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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. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      this will be great if it works well.
    1. abhad's Avatar
      abhad -
      Quote Originally Posted by vantheman169 View Post
      this will be great if it works well.
      I second that
    1. RonHC's Avatar
      RonHC -
      If only i had a Mac

      darn Windows
    1. Xenthis's Avatar
      Xenthis -
      sounds cool

      Quote Originally Posted by RonHC View Post
      If only i had a Mac

      darn Windows
      no, darn vista
    1. Mr. Russian's Avatar
      Mr. Russian -
      Y vista


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      That is amazing, I might have to look into making a widget with/for widge
    1. kfb388's Avatar
      kfb388 -
      love when apple users complain how horrible android is yet implement it into ios all the time
    1. Stumbows's Avatar
      Stumbows -
      Quote Originally Posted by kfb388 View Post
      love when apple users complain how horrible android is yet implement it into ios all the time
      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.
    1. Shanks12's Avatar
      Shanks12 -
      Good article Josh
    1. subywrex's Avatar
      subywrex -
      Quote Originally Posted by kfb388 View Post
      love when apple users complain how horrible android is yet implement it into ios all the time
      I love when android users come into idevice forums and make comments. Yes droid has AWESOME features and some are embarrassing there not available on stock iOS, but if it's not an iPhone it's not as smooth. I've tried various android devices and the device just doesnt work as smooth. Scrolling animations and such always seem a little sketchy
    1. Stumbows's Avatar
      Stumbows -
      Quote Originally Posted by subywrex View Post
      I love when android users come into idevice forums and make comments. Yes droid has AWESOME features and some are embarrassing there not available on stock iOS, but if it's not an iPhone it's not as smooth. I've tried various android devices and the device just doesnt work as smooth. Scrolling animations and such always seem a little sketchy
      Too true as I got my wife a HTC Desire HD as they were being spouted as the only true competitor to the iPhone. Totally regretting that decision now as photos are super laggy to scroll through and terrible mismanagement of hardware resources like RAM.. Next time I'm getting her whatever iPhone is out as there is nothing that can do so much and do it well as the iPhone.
    1. gotanmp3's Avatar
      gotanmp3 -
      That impossibly small calculator is Epic Fail. Did whoever made this concept art think the iPhone includes a stylus?

      Still, if Apple lets this fly, it's one less thing on my "why I won't go back to the iPhone" list (Flash/widgets/notifications/GV integration). I would really like to see widgets on the iPad, though.
    1. SnowLeo's Avatar
      SnowLeo -
      Is this supposed to be competition to DreamBoard or could it be used to build DreamBoard widgets as well? If it's competition then in terms of capabilities it's hardly better than winterboard widgets and sucks compared to DreamBoard
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Am I the only one here that doesn't like widgets? I cringe whenever I hear about this Widge thing.

      Widgets are so unnecessary. They don't add functionality, they just use your battery to load things you may or may not need, rather than have you touch a button and getting far more info as from a dedicated app.

      A weather widget, for instance, is only useful for one glance at the weekly weather outlook once a day, then the rest of the day it updates and chews up your battery every time you unlock. However, one or two presses will bring up my Weather Channel app or Safari, where I can look at maps and radar - far more information.

      I don't mind that people use them, I just don't see the point in them other than novelty. Widgets are just one of those unfortunate things that became popular because they have the illusion of usefulness, when in fact they're just bloatware.

      Quote Originally Posted by kfb388 View Post
      love when apple users complain how horrible android is yet implement it into ios all the time
      You ever stop to think that these are two different groups of people?
    1. CX3NT3_713's Avatar
      CX3NT3_713 -
      ^<< windows 7 ultimate



      And widgets,would be awesome. Retina widgets !!
    1. jrrtps's Avatar
      jrrtps -
      well, well, welcome to android widget world!!!!!!
    1. TheOrioles33's Avatar
      TheOrioles33 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jrrtps View Post
      well, well, welcome to android widget world!!!!!!
      Actually, Macs have been using widgets before Android was ever born.
    1. kfb388's Avatar
      kfb388 -
      Quote Originally Posted by subywrex View Post
      I love when android users come into idevice forums and make comments. Yes droid has AWESOME features and some are embarrassing there not available on stock iOS, but if it's not an iPhone it's not as smooth. I've tried various android devices and the device just doesnt work as smooth. Scrolling animations and such always seem a little sketchy
      I am a current iPhone owner have been for years but think android has some great things going for it.that's why I own both platforms have been since g1 and since 08 for iPhone
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      This would be really nice for SBSettings stuff. I really hope something comes of this either via jailbreak or in iOS 5.
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      Sweet.


      Sent from my iPod touch using ModMyi