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iOS 14's widgets bring the Windows Phone dream back to life

Tom Warren, sparking joy in my heart:

Microsoft showed off the future of mobile home screens a decade ago with Windows Phone. The key to the vibrant interface was Live Tiles, animated widgets that felt alive. Nothing has lived up to it ever since.

I’ve always wanted Apple to bring these Live Tiles to the iPhone. Apple’s overhauled iOS 14 home screen finally does that, enabling lively widgets for apps that sit on the home screen. It’s the final addition to the iPhone that I’ve been missing from Windows Phone, 10 years after Microsoft first introduced Live Tiles to the world.

I hadn’t made the connection but I can’t not see the similarities between Windows Phone’s Live Tiles and the widgets in iOS 14. And I love it.

I’m one of the few unabashed fans of Windows Phone that ever existed and Live Tiles were part of why. I don’t think enough apps ever used them to their potential (there weren’t enough apps on Windows Phone period) but I daresay iOS’s home screen widgets will see more uptake and more experimentation. The dream lives on.

In more ways than one: Windows Phone had one home screen and an alphabetical list of all your apps one swipe away. The App Library will be a step towards that.

All I need now is an iPhone with a bit of Nokia-Lumia-800 flair to its hardware design. The iPhone 5 already had that feel to it. You can do it again, Apple.

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