Since Thursday, the new Philips Hue app is available for iOS and Android. And there is one major criticism, especially among iPhone and iPad users: the previously available Today view widgets have been completely removed from the new Hue app. Why Signify had no other choice, I’ll explain in this article.
“When we started the project, we simply wanted to adopt the existing widget in exactly the same way,” Hue creator George Yianni tells us about the original plans. At least in theory, there would have been even more possibilities, because after all, Apple introduced the new homescreen widgets with iOS 14, which offer many more options.
“However, each of these widgets must open the associated app if an action has to be performed. And if the app has to open, then the idea of the widget is lost,” George Yianni continues. The only hope at the moment: Apple will present new features for iOS 15 at its big developer conference next week.
Hue widgets on iOS currently only possible with shortcuts
For a widget that allows control from the homescreen, Philips Hue had to rely on Siri shortcuts, which can be placed as small icons on the homescreen, for the completely redesigned app. “These shortcuts are very versatile, but they take up a lot more space and aren’t as pretty,” explains George Yianni, who notes in the end, “Unfortunately, we had no other choice.”
By the way, there are some changes for Android users as well, although they are not nearly as big. For example, previously you could make one big widget with four buttons, but with the new app you can only make individual widgets with one button – but four of them are just as big. “Also, you can no longer create widget buttons that control multiple rooms at once. From our point of view, that works much more intuitively with zones and offers the same possibilities in the end.”