What kind of iOS 14 & Big Sur widgets would you like to see?

iOS 14 and Big Sur widgets have a few restrictions:

  • They can’t live-update; they update more like watch complications.
  • There’s multiple sizes: 2x2, 4x2, 4x4. The smallest is a single tap target, the larger more.
  • They’re likely going to have to be native UI, e.g. no Lovelace cards.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Actions, like the current today widget. Single for 2x2, multiple for the larger.
  • Single-sensor, perhaps with some kind of history graph.
  • Template text, image, like the watch complications.

What else would you like to see?


A widget when pressed on it leads you to a screen of entities. This list is defined in Home Assistant. By tapping on an entity you can interact with it,


I think widgets in the large, middle area of the Infograph Modular watchface would offer good inspiration. For example, the Activity complication shows two auto-scaled y-values (“move” and “exercise”) with two values shown per hour (they update more frequently than every 30 minutes though) plus an indicator dot (“stand”):

Doing something like this would allow for more than a single sensor, and fit with the existing aesthetic.

I think a “Who’s Home” or “Presence” widget might be a neat idea, basically showing avatars of your family members (person.*) and where they are. I think that would fit well within the limitations of widgets, since it doesn’t really require live-updates.


A single sensor value that can handle a string (wrapping etc.) would be good. Can then parse something in Jinja on server allowing you to show messages.

A related idea would be to show the last push notification received and time.

Also very much like the idea of graph if it’s possible. Actions would be a bonus.

I imagine these being usable with a glance.

Would it be possible to specify a few sensors so I can check typically important stuff:
Who is home
Any doors/locks open
Alarm state

Maybe the big one shows a chunk of the logbook (encouraging users to customize their logbook entries)?

And tapping the widget could open a specific Lovelace view/page?


It would be nice to have a way to select which entities/devices to display on the widget and then the widget would just scroll through each entity on some time interval. Kind of like an electronic billboard showing the status or graph of each entity you deem important enough to see on the front screen

I’ve been playing a bit building widgets and yeh the update time is sometimes 30 minutes or so. Is that how it is on the watch? (I’ve never done any watch stuff)

I’d be keen for a “where’s the family” widget which lists zone or last known zone with time for each member.

Agreed. Being able to customise where the taps opened to would be great.

Yes although they do get more frequent the more the selected face is used and on.

I have a bunch of power measuring plugs and devices in my house, being able to get the cumulative energy for the most important ones would be good.

I’d rather use cumulative energy sensors than current W sensors as it wouldn’t matter that much if it were a bit outdated values.

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Tap to run an automation, but only if the phone is unlocked. This would let us use the face id or fingerprint feature to run an automation securely. Then, come home, notification shows button to unlock door, disarm alarm but only if phone is unlocked.

I would love to be able to open the app to specific Lovelace pages from a widget. It would be cool if you could customize the icons used for the links as well.

Maybe an history of notification ? I follow my cat with my phone. And I don’t see on home assistant where I can find all my notification. So, maybe in app and widget…

First widget: Actions. Started with replacing the current widget, now time to make new things! Thanks for all of your ideas. If you’re interested in checking them out as they’re slowly made, sign up for the TestFlight beta!


That’s great. Do you think it’s possible to add more than 8 items to the widget?

Hi Zac,
Great work!!
Althoug I like the widget as it looks better than the old actions it seems that you must open the app for the widget to action. In the old one you just push the button when the phone is locked and it worked.
I mainly use it to open the car gate while driving etc. so adding a phone unlock is a pain.
Any way to get this option back (I mean prevent the phone from asking to unlock).

Unfortunately these new iOS 14 widgets cannot do things without launching the app. This is a requirement that Apple imposes on 3rd party developers (but not themselves, so Shortcuts does work this way).

If this is very important to you for actions, you can create a Shortcut with the new-in-2020.5 “Perform Action” type – do this either in the app (go to configure an action and tap ‘Add to Siri’) or in Shortcuts.app – which can be placed in the Shortcuts.app Widget, which has the special permission to work how you want.

@zacwest Can the list of actions within the widget change dynamically throughout the day? For example, based on time, location, or state of an entity?

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Ho do we sign up for the beta through testflight. I’ve used testflight before and am familiar with it.