iOS 17 is shaking things up with a slew of snazzy updates. We're talking StandBy Mode, NameDrop, Contact Posters, and a whole lot more. But that's not all, Apple has also sprinkled a little more magic dust on the 'Contact' Widget.
In the good ol' days, i.e., a few versions ago, the Contact Widget was actually useful. You could directly call your Favorites from the widget. But then, it became a bit of a tease. Sure, you could gaze longingly at your contact's info in the recent iterations, but if you wanted to call or message them, you had to take the scenic route through the app. But those days of extra clicking are coming to an end! Apple has upgraded the 'Contact' Widget in iOS 17 with some sweet new buttons: 'Call' and 'Message'. Now, you can reach out to your contacts right from your Home Screen or Today View. Let's dive in, shall we?
Why Should You Enable the Call or Message Buttons?
Before iOS 17, to call the contact added on the widget, you would have to tap on the widget first and then tap on the 'Call' button from the contact info page.
However, with the Call/Message enabled, you can directly place a call or message right from the widget without heading to the contact info page. Though it might seem like a very slight convenience, however, in practical use, the convenience is noticeable.
There is one catch, though. The Call or Message button can only be added to the small widget, i.e., the widget that can house only contact info at a time. So, you might have to add more than one contact widget to your Home Screen/ Today View if there is more than one person whom you want to be able to call/ text readily.
Add the Contact Widget to the Home Screen or Today View
First, long tap on the Home Screen or Today View till all the apps/ widgets wiggle. After that, tap on the '+' icon from the top left corner to proceed.
Then, locate and tap on the 'Contacts' tile.
Next, tap the 'Add Widget' button under the 'Small' widget screen.
Once the widget is added to your screen, tap the 'Done' button. That's it. The widget has been added to your iPhone.
Add Call and/or Message Buttons
Once you have added the widget on your Home Screen or Today View, you can toggle the call/message buttons.
First, tap and hold the 'Contacts' widget. This will bring an overlay menu to your screen. Tap 'Edit Widget' from the options.
Now, tap on the 'Contact' tile to head to the phone book and select the contact whose information you want on the widget.
Once the contact has been selected, tap the 'Show Buttons' toggle to enable it. Then, tap on the 'Choose' button to select a mode of text/call.
If the contact has multiple numbers or methods of contact (e.g., FaceTime call, normal call, third-party app), you can choose which you wish to bind to the widget button for both messaging and calling.
You can now call or message the selected contact right from the widget. Please remember there will be no confirmation before placing a call or message when you tap the widget buttons. Hence, be careful about pocket and/or accidental dials.
The unintuitive contact widget is now fixed in iOS 17 and promises better convenience. However, the probability of accidental dials or pocket dials still lurks around it.