How to Use Today View and Widgets on your iPhone

Today View is a screen of information accessed from your Home screen that gives you a glimpse of your day and access to the things you do most often. The daily glimpse might include your schedule, recent messages, weather, news headlines and more.

Search Bar – At the top of the Today View you have a Search Bar that is the same search bar as used in the Spotlight Search (see Use iPhone Spotlight Search to Find Apps, Get Reminders, News and More)  function.  Use it to search your device, the App Store or the Internet.

Widgets show you information and provide access to your favorite apps. You use Widgets in the Today View to provide you glimpses of activities, news headlines, weather and more. Your Today View is your custom collection of Widgets.

It’s customizable!

It makes sense that the Today View can be customized to reflect the things that are important to you. This recipe will show you how to add and organize the Widgets on your Today View.


How to Access Today View


From the first screen of your Home screen, the Lock Screen, (see Lock Screen Setup below) or on the Notification Center you can swipe right from the left edge. The Today View screen will pull in from the left.

Use the Today View to check  current activities and events.  Then tap on any of the Widgets to access the underlying details or functions provided by the Widget.


How to Customize your Today View with Widgets

You customize the Today View by adding and arranging Widgets.  It is a great place to put widgets that can provide essential information from your device.  

Many iPhone apps and even third party apps provide Widgets to bring information and functions to your Today View.  


  1. Long Press (Touch and hold) an existing widget or an empty area in Today View until the apps jiggle.
  2. Tap the  + (Add) button in the upper-left corner.
  3. Scroll down to select a widget, tap the widget
  4. Choose your desired size from three widget sizes.  Swipe left and right to view the size choices.  
  5. Tap Add Widget
  6. Tap Done.

Try out some widgets on the today view.  If you don’t get it right the first time, it is easy to change and try others.  


Where do Widgets come from?

Widgets will come with apps that are installed on your device.  For example, many of Apples apps provide Widget.  Additionally, you are now seeing my third party apps that you install on your device might also provide a Widget for the Today VIew. Use the customize steps above to see the Widgets that are available on your device.


Have fun exploring Widgets that you can use on your Today View. Look for widgets associated with any of the apps that are installed on your device.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

How about some Widgets recommendations?

We would recommend that as a starting point, you consider the following widgets. Then once you understand their function, you can add more widgets to match your interests, passions and priorities.

Siri App Suggestion – Shows apps, contacts, and other frequently accessed data based on your prior use. It’s a handy launcher of app that might be buried deep in lower Home screens.

Battery – Displays the current battery percentage.  This makes it more accessible than from the Control Center.

Calendar – Display the day’s scheduled items from your Calendar

Reminders – Displays any current reminders for the day.

Weather – Displays the current weather conditions

News – Displays current news headlines and trending news.

Mail – View and access your email from your VIPs. Select VIPs from your Contacts app.

Favorites – Displays phone activity or call people on your Phone favorites.

Adding Widgets that you want to try is easy.  Browse the list of widgets and don’t hesitate to try different widgets to get that perfect Today View for your needs.


Allow access to Today View from the Lock Screen

You can use the Today View when your iPhone is locked if you wish. However, you will not be able to access underlying details or perform functions unless your device is unlocked. It is still useful to get that glimpse of today’s activity.


Access your Today View from the Lock screen

Here is how to setup Lock screen access.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll down and tap on Face ID & Passcode (iPhone X and later) or Touch ID & Passcode (earlier models).
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Turn on Today View (below the heading Allow Access When Locked).

You will now be able to swipe right from the left edge of the Lock screen in order to display the Today View.


Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club recommends the following additional resources for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on this recipe:

iPhone User Guide – View and organize Today View on iPhone

Apple Support – Use widgets on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch