Gmail gets widget for iOS 14 with limited functions

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The updated version of the Gmail app for iOS 14, released this Wednesday (18), won its own widget for the home screen of the Apple operating system. The novelty arrives offering quick and easy access to some functions of Google’s email service, but with some limitations.

Through the new element, the user can search inside his inbox, write a new message to his contacts and check the amount of unread e-mails he has at that moment, directly on the iPhone and iPad screen, without need to open the app.

However, the widget does not allow more than that. Unlike the Android version, it does not have interactive controls (except the message counter) nor can it be customized. For now, there are only three shortcuts available.

The user is also unable to preview the contents of the received messages or to archive them or delete them using the tool. To perform these and other functions, it is necessary to open the application and access them through the inbox.

Whose fault is it for the limitations?

As The Verge recalls, Google could create a more robust version of the feature, as do other email apps. However, most of the blame for the limitations of the Gmail widget on iOS 14 lies with Apple itself, which takes a different approach to developers’ freedom of creation.

Under current Apple guidelines, widgets cannot support interactive features within the tool, prohibiting the use of scrolling list elements and more functions that would be useful.

It is due to these rules that other apps suffer from similar problems. Apple Music and Spotify, for example, do not offer track playback controls on their iOS widgets, unlike Android versions.

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