Widgets on your smartphone’s home screen may seem a little outdated nowadays, but once you start using them, you’ll realise that there certainly is life beyond the app icon. Throwing up the latest news headlines, what’s on your to-do list for the day or how long you have until your device loses all the juice it has can be a godsend.
We round up our favourite Android widgets for your device’s home screen, whether you’re using a smartphone with a small screen or a tablet with a much larger display.
If you’re already an Evernote user, you’ll know just how handy it is to have your notes, pinned articles and other information right on your homescreen. You can chose from a number of different types of Evernote widget, including a shortcut to one of your favourite notes, a bar with your top actions and a larger list that will display more detailed information.
Android Pro is a series of widgets that will make your Android’s homescreen into whatever you wish it to be. For example, you can add a calendar widget to display your upcoming events, pin your favourite contacts or contact group (such as colleagues) to your homescreen, your browser bookmarks for quick access to your top news sources or any social media feed.
There’s more to your Android’s battery notification than just showing you how much juice you have left. Battery HD will let you know exactly how much battery you have left depending on what you’re doing or which application you’re running. For example, you’ll probably find you have more juice left over if you’re reading a report compared to using GPS navigation.
Agenda Widget Plus
Agenda Widget Plus is the ultimate calendar widget for your Android phone or tablet. It’ll list exactly what you have coming up in the future and will automatically sync your device’s calendars – even those on third party apps – into one easy-to-read view. It will include items from your to do list as well as calendars to, so you can stay super-organised using just one home screen widget.
DashClock isn’t just a home screen widget, but a lock screen widget too if you’re running it on a device on Android 4.2, 4.3 or 4.4. It’ll display customised data, such as the weather in your current location, missed calls and unread texts, your next calendar appointment, any priority conversations in your email and the next alarm you’ve scheduled. All this information is accessible at a glance and you can choose to dig deeper with a simple tap.
Tasker is an automation app for Android and its aim is to help newbie Android developers create automated tasks without messing about with code. The Tasker widget enables you to turn those tasks into their own widgets, essentially creating a widget for anything you’d like to do, such as turn on a Bluetooth-connected device. Tasker has its own widget you can use to turn it on and off too.
Microsoft’s ToDo is without doubt one of our favourite apps for Android and the ToDo widget allows you to get a feed of everything you’re supposed to be doing today on your homescreen. When you’ve completed the tasks, you can tick them off as you go and either add more tasks from your individual lists or head to the suggestions screen that will show you what’s coming up for you to add.
On Time helps you organise your home screen according to what you need to do when. For example, you can set it up to only display the apps you’re most likely to need while you’re at work between the hours of 9 and 5, then when you’ve finished work, only show the apps you’re most likely to want to use on your commute home. It’s all fully customisable for you, helping you manage your time better.
S.Graph: Calendar Clock Widget
S-Graph is one of the most beautiful calendar and time management widgets available for Android. It turns your day into a pie and then splits out your tasks into sections so you can see how long you’ve put aside for each task, meeting or action. It’s the perfect widget for visual people who are not particularly keen on lists of tasks and because it integrates with most calendars and task apps, it’s a must-try from us!
Although you can quite easily pull down the taskbar on your Android phone or tablet to toggle settings on and off, Power Toggles takes this one stage further with more than 40 toggles to choose from that you can control right from your home screen, including third party applications. The interface is simple, and easy to use, which is exactly what widgets should be about.