Widgets – they may or may not be something that interests you. It wasn’t that many years ago that widgets drew a great deal of attention thanks to the essential features which were able to set Android apart from the competition. Today, however, that’s no longer the case since most of the competitors have become very smart and have taken the time to develop their own widgets for their smartphones.
Still, widgets are very popular with many Android users who find them an integral part of setting up their home screen. Let’s have a look at our most current list of the top Android widgets you need to know about. It’s surely worth it to take the time to explore these widgets and see if they can be of benefit to you.
This is a nice, simple widget app that comes to you with all the features you need. Best of all, it comes to you for free.
There are a number of good features to the Google Keep widget which allows you to quickly take notes at a speed that’s very close to what most of us spend jotting down a real paper note. That’s very handy! You can label each note individually and share them with friends. A great example is your grocery list, which you could share, for instance, with your spouse. You can also color-code your notes, which is very convenient. While there are many nice features, the one that stands out is the app’s ability to sync with Google Drive.
Of course, no widget is perfect, and Google Keep is no different. Its simplicity is its biggest strength, but for anyone in need of numerous features, a better choice might be to try Evernote because Google Keep just can’t keep up with it. Another annoyance is that Google hates when you delete things so the app promotes ‘archiving,’ which makes little sense for those notes you’ll never going to look at again. That means if you truly want to delete a note, you will need to use menu diving.
While Google Keep may not have a strong list of features like Evernote does, it’s a great choice for anyone who just wants to keep it simple, plus you can enjoy some of the extra widgets Google Keep offers.
While not free, at US $0.99, HD Widgets is as close to free as you’ll get. HD Widgets is an older app that rose to popularity when the HTC Sense clock widget was around. Since then the developers have really gone to great lengths to expand and adapt the widget for the needs of today’s users. HD Widgets is proud of its ability to be completely customized. It also has a ton of widget options and even a few add-ons.
We really like the in-depth customization that you have at your fingertips – it’s truly amazing. The Kairo and Colourform theme packs will extend your customization and styles even more, and they will let you utilize more of the modern theming. The actual HD Widgets is relatively functional, and we have no serious complaints. It provides you with widgets for battery, weather, clock, toggles, and other things.
There were a couple of things we didn’t really like. The widget selection changes depending on your operating system screen size, etc. So the value you get form HD Widgets can vary. The latest update created some problems for some of the users, and we don’t like that not all of the HD Widgets are supported on Colourform and Kairo. It’s really too bad they aren’t.
Make no mistake – in the world of widgets, HD Widgets is truly a stroke of genius. At US $0.99, about half the price you should be paying for it, it might be a good idea to jump on the bandwagon and download HD Widgets at the Google Play store before they get smart and increase their price.
If you are looking for an app that will keep an eye on things on your Android, then System Monitor might be right up your alley. After all, knowing what’s going on with your Android is really half the battle. It does however come with a price tag of US $3.99, which, in the world of apps, is pretty average.
System Monitor offers some nice features. It will monitor a total of six things: battery, apps, network, I/O, CPU, and RAM. There is both a paid version and a free version so you can decide if you need the extra features the paid version offers. It’s convenient that you can open the System Monitor app as a floating window. This is a good looking widget that will blend in nicely with just about any theme.
There is a couple of things we didn’t like: some 8-core processor devices ran into the occasional trouble. Why – no one seems to be sure. There are also several bugs that you may stumble across, but nothing serious.
When it comes to this kind of apps, System Monitor gets a thumbs up! It’s a nice clean app for anyone wanting to keep an eye on their Android stats. It’s a good-looking powerful widget you won’t be disappointed in.
Taptu is a free news app that’s rather interesting, throwing out the standard design look and feel and doing its very own thing. This app and the widgets it has to offer are solid! Generally, when you use a news app you will get a list of the current top stories and then you can click on the ones you want to view. With the Taptu widgets, you get a much more personal experience because you can customize the app to fit your needs, and it’s more user-friendly for those wanting to browse the latest news form their Android’s home screen rather than from the app.
We feel this is one of the best methods of bringing news to your device’s home screen. In addition, we like that it is so customizable and that overall it’s just a solid app that news readers can rely on. You can even use it to check your social media. And best of all – it’s free!
If we had to name some drawbacks, one might be that it has so many features that you likely won’t use all of them. There have also been some bugs and server issues recently, but Taptu is working on fixing these.
If you are looking to get your news on your home screen, this is the app we recommend!
Todoist is free within-app purchases, and this is an excellent app for coordinating your current tasks.
We like that this is a solid app, and it even comes with a Chrome extension. It also has a desktop app – the cross-platform support is very good. It is easy to use, and you can use the free version or purchase the premium version if you want the additional features. You can do just about anything from this app right from your home screen, which is a handy feature. They also offer offline support. You can share your tasks, assign them to others, and utilize other collaborative features.
What we didn’t like is that you have to pay for what we consider basic features that should be available in the free version.
Todoist is an excellent time management app and to-do list app with some great features.
UCCW – Ultimate Custom Widget
UCCW or Ultimate Custom Widget is a free app that allows you to create your own widgets. No longer do you have to rely on other widget developers. UCCW became famous when it was the first really competent app that allowed you to build your own widgets. Even though it has a limited number of actions you are able to allocate, it’s still an excellent app for anyone who just can’t seem to find what they need.
We like that you can create your very own widgets using your own colors and themes. There are tons of features including things like missed calls, Gmail, clock, battery, etc. You can download skins and share them so you don’t have to build a skin from scratch unless you want to. There are numerous add-ons available in the Google Play store. And best of all, this app is free!
There were a couple of things we didn’t like. One was that the learning curve is very steep. It’s not intuitive so you really do need to sit down and learn it. This app is still a work in progress so be prepared to run into some bugs every now and then. And of course, if you are lacking design skills, you can expect your widgets to look not so great.
You can find UCCW in the Google Play store, and since it’s free, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.
There are tons of great widgets available to you in the Google Play store – some paid but also many that are free or, at the very most, cheap to buy. So why not spend some time exploring our recommendations and seeing what you can find that works for you and your needs?