How to Add Hue Widget from Your Phone: iOS Update Mystery

The Philips Hue app is a very popular choice for many smart home users to control their smart lighting system and 2021 brought around a big update! The entire app was rebuilt from scratch, making the future possibilities for updates and developments almost endless. The update also brought on a big question for those with Apple devices: “Where on Earth do I find the Hue widget?”

Android users can add the Hue widget by pressing on an open space in their home screen, selecting the ‘widgets’ icon at the bottom of the screen, and choosing Hue from the widget options. Tap “Add” to add the widget to your home screen. The iOS version of the Hue app no longer supports widgets, but they do have a different option that works just as well.

The iOS 14 update introduced the new home screen widgets that have to open the relevant app if you want to perform an action. This made the original Hue widget pointless and led to the development of shortcuts instead. Shortcuts make use of Siri to still carry out actions from the home screen.

Read on to find out how to set up these shortcuts, what alternatives are available for iOS users, and what features the new app brings to the table.

How do you add the hue app widget to the home screen of your Android phone?

Step 1: Press and hold on an open space on your home screen.

Step 2: Your screen should like the one in Picture 1 below. Select the widget icon at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: Select the Hue widget as shown in Picture 2 below.

Step 4: Select “add” as shown in Picture 3 below. If you have set up your Hue app already, this will add the widget to your home screen without any further fuss.

What can I use instead of the Hue widget on my iPhone?

Because the new iOS update changed the way the home screen widgets work, it is a better idea to make use of Siri shortcuts. These shortcuts make it possible for you to activate routines or open scenes from your Hue app with a single tap.

Before you can start adding these shortcuts to your home screen, you need to install the Siri Shortcuts app (previously the Workflow app) and make sure that your Hue bridge and app are up to date. 

It is important to remember that Siri shortcuts cannot control a single light, but rather activates preset scenes or implements routines that Siri picks up from your daily habits.

It does let you set personalized phrases though, so you can choose what you want to say to activate certain scenes. Once you have your apps ready you can follow the steps below to add various scenes to your home screen.

Step 1: Open the Hue app.

Step 2: Tap on the room you want to control.

Step 3: Tap on the New Scene button (or choose a default scene listed in the Hue app).

Step 4: If you’re setting a new scene, give it a name and choose the color and brightness you’d like for the lights.

Step 5: Tap Save.

Step 6: Tap on the scene saved in the Hue app and tap on the pencil icon.

Step 7: Tap “add to Siri” Here Siri will ask to record you saying the activation phrase for that scene.

Now, when you tap on that particular shortcut, or you say the recorded phrase, you will activate your selected scene. The shortcuts app also allows you to integrate other apps, so you can add the step to switch to “do not disturb” when you ask Siri to activate the scene for dinner time. 

What app do you get for LED lights?

If you are an iOS user and not a big fan of the process to use shortcuts to control your lights, there are other apps available for you to consider using with your Hue light bulbs.

The apps listed in the table below are compatible with the Philips Hue lighting system and are fun, dynamic, and have many options that might even exceed Hue’s list of lighting controls.

App  nameCostRanking   in App StoreDevice Compatibility
OnSwitchFree with in-app purchases4.5Designed for iPad, compatible with iPhone
iConnect Hue$3,99 with in-app purchases4.1Available for all Apple devices
hueDynamic$4.99 once-off4.7Designed for iPad, compatible with iPhone
YonomiFree4.2Designed for iPad, compatible with iPhone and Apple watch
ThorlightFree with in-app purchases4.6Designed for iPad, compatible with iPhone and Apple watch

How can I use the Hue app to control my smart lights with my phone?

If you’re new to the Hue app, or would like to find out about the new app’s features, the video below is a detailed walkthrough where Justin Tech explains all the details and functions of the updated app and how to use them best.

Home Streamliner’s Take

Adding the Hue app’s widget to your home screen is simple if you are using an Android phone.

Even though iPhone users need to follow a more complex process to control their lights from their home screen, it is not impossible despite the Hue app not having a widget available anymore.

If you do not want to follow the process of using Siri shortcuts to control your lights from your home screen, you can always use a third-party app, many of which have extra features to enhance your Philips Hue lighting system further. 

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This blog aims to share my research and first-hand knowledge in a helpful way. My goal is for you to be able to save time and find happiness in a streamlined home.