Tapping an entry not only takes you to the song in the app – it starts playing it right away, and you save an extra tap. Many users want to be able to customize what appears in the list or to control playback, as they currently do in the Android widget. As the layout looks now, the widget offers no customization options at all.
Some app developers (like Spark) have found creative ways to use the somewhat limited API for iOS widgets (WidgetKit) to offer multiple, flexible uses of the precious property on the home screen. But users have said that many widgets are just not that useful at the moment.
The same users may be wondering why we do not see mainly fully functional apps displayed on the home screen. Apple is likely to expand on what developers can do with WidgetKit in future software releases, but there will always be some major limitations due to the emphasis on maintaining battery life.
A lot of interactivity and live data from multiple apps on the home screen can have a negative impact there ̵
On the other hand, the Android Spotify widget offers playback control. But Spotify actually removed the relatively powerful widget in August last year, only to reintroduce an improved version of it shortly afterwards when users complained. The short removal led to a lot of user-produced widgets to replace the lost functionality.
But at least Spotify supports widgets on iPhones at all – that was not a given.
Listing image by Samuel Axon