Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Widgets have long been a popular feature on iPhones. Since the release of iOS 17, they have become more interactive, providing a more engaging experience. Interactive widgets allow you to perform important actions from your iPhone’s home screen. For example, you can complete your to-do lists, play and pause media and podcasts, control your smart home devices, and much more — all without opening any apps.

Interactive widgets are not limited to Apple’s built-in apps on iOS 17. Third-party developers are also adopting this new feature. Although not all apps offer interactive widgets, there are plenty that do. Here are a few interactive widgets that are worth exploring.

Calculator 17

Screenshots showing the Calendar 17 app on iPhone.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Are you ready to meet the unsung hero of every techie’s widget collection? Calculator 17 may not be the flashy superstar, but it packs a mighty punch in the functionality department. Not only is it a robust calculator app, but it doubles as a widget that is always within arm’s reach.

With multiple modes and themes, Calculator 17 is fully customizable to suit your every need. It also boasts a history feature and a sleek, user-friendly interface that makes crunching numbers a breeze.

The best part? Calculator 17 isn’t limited to your iPhone; it works seamlessly on iPad, too!

Download Caculator 17


Screnshots of Copilot app interactive widgets.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Copilot is a financial management app that helps you keep track of your spending, budgets, investments, and net worth. The app is available for Mac and iPhone and has recently been updated to include interactive widgets in iOS 17. The review transaction widgets allow you to easily keep track of newly imported transactions and check them off right from your home screen. If you have any questions about a transaction, tap on it from the widget, and you’ll be taken directly to the transaction in the Copilot app.

In addition to the review transaction widget, Copilot offers other interactive widgets that track daily spending, spending by category, budgets, and more. With Copilot, you can take control of your finances and stay on top of your spending—and it’s easier to use than ever, thanks to iOS 17’s interactive widgets.

Download Copilot

Dark Noise interactive widgets on iPhone.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Are you having trouble falling asleep or relaxing? If so, you might want to try Dark Noise, one of the best apps for the sleep-deprived. The app is specifically designed to add ambient noise to help you sleep, focus, and relax. With over 50 sounds, Dark Noise keeps improving with each iOS upgrade.

In iOS 17, Dark Noise has added a new feature that allows you to navigate through various sounds without even opening the app. By simply tapping on a sound from one of the interactive widgets, you can get to sleep or find a peaceful corner in your house to relax. To turn the sound off, tap it from the interactive widget again.

Download Dark Noise

Fantastical Calendar

Fantastic Calendar interactive widgets.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Fantastical Calendar is a great app that provides more flexibility than the native Calendar app. It is available across multiple platforms and has been popular since the launch of the App Store. The app has gained many new features since the iOS 17 and watchOS 10 introduction, including StandBy widgets and a redesigned Apple Watch app that supports widgets in the all-new Smart Stack.

With the introduction of iOS 17, Fantastical Calendar now includes new interactive widgets that allow you to view your entire schedule without opening the app. All you need to do is tap on the date from the home screen!

Download Fantastical Calendar

Gentler Streak

Gentler Streak interactive widgets.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Gentler Streak is one of my favorite apps because it understands that not everyone is in great shape or has the time to run a half-marathon every week. It encourages you to take a daily break as needed or up your fitness game, depending on your recent activity level. The app also offers well-being tips, historical exercise information, and more.

With Gentler Streak’s interactive widgets, you’re just a tap away from starting a new workout or telling the app that you’re taking a rest day. It’s a convenient and easy way to stay on top of your fitness goals.

Download Gentler Streak


Glucomate interactive widgets.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Maintaining optimal health as a person with diabetes requires constantly monitoring my blood glucose levels. To achieve this, I have been using Glucomate for several months. Initially available only on the iPhone and Apple Watch, the app is now accessible on iPad. Glucomate makes recording, tracking, and analyzing my blood glucose levels effortlessly, giving me access to comprehensive charts and a detailed history view. The app also provides valuable insights into how my workout and sleep sessions affect my blood sugar levels.

The new interactive widget of Glucomate enables me to swiftly add a blood sugar reading to HealthKit from the iPhone or iPad home screen. If only my iPhone could measure my glucose levels without a painful prick of my finger, I would be even more satisfied!

Download Glucomate


Lookup interactive widgets.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Lookup is an app that provides a well-designed English dictionary and practical tools to help you improve your vocabulary. The app has GRE and SAT preparation tools, a word-of-the-day feature, and an easy-to-use translation service for over 20 languages. The app is available on various Apple devices, such as iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

With Lookup’s new interactive widgets, you can now listen to the pronunciation of words by simply clicking on a link. You can add words you like and create digital flashcards without opening the app. These features make learning new words and improving your vocabulary more convenient and accessible.

Download Lookup

Outside – Countdown App

Outside Countdown app for iPhone.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

The Outside – Countdown App is a handy tool for managing important events and occasions. Whether it’s your daughter’s graduation, a trip you’re planning, or the countdown to Christmas, this easy-to-use app lets you create and add special events to your calendar.

With Outside, you can do more than just add events — you can also include maps, set reminders for family and friends, customize backgrounds, and import events from other calendars. Plus, the interactive widgets feature lets you scroll through your events directly from your iPhone home screen.

Download Outside


Overcast interactive widgets.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Overcast is a top-rated third-party podcast app known for its user-friendly interface and advanced features. Although it is not as popular as Apple Podcasts or Spotify, it is still one of today’s most widely used podcast apps. Unsurprisingly, Overcast was one of the first podcast apps to support iOS 17’s interactive widgets.

The widgets in Overcast make it possible to start and play your favorite shows by tapping a button from the iPhone home screen. This makes the experience of listening to podcasts even more seamless, as you don’t have to navigate through the app to find the show you want to listen to. You can also go into the app by tapping the podcast’s name in the widget. This feature allows you to explore more content and discover new shows you might not have found otherwise.

Download Overcast


Peak interactive widgets.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Widgets on iPhone are incredibly versatile, and one of their best uses is as a health and wellness dashboard. While the official Fitness app can be used for this, you can get even more out of the widget concept with a third-party solution like the Peak: Fitness Widgets app, which is available for iPhone and iPad. With this app, you can display goals, trends, and benchmarks in impossible ways with the official Health and Fitness apps.

You can view the charts and graphs directly from the Peak app or use widgets to access them. These widgets are interactive and update automatically with a simple tap, saving you time when checking your current stats. This small but significant improvement to an already impressive app makes it even more incredible.

Download Peak

Pixel Pals

Pixel Pals app for iPhone.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

With its adorable pixel art style, this app was once exclusively a pet simulator game where users could take care of virtual pets. That component remains, however, and has now evolved into something bigger and better. The app offers a wide range of games that can be accessed with just a tap through the Dynamic Island, lock screen, and home screen widgets — such as 2048, a magic clock, a Pixel Quest game, and fidget spinners. There’s also an interactive keyboard.

To access all the features of Pixel Pals, you’ll need to pay a yearly fee. However, new users can enjoy a three-day free trial of all features.

Download Pixel Pals

NOAA Weather Radar

Screen shots of the NOAA weather app RainViewer widget.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

It can be frustrating to plan an outdoor activity only to have it ruined by unexpected rain. Fortunately, the NOAA Weather Radar RainViewer app can help you stay prepared. This app uses your iPhone’s location to provide up-to-date weather maps and forecasts.

The app now features interactive RainViewer widgets, allowing you to easily switch between weather information without leaving your iPhone’s home screen. For instance, the current weather widget will enable you to view rain duration, current and “feels like” temperature, humidity, and more. Other widgets allow you to toggle between locations without opening the RainViewer app.

Download RainViewer

Spark Mail

Spark Email interactive widgets.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Apple iPhones come with the Mail app, but many prefer third-party options like Spark Mail. This app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch and is designed to be beautiful and simple.

Thanks to the new interactive widgets in iOS 17, you can now check your recent emails from the iPhone home screen without opening the app. You can also start new drafts, search for existing emails, or check your calendar from the same widgets. If you spend a lot of time going through emails daily, these widgets can save you a lot of time.

Download Spark Mail

Söka interactive widgets
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Many of us have dreams and desires that we want to pursue, but how many of us have created a bucket list? With Söka, you can turn your aspirations into unforgettable experiences. The app makes it easy to keep track of your most cherished dreams and aspirations and even offers an AI-powered bucket list generator for those struggling to come up with ideas.

Söka subscribers can access exclusive interactive widgets from the home screen to complete their most important goals. The Söka widgets are also beautifully designed.

Download Söka


Screenshot showing Structured widgets on iPhone.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Structured is a highly efficient daily planner app that has been a long-time favorite for many people. Its simple yet powerful interface combines your calendar, to-do list, and habit tracker, making it easier to stay on top of your daily tasks and goals.

One of the most impressive features of Structured is its interactive widgets. These widgets enable you to check and check off daily tasks, display tasks in your inbox, view single tasks and subtasks, and more. With these widgets, you can easily stay organized and focused on what’s important.

Whether you’re a busy professional, a student, or just someone who wants to stay productive and organized, Structured is a great app to help you achieve your goals.

Download Structured

Widgetsmith on iPhone.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

WidgetSmith was among the first third-party apps to adopt iPhone home screen customization. Recently, it has expanded its feature set to include interactive widget tools. These widgets offer a variety of functions, such as an interactive musical carousel widget that allows you to browse through your favorite music using your album artwork in full size. You can add other interactive widgets to your home screen, such as weather reports, photo galleries, upcoming events, etc.

You can choose from a selection of interactive widgets and customize them to match your mood, the time of year, and more.

Download Widgetsmith

This is only the beginning for interactive widgets

iOS 17 logo and renders on Apple's website.

There are a lot of great iOS 17 features for your iPhone, and one of my favorites is the all-new interactive widgets. There are already many great ones to choose from right now, and it’ll be interesting to see what developers do with this new tool over the coming months and years.

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