Up Next is missing from iOS 14, check the alternatives!

Apple reimagined the whole widget experience on the iPhone with iOS 14. Widgets have never been more flexible, accessible, and popular than they are right now. The current widget system even sprawled a whole new trend of Home Screen customization. It goes to the point where people are competing for who’s going to have a better-organized, more creative Home Screen design.

However, progress almost always requires sacrifices. Sacrifices that probably weren’t necessary in this case, but Apple still opted to make them. Namely, one of the most popular legacy widgets, Up Next, didn’t make it to iOS 14. A move that frustrated a lot of users, as it was one of the most popular widgets on the previous iOS versions.

The whole purpose of the Up Next widget was to gather some basic agenda info for the day and make it visible from one place. It offered info about all the upcoming Calendar events and Reminders. And most importantly, you could see when your alarm will go off. Something that’s now impossible without opening the Alarm app.

Apple never specified why did it decide to remove this functionality on iOS 14. Which, if we look at it from the other side, could be positive, since people still hope the Up Next widget will make a comeback on some of the future iOS 14 versions.

Technically, Up Next didn’t actually leave, it just changed its form. It’s now part of the Calendar widget and only shows the upcoming calendar events. For Reminders, you’ll have to add a separate widget. This automatically forces you to use two widgets instead of one.

It gets even worse for alarm. Plain and simple, there’s no widget that shows any info about alarms on iOS 14. The Clock widget only displays time in one or more timezones. If you want an alarm, you have to open the app.

So, is there really no way to have all this information at a glance in one place? Well, there isn’t. However, you can combine a few widgets and features to get the same result you would get with the Up Next widget, but it requires some work and won’t be in only one place.

Alternative widgets

Setting up an alternative to the Up Next widget requires some work. Certainly more than it should. First, you’ll need to enable widgets for both Calendar and Reminders to get info about your upcoming events and tasks. Yes, you’ll have to use two widgets, which unnecessarily takes more precious screen real estate.

Setting up Calendar and Reminders widgets is as simple as it gets. Just head over to the widgets screen, tap Edit, and tap the + button to add new widgets. I recommend using two small rectangular widgets that you’ll put next to each other and save some space.

Okay, now that you have two-thirds of the original Up Next widget, we need to address perhaps the most important part – alarm.

Use the Health app for alarm

And now the tricky part – alarm. To put it simply, there’s just no widget that will tell you when will your alarm go off on iOS 14, and there’s no alternative to it in the widgets department. There is, however, one workaround that allows you to have the alarm schedule displayed on your screen. But it may not be convenient for you.

Namely, you can adjust Sleep settings inside the Health app, and it will change your Lock Screen to display how long until your alarm goes off. Of course, you have to properly set the whole feature, and the alarm will be displayed on the screen only during Bedtime, so there’s still no way to check your alarm any time you want.

Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Open Apple Health.
  2. Go To Browse > Sleep.
  3. Turn on Sleep Schedule.
  4. Under Full Schedule, tap Edit.
  5. Set your Bedtime and Wake Up hours.
  6. Make sure you enable the Wake Up Alarm option.
  7. Set your preferred Wake Up Alarm.
  8. Tap Done.

Now, the Sleep Mode will activate during your designated hours, and the alarm info will be available on the Lock Screen. But being in this mode means that your iPhone will also activate the Do Not Disturb option, as well as Wind Down (you can turn Wind Down off in the sleep settings inside the Health app). So, if you don’t want these, you’ll have to disable them manually.

Of course, going with Apple Health also means that you’ll be using this feature in full. Apple Health will collect your sleep data (which might not be accurate if you’re not in bed at the same time every night) and show you graphs of your sleeping pattern. On top of that, changing the alarm is more complicated than normal, as you’ll be doing it through the Health app.

If you ask me, going through all this hassle is simply not worth having the alarm timer on your Lock Screen. It’s easier to either open the Alarm app and check by yourself, or just memorize it and do the calculation on your own.

After all the research I’ve done, I still don’t understand why couldn’t Apple either keep the Up Next widget in its original form or just put the alarm timer on the Lock Screen. Could it all be to force users to actually use the sleep tracker in Health? Probably not, I mean, that sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, right?

Regardless of Apple’s motives, it’s a fact that we can’t check our alarms the way users of all other platforms can. Will Apple do something about it? I don’t know, and nothing suggests anything will change in the near future. If you want to let Apple know how you feel, submit your complaint to Apple Community. Who knows, maybe they’ll consider it if we accumulate enough objections.

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