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Legacy widgets removed from iOS 18


Momchil Minkov

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Hello everyone,

First of all I want to thank the guy or team who takes care of the iOS app. I always feel very cool because the Shelly App is one of the early adopters in the Apple ecosystem. Starting with the current interactive widgets, through the fully functional Apple Watch app to CarPlay (btw works great on Vision Pro too).

The Legacy widgets of the app are probably the most used part of the app by me and my friends in their homes (and I think by many iOS users). To be honest, with every Shelly app update I worry about them disappearing, I'm so used to them. I even unlock my door from this widget!

Unfortunately, it seems that Apple has already removed the legacy widgets (found changelog note and tried on my beta device), and no matter how hard I try, I can't get used to the new app widgets and sometimes they don't work very well. They often show the wrong status of the relays and you can't turn something on and off quickly, for example in 3 seconds. They also take up a lot of space (much padding) and there are no device groups (noooooooo!). There is a sign on the top right that something is refreshing, buuut the state remains wrong sometimes.

I'm asking you lovely iOS team, if you're reading this, please consider a refreshment and more stable work on the “new” iOS widgets. Thank you very much!

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Thank you for your feedback. I have personally argued for months with some Apple engineers about the deprecation of the Today Widgets and their disappearance on every app update, explained them multiple times how good they are and how many users are using them (including me). The final conclusion from their side was that seeing the widgets at all is the actual bug… That’s why we have started to migrate all previous functionality to the new widgets. Later they introduced buttons (I think with iOS 16) which gives us the ability to implement the relays control. Scenes, groups and rollers are also planed.

Why the old widgets work better than the new ones? There’s one major difference between them - the old widgets are refreshed EVERY time you open the today view. This way you are always seeing the actual state of the device. Because the new widgets could be placed wherever you want they aren’t updated every time you see them (probably for battery efficiency). They could be updated only after user interaction - pressing a button or opening the app, or when the iOS decides based on algorithms about the frequency of interactions, last time you have been to this screen etc.. That’s why we have added the refresh button on top of the widgets. Unfortunately the refresh is out of our control. It’s the same with the widgets size. It’s predefined by the iOS.

Personally I’m using the widgets on a daily basis and, believe me, we’re doing everything possible to make the new widgets experience closer to the old ones. 

Thank you for the support, any suggestions are greatly welcomed!

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On 6/21/2024 at 12:14 PM, Stefan Tabakov said:

Thank you for your feedback. I have personally argued for months with some Apple engineers about the deprecation of the Today Widgets and their disappearance on every app update, explained them multiple times how good they are and how many users are using them (including me). The final conclusion from their side was that seeing the widgets at all is the actual bug… That’s why we have started to migrate all previous functionality to the new widgets. Later they introduced buttons (I think with iOS 16) which gives us the ability to implement the relays control. Scenes, groups and rollers are also planed.

Why the old widgets work better than the new ones? There’s one major difference between them - the old widgets are refreshed EVERY time you open the today view. This way you are always seeing the actual state of the device. Because the new widgets could be placed wherever you want they aren’t updated every time you see them (probably for battery efficiency). They could be updated only after user interaction - pressing a button or opening the app, or when the iOS decides based on algorithms about the frequency of interactions, last time you have been to this screen etc.. That’s why we have added the refresh button on top of the widgets. Unfortunately the refresh is out of our control. It’s the same with the widgets size. It’s predefined by the iOS.

Personally I’m using the widgets on a daily basis and, believe me, we’re doing everything possible to make the new widgets experience closer to the old ones. 

Thank you for the support, any suggestions are greatly welcomed!

Thanks for the detailed answer and your time.
I read about Widgetkit and it's really unpleasant that they limit the things that way, I hope they realize it and find a solution.

I'll ask a few more questions and write some suggestions, the idea being to make the iOS widgets as good as possible.

Suggestions:
1) There is no a widget for the groups, the legacy widget for this was very useful.
2) I found a way with Shortcuts to update the state of the Widgets.
Unfortunately, it involves changing the Accessibility option to High Contrast On-Off (a hack that refreshes all Widgets that I learned about on Reddit).
Running the Shortcut every minute does a good job for now.
There I found that the Shelly App has two possible actions in Shortcuts, one of which is "Refresh".
Maybe I was hoping it would refresh the status of the Widgets, but it doesn't and is probably for something else. Is there an option to add an action there to force refresh the widgets?
3) I think it's a good idea to have a small text in the lower left corner with the date and time the widget was last updated.

Issues I've noticed:
1) If there is no default temperature sensor for a room (or it has been removed), a big "Offline" is displayed, even if there is no assigned sensor to the room.
2) I have a problem with RGBW2 and Pro RGBW in Relays widget (being in the same room).
Pro RGBW didn't work for me on Legacy widgets either, I've posted feedback on testing on the forum.
Both devices are permanently shown as off in the widget and cannot be turned on/off from there when the button is pressed.
However, I have another RGBW2 in another room that works fine with the Widgets.
3) I guess unlocking the device is necessary before the relay action is being executed...

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Thank you very much for the suggestions, will consider them. As I said - scenes, groups and rollers are planed for migration and will be available in the new widgets.

The "Refresh" intent is used internally to pass the button press event to the widget container, couldn't find a way to hide it from the shortcuts intents. Will check the possibility to expose new intent that could be triggered from shortcuts and update the state. Take in mind that refreshing widgets every minute will probably have an impact on the iPhone battery.

Issues:
1 - if you re-create the widget after the change there won't be an offline label. The widget is created with a configuration of the current setup. If you change the setup the configuration is not updated;
2 - will check it;
3 - controlling auth locked devices with widgets is not possible yet;

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Posted (edited)

Thank you again for your answer and clarification!

1) I can’t get rid of the “Offline” label in the “Relay” widget with set room. In the app verified that “None” is selected in Main Sensor section and deleted and added the widget again.

3) Here I mean that FaceID is required when turning off/on relay.

Update: About RGBW2 issue, one of the cases is when you have 1 RGBW2 with 4 white channels and turn on of them off from the Relays widget, all of them appears as off in the widget.

Edited by Momchil Minkov
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