For people that like to get things done, Android's home screen widgets are almost indispensable. Rather than packing your launcher with a bunch of app icons, you can utilize widgets to get quick, at-a-glance information in a beautiful package, or provide one-tap access to a particular functionality within your apps.
Most widgets you'll find through a quick search will be of the clock and weather variety, but these are obviously in abundance, which means you shouldn't have any trouble finding one you like. So instead, I'll cover some of the best widgets that focus mainly on getting stuff done, and hopefully, your productivity levels will skyrocket as a result.
#1: Event Flow - Schedule Tracking
Event flow is a sleek calendar widget that hooks into your existing Android system calendar to display upcoming events in one of two formats—either a Schedule View that shows your next appointments, or a Month View that gives you 30+ days at a time. There are white and transparent themes available in the free version, as well as a few interface-tweaking options, so you can get a nice look going with your easy-to-view schedule. You can unlock all themes and configurations with an in-app purchase of $0.99.
With over 1 million installs, Power Toggles is definitely a fan favorite. This widget is about as powerful as it gets, considering that you can adjust almost any system setting at the tap of a button, and even assign long-press actions to each of your toggles. There are two widgets available—a 1x1 folder and a 4x1 strip—and the former is highly customizeable with a wide array of theming options.
Theme Options: 9 colors, background transparency, and more
Price to Unlock All Features: Free
#3: Meteogram - Weather Graph
I know I said I wasn't going to cover weather widgets, but Metogram is a lot more useful than your standard "Current Conditions" widget. It provides graphs that display the temperature or probability of precipitation throughout the coming day, and it can also be set to show additional info in this format. There are 5 main color themes, but the individual labels can be set to any color of your choosing, so you'll always know what type of weather to expect with a quick glance.
• Long term forecast (next 10 days)
• Show sunrise, sunset, and wind vane for wind direction
• Blue temperature line color when below freezing
• Custom line thickness and style
• Save settings as default settings
• Show moon phase and wind chill
• NOAA as weather provider (U.S. only)
Theme Options: 5 color themes with full RGB color picker for labels
Price to Unlock All Features: $1.58
#4: Time It - Time Keeper
If you want to keep track of the time you spend on different activities throughout your day, Time It is the way to go. There are 2 different widget sizes with adjustable transparency, but each offers the same functionality—simply tap the play/pause button to start timing an activity, then tap it again to stop. Once you've done that, the main app will pop up, where you can categorize and save your activity for future viewing.
When a thought crosses your head, it's important to be able to write it down quickly before you move on to a different subject and forget it altogether. JOT! provides a perfect platform for capturing these fleeting ideas, as you can simply tap the widget and start typing to take a quick note any time. Several different widget sizes are available, so it should fit perfectly on your home screen.
If you've ever found yourself asking What's that song?, only to have the track end before you could get to the bottom of things, then Shazam's music search widget should be on your home screen. It's a simple 1x1 button, but when you tap it, the service instantly starts listening for music in the background, then displays all of the information you could need once it's found the title of the song.
Over the years, Android's volume menu has seen several redesigns, but not all of these have been welcome changes. So depending on your Android version, you may want an easier way to adjust volume levels—and that's where Slider Widget comes into play. All system volumes (and even brightness and rotation) can be adjusted with a simple tap followed by swiping the pop-up slider, so it makes managing your volume levels incredibly easy.
Data Status is a Gadget Hacks favorite, considering that we've covered it in the past. The reason we like this app is that it makes it easy to see when you're running the risk of exceeding your monthly mobile data limit, and it does it with style. The widgets it offers are no exception here since they give you detailed information about your data usage right on your home screen, and there are three beautiful options to choose from.
The app is free to use for a month—if you like it, it's only a dollar to use it for life.
Google Keep is an invaluable tool for making notes, creating reminders, checking off to-do lists, and much more. Your creations sync across all of your devices, so it's a perfect cross-platform app—but on Android, widgets make it an even better experience. With the 3x2 widget, you can opt to only show particular types of notes, which are fully interactive. Then, with the 3x1 widget, you'll get instant access to creating new notes and reminders.
Redditors rejoice—you can finally add the popular link-sharing site directly to your Android home screen. Redditastic is an awesome Reddit widget that lets you view subreddit posts from your launcher, and you can even sign into your account to see your personalized front page. Once you've added the widget, just tap any link, and it will even open the thread in your favorite Reddit app.
Theme Options: Light or dark with 3 optional accent colors
Price to Unlock All Features: Free
#11: SeriesGuide - TV Shows
If you're a TV fan, you definitely want to catch your favorite shows as they air new episodes. SeriesGuide is almost unquestionably the best Android app for tracking shows, and it has an awesome widget to match. Once you've added your favorite shows to the main app, the widget will list all upcoming episodes so you don't miss out. When you tap one of these episodes, you'll be taken to the overview page, where there's lots of useful information.
To support development and unlock additional widgets, themes, and more, you can pay $2.49/year or a one-time fee of $5.49, both available through the app.
Price to Unlock All Features: $2.49/year or $5.49/life
#12: Palabre - RSS Feeds
Palabre is already an awesome RSS and Feedly reader that presents the latest news in a beautiful, mobile-friendly format, but the widgets it offers make the app even more of a joy to use. You can select any subscription to display in one of three different widget formats, then when you see an interesting article, just tap it to view the site in Palabre's Material Design reader interface.
Theme Options: Unique look for each of the 3 widgets
Price to Unlock All Features: $2.49 to remove ads
Which of these widgets have you added to your home screen already? Do you know of any awesome productivity widgets we didn't mention here? Let us know in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Android Hacks' Facebook or Twitter, or on Gadget Hacks' Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.