Widgets are a great way of quickly retrieving information without having to dive deep into your smartphone. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, you’ve got 3 x 1, 2 x 4, 2 x 2, the list goes on! But seriously, what I mean is that the abundance of widgets available makes narrowing down the essentials tricky. Never fear, AndroidPIT is here to lay out 5 widgets that every smartphone needs.
Where would we be without the Google Keep widget? How often do we forget things we should remember? I forget things all the time. Where was I going with this? I forget. Anyway.
The Google Keep widget helps you escape the world of post-its and fridge magnets by turning your homescreen into a virtual pinboard for all your thoughts.
Write a note, record a voice message, take a photo of something; the Keep widget will present a chronological list of your items in a scrolling format for easy access later. Google Keep also makes assigning “reminders” to these items simple, so that you receive a notification about them in future. There are other more intricate and feature-packed note-taking apps but Google Keep is the cleanest.
On the surface, Zooper is merely a “time and date” style app. It provides a number widgets in varying forms for your homescreen, which can include information such as the weather forecast, remaining battery life, as well as calendar information.
But it’s the way that Zooper let’s you customize these widgets, to make something personal to you, which makes it a must-have.
Think of Zooper as the Nova Launcher of widgets, everything from font size, colors, to the amount of drop shadow the objects have. Though at its heart it’s just a “time and date” style app, the sheer number of customizable options and styles elevate it above the hundreds of similar apps. Give the free version a go to see what you think.
Until somebody creates a simpler weather widget, AIX is still my go-to option. It might consume a bit of battery life and it might not have a ton of fancy features (you can't even change the size of it), but I’ve been using this app for a number of years now and of all the weather apps and widgets I’ve encountered, I haven’t found one that’s as useful.
It’s accurate, it's compact, and it helps planning my day much easier: I wouldn't be without it.
Since Google Reader ceased, gReader has become the the next best RSS reader on Android. The gReader Pro widget is far more powerful than something like Feedly’s because multiple stories can be displayed on screen (rather than just one) and it has many more options. Sure, it lacks fancy images, but who wants news photos on a homescreen anyway?
gReader Pro provides a scrolling, customizable news feed in a plain text format. It looks basic, but like many of the best Android widgets, it's the ease-of-use which really sells it. Searching through the news is fast, when you tap on a particular story you are taken straight to it, and all of the important widget settings are accessible from the icon itself.
If you aren’t using an email widget then you’re clearly mad. Like many of Google’s widgets, the Gmail widget is a no-fuss solution. It's a box containing your emails and two icons: one for creating a new email, and one to go straight to your inbox.
It’s undoubtedly simplistic, but like Keep and gReader, the ability to retrieve what you need at a glance, without jumping into the app itself, is what makes the Gmail widget so effective. If have a compatible email account, set this widget up.
What widget couldn't you be without? Let us know in the comments.