Google is updating its iPhone application with help for home screen widgets on devices running iOS 14 or later.
Home screen widgets are new additions to Apple’s mobile operating system that allow quicker access to different features within applications.
Prior to iOS 14, the home screen was limited to rows of apps with no place for customization.
Widgets add a level of personalization to iPhones that Android users have been familiar to from the beginning.
If you’re an Android user reading this you might be thinking this seems like something you’ve had on your phone for years already. That is because you have.
Now, iPhone users get to see what they’ve been missing out on. In addition, it’s now possible to set Google applications like Chrome and Gmail as system defaults.
Here’s more about how to get the most out of Google’s services on iOS 14.
How to Add Google Search Widgets to iOS 14 Home Screen
Google’s application for iPhone and iPad is currently updated with help for widgets.
Two different versions of the Google Search widget are available to browse.
To add widgets to your home screen, first ensure both your device and Google application are updated to the latest versions.
Then, follow the steps below:
Long-press on the home screen until “jiggle mode” is activated.
Tap the plus sign “+” at the top left of the screen.
Scroll down until you see Google in the list of apps.
From there you’ll have the option to pick either a square or rectangular widget.
The square widget, which takes the equal space of 4 regular application icons, gives users direct access to the Google search bar.
It’s slightly more advantageous than tapping on the application itself because it brings users to the search bar instead of the Google Discover screen.
The rectangular widget, which takes the equal space of 6 regular app icons, offers greater functionality.
In addition to direct access to the Google search bar, the widget also provides access to Google Lens, voice search, and incognito search.
Tapping on the Lens icon opens up the iPhone camera allowing users to quickly conduct a visual search.
Tapping on the microphone icon lets users immediately conduct a search using their voice.
Finally, the incognito icon lets clients open up an incognito search window with a quick tap.
Another significant change to iOS 14 is the ability to set third-party apps as system defaults.
That means iPhone users can, unexpectedly, change their default browser from Safari to Chrome.
Users can also change the system default Mail application to Gmail (or any other email application of their choosing).
Change default browser to Google Chrome:
Change default mail application to Gmail:
Now you’re fully informed with the major Google-related changes to iOS 14!
The company says more varieties of widgets are on the way, so try to keep your application updated.
Later on I’d prefer to see a ‘Trending Searches’ widget or maybe a dedicated Google Discover widget.
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