Introduction

The Xen HTML API aims to be a combination of all previous attempts to bridge iOS and JavaScript-based widgets.

In all widgets, you have access to the api object in the global namespace. This serves as entrypoint to the Xen HTML API, making access to it simple.

Syntax

The Xen HTML API provides two approaches for interaction: Inline, and Callback-based.

Both can be used interchangably inside the same widget.

Through the use of the new Inline Syntax, you can build widgets that can fit in a single Tweet:

<html><head></head><body><p>{ weather.now.temperature.current }</p></body></html>

The end result is that you no longer have to rely on JavaScript to write widgets, with basic implementations just requiring HTML and CSS.

Also available is the Callback-based Syntax, which allows you to write fully JavaScript-based widgets.

Other features and improvements

A number of other features and improvements are also made available through the Xen HTML API:

  • Resource Packs
    • This allows for sharing resources between widgets, such as icons and backgrounds
  • Logging
    • Access real-time logs from your widgets
  • Widget Layout
    • A central (and organised) folder on the filesystem to install widgets
  • URL Scheme Handling
    • Open URLs in Safari and deep link to installed apps

Example widgets

A number of example widgets are available to use for learning the API, or simply to use on a daily basis.

After installing Xen HTML, these can be found at /var/mobile/Library/Universal. More information can be found here

Backwards compatibility

Backwards compatibility is provided to older widgets, allowing them to run on newer versions of iOS.

Support is available for widgets that need:

  • XenInfo
  • WidgetWeather
  • InfoStats 2 (and 1)
  • myLocation

This works "by magic". There is no need to install anything else, or make any changes to widgets.

It is strongly recommended to write new widgets that target the Xen HTML API, to gain access to newer features.

iOS version compatibility

The Xen HTML API is available on iOS 10 and later. This is due to reliance on some ES6 features not available on prior iOS versions.

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