One of any Android users’ purest joys is the ability to customise their experience with homescreen widgets. It’s also fair to say such modding has become somewhat of an art form, with websites like mycolorscreen.com becoming spaces where design-savvy Android users can showcase their artistic flair.
For any users keen on beautifying their Android interface, the first port of call has to be the Google Play Store, where a multitude of apps and widgets can help you do just that. So enjoy this huge round-up of great minimalist and highly customisable homescreen applications that will let you inject your own style into your Android homescreen!
Minimalist Text is a massively popular widget that can display the time, date, battery level and weather in basic text. Additionally, it comes in a wide variety of languages to suit most users.
The widgets looks sublime, especially if you like a simple, stripped down interface. It is both customisable and flexible enough to be configured into more or less any homescreen design. By far one of the most downloaded apps in the Google Play Store, it’s a great place to start.
For such a simple app, SiMi Clock Widget offers a great variety of customisations. The app includes clock, weather, date and even battery widgets. You can select between 1×1, 2×1, 3×1, 4×1 and even 5×1 widget sizes to fit your screen and any colour you wish.
If you want a standard digital clock, SiMi Clock Widget is a great app to try out. Because it comes with such a range of options, it can be utilised however you want. Definitely give it a try.
BobClockD3 is an awesome looking digital clock widget. The hours and the minute digits overlay each other in a really nice design while the day and date sit snuggly beneath. You can select whatever colour you want for each, letting it compliment your homescreen regardless of how you have designed it.
As the widget size is a little unorthodox, it might be considered a bit experimental but if you are looking for something original, slick and easy to customise, BobClockD3 is worth trying out.
Clockr is another great-looking text widget. Created with minimalist homescreens in mind, it’s certainly a solid alternative to Minimalistic Text. It’s also light on battery consumption and highly configurable.
Clockr was one of the first apps I tried out when I began tinkering with the way my homescreen looks. It really goes well with an elegant wallpaper for a neat and crisp look.
Price: Free Requires: Android 2.1 or above Google Play Link:Clockr Developer:zehro
SDS Clock is a sleek-looking 4×1 clock widget. You can change the font colour, the background colour as well as add shadows to the text. Depending on your preferences the clock can have a normal or stretched look, so it’s definitely worth experimenting with.
The app is very small in size and uses very little battery, but it is very flexible and looks great. If you’d prefer not to have a text-based clock, this is a great option if you want to stay minimalistic.
SwitchPro Widget is a highly configurable toggle widget for your homescreen. Coming with just about every toggle-able (if that isn’t a proper word it should be!) option under the sun, it’s a great choice if you like having that level of control at your fingertips.
The settings let you include any toggle you want to meet your requirements and it’s typically easy to install and configure. A perfect compliment to any minimalist homescreen.
Desktop VisualizeR is where modding gets very clever indeed. The app lets you create and configure a shortcut to any application, game or action. Just use a picture or icon of your choosing and select what you want the shortcut to do — perfect for a highly stylised homescreen and for non 1×1 iconsets.
The app is so mesmerically configurable and flexible, it has become a must-have for people who like to deeply customise their device interface. For examples of how it can be integrated, be sure to check out mycolorscreen.com where it has been used widely.
Make Your Clock Widget Pro is another huge favourite of the modding community. It essentially lets you build a clock widget either completely of your own design or using one of the many templates available.
It takes a little practice to come up with something extraordinary, but if you value originality and have the patience to experiment it can easily be one of the most useful apps you have.
Circle Battery does exactly what it says on the tin. Presenting your battery level in a simple circle format gives you instant visual data and looks pretty good too.
Irreducibly simple, I’ve found in the past that it really compliments MetroStation icons, which we’ll look at later in this round up. Circle Battery comes in a variety of sizes too, so it fits perfectly wherever you need it to.
Slider Widget looks great and is a brilliant space-saving widget. A bit like a power control app, it sits on your homescreen with a variety of volume options. Simply tap the widget to alter the volume of your choosing.
Controlling your volumes is a must if you spend time in a out of meetings or classes so being able to make adjustments conveniently from your homescreen is great. The widget is also highly customisable and is very responsive.
Panda Clock No1 is actually an app I stumbled up while researching for this round up. Another blissfully simple clock widget, it is great for people who just want something basic but also good-looking.
You get to choose between white or black text and while it lacks some customisation, it is still very elegant. Also check out Panda Clock No1 Cute for a different font and style.
Weather Eye is a superb little weather app that includes four minimalist widgets. You can choose between a 4×2 current widget which displays the weather in your city, a forecast, a weather icon or one which shows the temperature.
All of these are simple yet really elegant. If you need something minimalistic to display the weather, definitely check this out. You can also choose between various weather icon themes!
If you’re a big fan of news feeds and have an active Google Reader account, it might be worth trying out Minimal Reader Pro. The app presents the stories in a slick, holo-themed interface, but also includes a great looking widget to add to your homescreen.
The app looks really good. You can choose between several widget sizes and there is even a choice of themes available. A must-have if you like to check out the news on the go.
If you really like the SiMiClock style, here’s a calendar widget which compliments it perfectly. Starkly simple, but very functional, if you want an uncomplicated and clean display this is worth considering.
I’ve used this a lot in the past on a black background and found it to work really well with minimalist clocks. It’s useful too.
mClock is another app which comes up all the time on mycolorscreen.com. Like UCCW, it can take a little patience and attention to create something extraordinary, but it’s another fine app for truly original creations.
mClock features more customisations than you can shake a stick at so it’s certainly worth playing around with in order to find just what you’re looking for.
With Glass Widgets you can choose between neatly designed clock, calendar and news widgets that are smooth, semi-transparent and very minimal. Alternatively go for a 4×3 widget that includes all three!
Great if you want something plain and discreet, the widgets come with a great smoked-glass design. The app is also completely free so definitely worth checking out.
This cute-looking 2×2 widget is very subtle and nice if you’re following a particularly stripped down thematic on your homescreen. While it isn’t doused in functionality, the inner circle is actually a battery meter, which is quite handy.
If you like this, definitely check out the developer’s others applications, which you can find listed here.
Hummingbird Widget is a great app if you are a big Twitter user. The app produces a minimalist word cloud on your homescreen which gives you an idea of what your friends are talking about, utilising popular hashtags.
It is simple to set up and keeps you in the loop. Plus, if the cloud suggests Justin Bieber is being heavily discussed, you can just avoid Twitter altogether!
If you’re a busy, forgetful, organised or just incredibly expressive person who takes notes and the like, how about something like Memo Widget? It lets you write and place notes on your homescreen using widgets of various sizes.
Whether you want to remember something or just want to use the app to express yourself, the app is funky, simple and useful.
If you thirst for cool clock widgets has not yet been satisfied in this round up, here’s another brilliant app to try out. Advanced Clock Widget is another massively customisable clock widget application that can show all kinds of useful information.
The point is, if you’re looking for a clock to compliment whatever style you’re trying to create, choice is never bad thing.
TV Show Favs is a personal tracker to manage your television watching. If you perhaps watch multiple shows and often find it difficult to keep track of where you are up to in a particular season, it’s a good service to try out.
The app comes with an impressive range of nine different widgets, so your watching information is right there on your homescreen to remind you. Try this free version out, but purchase the Unlocker for more features.
Traffic Counter Extended helps you monitor all manner of data traffic on your Android. From your data consumption to the number of SMS messages you send, the app manages and compiles easy to understand information.
The app comes with some great looking widgets too, coming in 1×1, 2×1 and 4×1 sizes. If you like to keep close track of your data usage, it’s definitely worth checking out. If you really like it, try the Pro version here.
Now for a great looking music app. PlayerPro Music Player is a fully-featured app that does everything you would expect from a top-end player. From downloading artwork to including a useful equalizer, it also plays video footage.
The app is highly skinnable and includes a number of cool homescreen widgets. The fact that PlayerPro Music Player has nearly 20,000 ratings which average out at 4.6/5 demonstrate how popular a choice the app is.
And now for a hugely popular, customisable and completely free app which is loved by anyone who likes to create original and functional homescreen widgets. Ultimate custom widget (UCCW) is a sublime app that lets you build your own widgets in a simple and user-friendly interface.
There are literally thousands of combinations to try out and it’s the kind of app you build your customised homescreen around.
Developer Francois DESLANDES has made a great habit of creating splendidly customisable widgets for Android. They are usually extremely configurable and come with lots of themes to compliment most design aspirations.
This is Pure messenger which displays email messages, Tweets and Facebook updates in addition to SMS and MMS messages. However, be sure to check out his other widget apps like Pure news widget and Pure Calendar widget.
While most post-ICS Gmail apps now include a widget, it’s not the most feature rich or customisable of beasts. Gmail Widgets rectifies that with a slew of customisations.
There is a free version but, as it’s riddled with spammy ads and more I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy. The paid version is thankfully clear of that however and really enhances your Gmail experience.
So there we have it, a huge round up of great apps and widgets to add all kinds of superb functionality to your Android homescreen. From original clocks and weather widgets to those that keep you involved in your social circles and improve your productivity, there’s something for everyone. That said, there are probably plenty we haven’t included. Have we missed one of your personal favourites? Let us know in the comments below!