating the design, I contacted Peter Hajas and sent him a copy of the image to hear any opinions he might have on my work. As always, he was extremely appreciative of it. I contacted Kyle Adams and he was extremely positive as well. I believe he genuinely liked my concept and coming from a talented designer like Kyle, it is a huge compliment.

    JOSH: Describe what your vision for Widge is and what potential Widge has as a developing platform?
    DILIP: With very basic programming skills, I am definitely not the right person to comment on Widge as a developing platform. But from my experience of Peter Hajas' work, it should be impressive and we can definitely expect some really good support and brilliant features along the way. As far as my vision for Widge; I would like to think very soon, we could swipe to the left of the Homescreen and find social widgets that update as we choose. Maybe in time, social apps could be modified to run as apps using Widge. Imagine, swipe left to type a text in a widget. Probably even an extension to the Lockscreen (no more unlocking your phone?). It could happen. But, I have a few ideas for how some of this might look and I hope to start working on them soon.

    As mentioned above, the future for iOS widgets is bright and the possibilities are exponential. It doesn't take an expert designer or programmer to have an idea and implement into something wonderful. If you're interested, get involved. Contact Peter Hajas and Kyle Adams and share your ideas. Ultimately, your ideas, suggestions, and concept designs will only expand the capabilities that Widge is aiming for.

    Follow Dilip James on Twitter for more information regarding his concept and design for Widge. Peter Hajas and Kyle Adams, project members of Widge, can be found on Twitter as well.

    Widge, and open-source platform created by Peter Hajas, can be viewed on his website. Information on what Widge is and how to begin designing and coding with it, read the Developer Prerelease packet.

    Source(s) Dilip James, Widge, Widge Developer Prerelease
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Future of iOS Widgets started by Joshua Tucker View original post
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      Quote Originally Posted by Stumbows View Post
      Android has some great things about it or at least the ideas of things but unfortunately with a mobile OS that is shoe horned into so many different models of phones it runs like rubbish.
      please tell us in what way Android OS runs like rubbish? I hear this all the time from people who have never used and Android device but watch a few you tube videos and think they're an expert.
    1. iPod's Avatar
      iPod -
      If only apple would automatically implement this...
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      Quote Originally Posted by ipodtouchman77 View Post
      If only apple would automatically implement this...

      Well maybe not automatically.
    1. barrygeorge002's Avatar
      barrygeorge002 -
      I am an Android and iPhone developer and have to say that I agree with most of the users here. I own and dev for a variety of platforms and although the Android OS is very pretty to look at, it lacks the simplicity for users and is difficult to manage. IOS is far easier to work with and runs significantly better. Memory issues run rampant on Android devices and just turning an app off can be problematic depending on your version of their fragmented OS.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by barrygeorge002 View Post
      I am an Android and iPhone developer and have to say that I agree with most of the users here. I own and dev for a variety of platforms and although the Android OS is very pretty to look at, it lacks the simplicity for users and is difficult to manage. IOS is far easier to work with and runs significantly better. Memory issues run rampant on Android devices and just turning an app off can be problematic depending on your version of their fragmented OS.
      Apple should implement this with the iPhone 5. The 4 couldn't handle it well. I have 12 widgets on my Xoom using a total of 42mb for the widgets. The iPhone 5 could handle it easy. Android phones that are running 2.x have no issues with them or closing apps. Maybe it's time you upgrade from donut lol.