Unlocking the Potential of iOS 17's Revolutionary Widget Update

In a thrilling development for power users of Apple, iOS 17 brings about an impressive feature allowing two shortcuts to be accommodated in a tiny widget. This update significantly changes the experience of using the Shortcuts app, particularly if you like to have your shortcuts in pairs. The modification enhances convenience by permitting you to place two shortcuts of the same kind within a small widget, optimizing the space available on your Home Screen. This is a highly beneficial adjustment, especially on the iPhone, with limited screen space. As a result, the ability to accommodate twice as many shortcuts without losing any icons could transform your Home Screen's dynamics.

Two Shortcuts in One Widget

With the advent of iOS 17, which officially launches in September, placing two matching shortcuts in a tiny widget is feasible. Many shortcuts typically come in pairs, and this new feature caters precisely to that trend. For instance, one might have a shortcut for activating a particular phone setting and another that reverts the changes. With the latest update, these two corresponding shortcuts can now be combined into a single small widget, saving valuable space on your Home Screen.

How Shortcuts and Apple’s Shortcuts App Work

For those who may not be familiar, shortcuts are the ally of everyday Apple device users looking for time-saving ways to automate frequently performed tasks. Be it on your iPhone, Mac, iPad, or Apple Watch, Apple's powerful Shortcuts app lets you seamlessly create tasks like setting a Focus mode once you arrive at work, generating easy-to-recall passwords, or converting units – the potential applications are virtually limitless. Adding to this user-friendly functionality, Home Screen widgets are a practical way to launch your most-used shortcuts. Once you gain a hold on how to use it, this app can redefine how you use your Apple devices.

The Benefit of Home Screen Widgets

Home Screen widgets have fundamentally revolutionized how iPhones and iPads are used, making the experience more efficient and streamlined. Instead of unlocking the phone and tapping on the required apps, widgets provide direct access to everyday tasks from the Home Screen. This subtle change has had monumental effects, particularly when handling emails, checking weather updates, managing tasks, and organizing calendars daily. The introduction of widgets in iOS 14 has genuinely revitalized all iPhone and iPad Home Screens.

The application of widgets extends beyond just managing apps. The Shortcuts app allows for creating widgets that trigger specific workflows on the Home Screen with a single tap. At first glance, the widget options in Shortcuts may seem simple, but they're highly customizable. The small Shortcuts widget, for example, provides immediate one-touch access to any chosen shortcut on the Home Screen, while the medium and large widgets can show a list of widgets from a chosen folder in the Shortcuts app. For instance, you can create a shortcut that lists all your banking apps, allowing you to access and launch them directly from the Home Screen without opening the Shortcuts app. This results in a cleaner, more organized Home Screen.

How the New iOS Feature Could Be a Game Changer

The new feature in iOS 17 that allows two shortcuts to be included in a tiny widget could significantly alter the user experience. This addition enables a more productive use of limited space on the iPhone Home Screen. Consolidating two related shortcuts into one widget simplifies the Home Screen and quickens access to frequently used shortcuts. Instead of individually launching each shortcut, users can now activate pairs of shortcuts concurrently, considerably boosting efficiency and speed. This marks a significant step forward in the evolution of user experience on Apple devices, turning a simple feature into a potential game changer.


Setting up two shortcuts into a single small widget can be achieved easily in just a few steps with the new iOS 17 update. This process enhances efficiency by allowing users to activate two paired shortcuts simultaneously, saving time and Home Screen real estate. Here's a step-by-step guide to setting up two shortcuts in a tiny widget:

  1. Create a Shortcuts folder in the Shortcuts app. The first step involves the creation of a new folder in the Shortcuts app. Open the app and navigate back to the folder view. Click on the 'New Folder' icon located in the toolbar. The next screen will prompt you to name the folder. You could name it "Home Screen Shortcuts" or any other name that suits you. Once you've chosen the name and the desired icon to represent the intended shortcuts, tap 'Add' to complete the folder creation process.
  2. Select desired shortcuts and move them into the new folder. Now it's time to select the shortcuts you want to house in the new folder. Start by tapping on 'Edit'. Look through your list of shortcuts and pick the two you wish to pair in the widget. Once you have selected the desired shortcuts, click on 'Move.' This action will enable you to place your selected shortcuts into the newly created folder.
  3. Add the Shortcuts widget to the home screen. With your shortcuts in place, the next step is to add the Shortcuts widget to your Home Screen. To do this, edit the Home Screen and locate the 'Shortcuts Folder' widget. Select this widget.
  4. Edit the widget to select the Shortcuts folder. Now that the widget is on your Home Screen, you need to link it to your newly created shortcuts folder. Tap and hold the 'Shortcuts Folder' widget on your Home Screen. From the options that appear, select 'Edit Widget'. In the next screen, choose the folder you created earlier ('Home Screen Shortcuts' or your named folder). This ensures that the widget on your Home Screen accesses the shortcuts in the correct folder.

Update Impact

The integration of two shortcuts in a single small widget is a significant feature added in iOS 17, and it is poised to improve the device's functionality and optimize the usage of the Home Screen space. This update can profoundly affect the user experience and transform how users interact with their Apple devices.

Consider a scenario where you frequently switch between light and dark modes on your iPhone while adjusting the text size for screenshot purposes. Rather than manually changing these settings each time, you could create two related shortcuts: one for activating light mode and increasing the text size and a corresponding one for reverting to dark mode and reducing the text size. By consolidating these two shortcuts in a tiny widget on the Home Screen, you can now toggle between these settings with a single tap, drastically simplifying the process and saving time.

This innovative feature introduced in iOS 17 significantly enhances device functionality by effectively minimizing the steps necessary to trigger actions on your iPhone. Providing quick, one-touch access to paired shortcuts improves responsiveness and efficiency and contributes to a cleaner, more organized Home Screen. Accommodating more shortcuts would typically involve cluttering your Home Screen with multiple apps or widgets. However, the ability to house two shortcuts in one widget alleviates this issue, allowing you to maintain a streamlined Home Screen while having immediate access to your necessary workflows. Consequently, this enhances productivity while maximizing available screen space.

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