In a world where global events affect us all, keeping up with the latest news can be daunting. Once upon a time, we only had to focus on what was happening in our immediate surroundings.
But now the world feels a lot smaller, and staying well-informed means paying attention to local, national, international, and—possibly someday soon—galactic news.
Fortunately, utilizing the right applications can make keeping up with current events easier. While most well-known news organizations offer apps for iOS, not all software comes with widgets attached. Let’s take a look at some of the best home screen widgets you can use to follow the news on your iPhone and iPad.
NBC News: Breaking & US News
NBC’s news widgets are among some of the more interesting on offer. While you can opt for a standard headline feed, you can also add additional features, such as COVID case tracking by state or country.
In 2020, NBC also released widgets to track U.S. election results. Clearly, the company aims to offer more than a standard news feed, and the tools it provides are often reactive to current events. The novel approach NBC takes in developing its specialized widgets makes it a standout choice.
Apple News and its accompanying home screen widget is one of the simplest home screen solutions. The application comes pre-installed with iOS, so you don’t need to download additional software to get started.
Because Apple News is an aggregator, the feed doesn’t limit you to a single publication, and you can customize your settings to see the stories that interest you. If you don’t want to clutter your home screen with extra widgets, utilizing a good aggregator is the ideal solution. Apple News is free to use, and the platform includes a wide range of publishers.
Google News fits into the same aggregator category as Apple News and boasts similar features. The app sources stories from a range of publishers and provides everything in one place at no cost.
When using the application, Google News adjusts its output based on your browsing habits and automatically presents a feed full of your interests. With that said, you do still have the option to follow or block specific publications and train the algorithm by dismissing unappealing stories.
The Guardian: Breaking News
If you’re tired of all the doom and gloom in the news, The Guardian’s Photos of the Day widget can brighten up your home screen with impressive pictures. News is often more than words, and editors at The Guardian select a fresh set of photos each day, so you’ve always got something new to look at.
The widget comes with all updated versions of The Guardian app, so make sure your software’s up-to-date to take advantage of the publisher’s photojournalism feed.
The New York Times
The New York Times offers another basic but functional iOS widget. The primary features, such as the headline feed, are standard and expected, and the app provides a simple way to consume the latest news.
While not as feature-packed as some widgets, the offering from The New York Times is worth a look. However, the app does require a subscription for unlimited access.
If you’re looking for a functional sports news widget, Sports Alerts has the goods. You can configure your home screen to display live scores for the leagues and teams you want to follow. On top of that, alerts are available for specific in-game events, such as match starts and home runs.
Sports updates are technically still news, and a good widget that keeps you connected to the latest games can come in handy.
How to add widgets to your iOS home screen
If you’re dabbling with widgets for the first time, you’ll be happy to know that adding them in iOS is easy. Before starting, widgets were added in iOS 14, so you’ll need to make sure you are on that version or newer before starting.
Once you’ve done that, follow along below:
Go to the section of the home screen where you want to add the widget
Tap and hold the background until the apps start dancing
Tap the Plus (+) button at the top of the screen
Locate and tap the widget you want to add
Swipe left and right to choose a size
Tap Add Widget at the bottom
Drag the widget to the preferred location and tap Done
Once added to the home screen, you can edit or remove any addition using the quick actions menu, which you can access by pressing and holding the relevant widget. From here, you can perform the necessary customizations. To access a specific third-party widget, you’ll first need to download the full application from the App Store.
The right widgets can make life easier
Consuming all of the day’s critical news is a hefty undertaking. You can, however, lighten the load by utilizing the right tools.
News widgets for iOS offer varying levels of functionality, and the features you desire and the publications you want to read will dictate the best solution for you.
You may want to identify a few widgets that meet your specific needs and take a conservative approach to customizing your home screen. Or you may prefer to install every widget mentioned and turn your iOS device into a formidable news-gathering machine. The choice is yours.