Widgets: Do you use them?

Posted Apr 03, 2012 at 11:43 pm in Threads > Apps & Games

I was recently performing some hard drive cleanup when I happened upon an archive of old development projects and noticed a few widget projects (including the old Android and Me widget) neatly filed away. It got me thinking about how cool these things were when they were first introduced in Android 1.5. Everyone was pumping these things out in all sorts of ways, and there was a widget for just about everything you could ever want. It truly was hard to keep up.

In those days, I (like a lot of folks) used to cram a lot of widgets on my home screen (remember wishing for more than three screens?), but as time passed I opted more and more for minimalism. I now use only one: the Power Control widget included by default since Android 1.6. I also use only a single screen for my home (imagine that). I can’t help feeling like I am missing out on something awesome though.

So…

I was wondering – how many of y’all are using widgets, and which ones are you finding most useful? Do you have any can’t-live-without examples we should check out?

And, for bonus points (not really – I don’t have that kind of power around here), do you prefer standalone widgets or those that are an extension of some other application?

  • txbluesman

    I try to stay away from widgets. They use up to much battery.

  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    The only widgets I use are the Power Control widget (using stock, but I used to use a paid one from the Market) and the new calendar widget from Android 4.0 (the fancy scrollable kind).

    That being said, a bunch of folks have been asking about the Android and Me widget, which we’ve always planned to bring back. Recently I started work on an API, which should even allow it to be better than ever. (Plus I want a scroller!)

    • TWiT Commander

      I like zdbox 4×2 control widget.

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net Justin Shapcott

      Sounds exciting. Let me know if/when I should dust off my widget building hat.

    • Dan13

      An A&M widget would rock. I know a lot of people would snatch it up in an instant.

      • SGB101

        There was one, that’s how I found this site, in the early days.

        I was gutted when it stopped working, and always wanted it back.

  • orangestrat

    I use ICS Widgets for Gmail, music evernote, weather calendar and G+. It means I can fling across my homescreens an be mostly caught up :) I used yo use the launcher pro fb and twitter Widgets, but now I don’t use launcher pro and I miss them. Widgets use the same amount of battery, because they download the same data, but you are in and out of the a lot quicker, since almost all my power use is from the screen, speed matters!

  • http://k-selezneva.blogspot.com/ KatSelezneva

    I use widgets constantly. I work with 6 home screens (I have Android 2.1.) devoted to different tasks; and they all are filled with widgets. I especially like Weather Forecast, Battery Life and Days Left widgets; and widgets of some productivity apps like Spring Pad and Astrid. I’ve got accustomed to home screen widgets so much that I’ve written a blog post about My 10 favorite Android widgets http://www.intexsoft.com/blog/item/45-my-10-favorite-android-widgets.html

  • kazahani

    I fell in love with Fancy Widgets after I upgraded from an HTC phone to a Samsung. I found that I missed the weather clock, so I went on a quest to discover the best HTC-like weather clock widget, and Fancy Widgets is my favorite by far.

    It’s so nice to be able to turn on my phone and immediately have access to the date and time, weather forcast, battery level and current temperature wherever I am.

  • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

    My only widget I really use is the native calendar widget.

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    1. SwitchPro – I really wish I had ICS on my Droid3 so it could be in the notification bar but alas, I am stuck with the widget. At least I can reboot instead of long pressing the power button, OK, and then pressing the power button again.

    2. Whiteboard Pro – my quick to do list, or on the tablet, you can write obscene messages to other drivers of cars when they are acting a fool (of course the passenger does this)

    3. Spotify – will probably remove this widget… in fact, I’ll do it right now.

    4. Clockr – I like how it says “nineTHIRTYtwo” for the time

    5. Calendar

    6. Data usage – even though I have unlimited I like to see how much I use.

    I am wondering if I completely remove all widgets, will my phone never have that slow redraw bullshit it goes through from time to time when turning on the screen?

  • http://www.ndroidgamers.com B2L

    I use a ton of widgets, I don’t think I could live without them

    Beautiful Widgets 5×2 Weather
    Google Search
    Batterylife
    Pulse (Android and me)
    Phandroid
    Playerpro
    Pandora
    S-Memo
    Task Manager
    Alarm Clock Xtreme
    Torch
    ICS clock
    Engadget

    I try to use my app drawer as little as possible and I don’t like having my homescreens filled with icons. Sure it does use a lot more RAM and consumes more battery, but it’s exactly how I like to have it.

  • http://alxrock.deviantart.com alxrock

    I’m still rockin the Evo 4G and love HTC’s Clock/Weather widget and their Calendar widget. Whenever I switch to a non-sense ROM, those are the 2 that I miss the most.
    I also use HTC’s People widget and the stock music widget as well.

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I use a good number of widgets. Yeah, I realize that they suck up the battery but that’s why I have spares. It’s SOOO much easier to spend the 30 seconds to swap a battery once a day than it is to worry about battery life.

    Yes, I also keep all of my radios on and my screen brightness at 100% except in dark rooms or at night.

    (Galaxy Nexus)

  • Cole Loomis

    I use three widgets. They are the same four that I have used since first getting my droid. Of course I have the power control widget on my main home screen. Then with a quick swipe I have my stock weather widget, I have tried others, but I always end up back at the stock one. Lastly I have my Pure Calendar widget. It was my first app that I paid for. It is nice and customizable.

  • theDL

    I absolutely love widgets. I use clock widgets, PlayerPro widgets, Pandora, Soundhound, Calendar + To Do List widgets (Producteev), and weather (AIX Weather – which is awesome, btw).

  • tom prescott

    All I need to do is delete some of the more useless widgets. Can someone please tell me why that is so goddamned difficult?

  • yurma415

    Google Now
    Google Search
    Pure Calendar
    Eye in the Sky Temperature

  • SGB101

    Google now
    Simple calander
    GTasks
    Appy Geek

    But atm in not happy with my set up, basically been the same for 3 years, followed me from phone to phone.

    One widget I do love, but it lives in the pull down, notification area is Battery widget reborn.

  • nicotinemind

    I only use :

    Google Search
    Retro Clock Widget
    Business Calendar Free
    Battery Widget Reborn (Might turn into a pay widget, so let’s see. Cool, though)