Apple introduced a bunch of new features with iOS 8 last year including the long-awaited widget functionality.
Widgets, which can be accessed by swiping downward from the top of your iPhone’s lock screen to reveal the Notification Center, allow for people to have quick access to apps, and they usually include some summarizing info or maybe some limited functionality.
But developers have taken to creating apps that operate entirely within a widget, and one of the best examples is Minesweeper — Widget Edition, which lets iPhone users play Minecraft right from the lock screen.
So what’s the point?
Having a game operate entirely inside of a widget is usually going to be more of a constraint than a plus, but the main draw here is the ease of access, allowing people to squeeze in a session of Minesweeper without having to unlock their phone and bring up an entire app.
The game automatically saves so you don’t have worry about losing your progress, and you can customise both the grid size and number of mines to switch up the difficulty. If you happen to use Apple’s Game Center social hub, you’ll be able to see your scores there too.
If you like the idea of widget-based games, this is actually the second widget-based game from developer AA Mather, according to Touch Arcade. AA Mather also created Overglide, the cave-flyer game that’s similar to Helicopter or Flappy Bird.
It would appear that Apple is ok with this rather unusual use of widgets, but that could always change. In the past, Apple has been known to remove apps from the App Store for using widgets in a way it doesn’t agree with, but it looks like both games are here to stay (for now).