iWidgets isn’t the only plugin available in Cydia that adds widgets to the home screen, but when compared to Dashboard X it does have the distinction of allowing those plugins to be written in HTML. iWidgets is actually a tweaked version of wyndwarrior’s earlier PerPageHTML plugin; though iWidgets provides more flexibility and control to both users and developers.
So what’s the main difference between PerPageHTML and iWidgets? In PerPageHTML widgets were restricted to preset placements (these could be edited through in a config file, but that was a pain); you could set which page to put a widget on, but that was about it. PerPageHTML also limited HTML widgets to one per page. With iWidgets, you can wiggle and drag as many widgets as you want to different page placements, though you can’t resize them.
iWidgets comes with two widgets by default: One for a clock and another for a calendar. The clock widget looks like it was made for a pre-Retina device, but the calendar widget looks fine. If you want more widgets, you can install them by dropping the widget folder into “/private/var/mobile/Library/iWidgets/”. It seems to use tweaked versions of PerPageHTML’s widgets, some of which can be found in this thread. Hopefully we will see iWidget-compatible widgets available in Cydia.
When compared to Dashboard X, iWidgets is missing a few key features. iWidgets does not include a method for resizing widgets, nor does it include support for native notification center widgets. One of the weaknesses of HTML widgets is that they can not currently launch apps; they’re not as interactive and seem to be self-contained. The advantage is that iWidgets is freely available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch through the ModMyi repository on Cydia while Dashboard X is a paid plugin.
Keep in mind that if you are using Dashboard X alongside iWidgets, they use the same “hold a finger on the springboard’ method for adding widgets, you will have to disable iWidgets to add Dashboard X widgets. There is no settings folder, so you’ll have to manually disable the plugin through SBSettings -> More -> Mobile Substrate AddOns. Make sure you re-enable iWidgets through Mobile Substrate Addons, especially if you decide to delete iWidgets.
What’s your opinion of SpringBoard widgets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.