Google’s new Gmail widget highlights the problems with iOS widgets

Google’s Gmail application has been updated for iOS 14 with a new widget — but it’s probably not the kind of Gmail widget you may have been hoping for.

Right now, there’s just a single iOS 14 Gmail widget that just does one thing: offer quick links to your inbox, the compose menu, or search. There’s no real preview of your inbox content, no ability to triage mail through archiving or deleting without opening the app, or any way to read an incoming message. The most interactive element is a simple “unread” counter, something that the app icon has already been capable of for years.

Part of that is on Google — other email apps, like Spark, have created more robust widgets. But a big part of the blame lies on Apple’s shoulders, with its…

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Author: Chaim Gartenberg