Google’s new iOS widgets show Android users are second-class citizens


Spend a few minutes on Twitter (or less), and you’ll likely end up seeing someone talking about one of the new iPhones or the new M1-powered Macs. This always happens at the end of the year, as Apple dominates headlines like no other company can.

Even with Samsung and Google releasing new phones on a regular basis, there’s just something about Apple that makes the wheel spin for weeks and months. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro launched at the beginning of November, with the 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max following a couple of weeks later. This is the first iPhone launched with iOS 14 in-tow, which provides a new way for iOS users to interact with their devices.

Widgets have arrived

iOS 14 introduces a feature for iOS users that Android users have had forever – widgets. App Developers can finally create widgets that can be placed almost anywhere on the Home Screen, while offering them in a variety of different sizes.

As a current user of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, I keep my widget usage to a minimum, but am always intrigued by what other app developers are doing with updates. This brings us to Google, who may have designed some of the best iOS widgets out of them all.

After updating the standard Google app with widget support, Google announced that it would be making widgets available to even more of its apps. This includes the likes of Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Fit. There are even more widgets on the horizon, as Calendar and Chrome will also see updates in the near future.

Forgetting about Android

The problem here isn’t the fact that Google is paying attention and trying to serve all of its users, regardless of what platform they use. Nope. Instead, it has everything to do with the fact that Google has practically ignored its own widgets on its own mobile platform for years now.

The most interesting widget on an Android phone, for me at least, is the At A Glance widget. But that was debuted all the way back in 2018, and has not really been touched or altered since then. Looking through the widget options for Gmail, Calendar, and others, and you’ll see a whole lot of stagnation.

For whatever reason, Google has opted to forget about its own Android widgets entirely, focusing instead on the iOS versions. This is truly a travesty, as we would rather enjoy seeing and having these new widgets grace our Android Home Screens.

Since it’s too late at this point for Android to get the update first, we are hoping that Google “rights the ship”. Bring us these good-looking and fancy new widgets to add to our Android Home Screens. You know, the platform that you currently are in charge of?


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