Article in App of the Week category.

Locket: Your Own Photo Sharing Widget

Locket is a simple app with a delightful intent — to bring shared photos from your friends and family right to your Home Screen. It’s…

Locket is a simple app with a delightful intent — to bring shared photos from your friends and family right to your Home Screen. It’s basically a social network that lives within a widget, allowing you to see new pics from your friends and family throughout the day. This ingenious app is a novel use of Apple’s recent updates to widgets in iOS 15.

Once you open Locket, its streamlined onboarding process asks you to invite others to join through your address book. If you don’t have anyone to share photos to, or to share photo back at you, the app loses its point.

Developed by three-time WWDC student scholarship winner Matt Moss, he knows a few things about UX design. The app is wonderfully simple, clean, and even brings back a bit of muchloved skeuomorphic design language. The app’s icon has a slight texture and a drop shadow within the cutout heart, even though you’ll rarely need to tap on it.

Without photos, the app becomes useless. Which is why I love how tapping the widget will immediately open the camera within Locket. This is a brilliant way to encourage users to snap pics and quickly share them to others. It’s so easy to do and incredibly quick. Every time you see a new image come in on your Home Screen, it’s a reminder to tap the widget and share a photo update of your own.

When in the app, icons in each corner guide you to the requisite sections. This is a welcomed departure from the common “tab bar” most apps employ. A quick swipe up from the bottom brings to your history, allowing you to scroll through all of the photos that were shared. More or less, your own sandboxed Instagram feed. Those photos can be saved to your camera roll or shared using the native iOS Share Sheet.

I can’t get over how great of an idea Locket it and its current popularity is recognition of that. It’s trending on the top free apps chart and has no upfront or in-app purchase to use. Moss has come up with something wholly unique and designed it with small touches and intricacies that are lost on apps from major devs. I’m excited to see how else Locket evolves. It would be great to see new widget options including larger ones with multiple images at once.

But enough about other people's apps.


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