Controlling your HomeKit accessories via iPhone will soon be easier, thanks to the new iOS 17 widgets

Controlling your HomeKit accessories via iPhone will soon be easier, thanks to the new iOS 17 widgets 1

iPhones are soon setting interactive widgets for the Home app, allowing you to access controls for HomeKit accessories instantly. This will arrive in certain iPhone models eligible for the upcoming iOS 17, which is now in beta.

The arrival of widgets in iOS 14 wasn’t really exciting as they lack interactive capability. When placed on your iPhone screen, they act more like a shortcut to certain apps instead of giving you direct buttons for performing actions. This, however, is about to change in the official release of iOS 17.

Currently, testers who now have the beta of the update are testing two new widgets dedicated to HomeKit accessories. The widgets have two sizes: a 2 x 4 and a 2 x 2 layout. This gives you the options of what to choose, especially if you already have a crowded screen.

Apple also included an option to enable a “Recommended” toggle button, which will choose the specific accessories that will be placed on the widget board. If you decide to keep the option disabled, you can choose the accessories or scenes for your Home app widget by selecting from the list available. Also, if you include some customized Home Screens for Focus Mode from your selections of widgets, it is possible to have a Home app widget featuring your most commonly used accessories for a certain mode.

Once you have set up your widgets, the Home app widget board will allow you to perform instant actions depending on the widgets you tap. For instance, a single tap for lights can turn them on. Yet, if you want to perform some adjustments for some of your appliances, you have to directly access the Home app. It would be lovely if the widgets would give you some sliders for these actions when you tap them, but let us just hope they are coming in the final release of iOS 17. After all, the widgets are still in testing, so Apple probably still has time to make changes before bringing them to the official versions of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.

In related news about widgets, Apple is leveraging the feature by bringing them to the new StandBy feature on iPhones, allowing them to work like smart home displays. The idea behind it is pretty simple: to allow your iPhone screens to display valuable information while it is in a horizontal or landscape position while not in use. There are customization options for the mode’s widgets, which can be performed by simply pressing and holding the widgets or swiping the entire screen. Yet, there are more settings that you can explore by going to your iPhone’s StandBy section in Settings.