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Widgets don’t garner the huge draw that they once did. One day years ago widgets used to be an essential feature that set Android apart from its competition but the competition have since gotten wise and have added widgets as well. That said, a lot of people still use widgets and they can be an important part of any phone home screen set up. Below is our updated list of the best Android widgets and above is our original video for the best Android widgets!
Just weather or you can also have a clock/weather combination widget.
Free to use so you can at least try it without spending money.
The app itself is excellently designed.
Android Wear support.
DashClock support as well as Daydream support.
A few miscellaneous bugs here and there.
1Weather provides a number of great weather and clock widget options which also link to a fairly competent and well-designed application. It’s an overall great option for those who want a simple weather/clock combo.
[Price: Free / $1.99]
Battery Widget Reborn was but a beta at this point last year and it has blossomed into one of the must have widgets if you need a battery widget. It’s customizable in a number of ways that allows for a bunch of shapes and colors. This means it’ll go well with almost any theme and it’s not overly expensive at $1.99 for the pro version.
More battery information than you can shake a battery at.
Sleek, customizable widget can find a place in almost any theme.
The app itself is informative with pretty much any battery stat you need.
Includes other goodies like Dash Clock support, a torch function, and more.
There is a free version you can try first!
Some bugs associated with the app such as update issues.
If you have slow internet, the Play Store authentication can take longer than expected.
If you need a battery widget, we recommend you take a look at this one.
[Price: Free / $2.75]
Beautiful Widgets has been around for a long time. It came about and received popularity when people were looking for a substitute for the famous HTC Sense camera widget and has remained popular ever since. The price has gradually declined over the years but it’s still an amazing option for those who need widgets.
There's a reason it's been popular for years.
Many widget styles and they come in a myriad of sizes.
Hundreds of themes to match any home screen decor.
Includes widgets for clock, weather, toggles, and battery among others.
First paid Android app to ever reach 1 million downloads.
There are some bugs here and there, including issues with location and weather being reported.
Surfing themes can be a pain because there are a whole bunch of them.
May be slow, laggy, or unresponsive on older or lower end devices.
With its mammoth theme selection and many widget styles, Beautiful Widgets is a great option for those who know they need something but are unsure what it is.
Clock now is a minimal-style clock widget that resembles Google Now cards. It’s in the style of the old Google Now cards but nevertheless there are those who enjoy that kind of theming. It comes in dark and light colors and has a few widget styles.
Sometimes simple is better.
Neutral theming and transparency helps this app work on almost any theme.
Includes clock widget and toggles widget.
In the style of Google Now cards and Holo theming which fits right in on Nexus devices.
It is a little simple and that means fewer customization options.
If you need something more than a clock or a toggle then this is not the app for you.
Developer no longer supports this app so eventually it will become incompatible with everything.
It’s not as complex as some of these others but sometimes you don’t need complex. It’s also free which is a huge plus.
[Price: Free / $4.95]
A good calendar widget can be hard to come by thanks to the sheer amount of information they need to display. DigiCal+ Calendar & Widgets seems to have this task under control with their calendar widgets. It rates a 4.5 rating in the Google Play Store. Even though the widgets aren’t all that customizable, they do come in neutral colors so it should fit with most themes. The calendar app itself is fairly solid too.
A calendar widget worth your time.
Transparency and neutral colors help this app work with most themes.
Boasts six different calendar views and six widgets that also work on the lock screen.
Some light customization options to help tweak the widgets to your taste.
Holo light and dark themes available for Android purists.
$4.95 can be steep for a calendar app. We think it's worth it but we understand if you don't.
If you enjoyed the weather addition to the calendar, be prepared to pay for a subscription for it.
A few graphical and performance glitches on certain (older) devices.
There’s a free trial if you want to try it before you buy it but if you’re looking for calendar widgets, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The most useful reason for owning a camera with a flash.
Most flashlight apps have home screen widgets for quick flashlight access.
Our list (linked below) has flashlight apps that require the bare minimum permissions.
Most are generally free.
They also generally work on most phones (that have a flash).
Screen light options for those without a camera flash.
Some don't have widgets.
Using these is probably really bad for the flash module on your smartphone.
It’s true that Lollipop are invalidating the need for these apps and one day these won’t be needed. Currently, Lollipop isn’t on that many devices so they’re still useful! Click the button to see our list of the best Android flashlight apps.
HD Widgets was right alongside Beautiful Widgets as an older app that became popular when the HTC Sense clock widget was in town. It has since expanded greatly and has adapted to today’s widget needs much better. It boasts complete customization, a lot of widget options, and even a couple of add ons. You can watch our review of HD Widgets below.
Amazing level of customization.
Widgets for clock, weather, toggles, battery, and others.
Colourform and Kairo theme packs extend customization and styles. They also allow for more modern theming.
Widgets for tablets too!
The actual app is fairly functional as well.
Widget selection changes based on your screen size, operating system, etc. So your mileage may vary.
Latest update has caused some issues for some people.
Not all widgets are supported on Kairo and Colourform and we think that's a shame.
This is a masterpiece in the world of widgets and $1.99 is about half the price that it used to be.
Taptu is an interesting news app that throws design standards out of the window and does its own thing. The app itself is pretty good but the widgets are also really solid. Usually with a news app you get a list of stories that you can view if you click the app. Taptu widgets allow for a more custom experience and it’s a little more friendly for those who want to browse news from the home screen instead of the app.
One of the best ways to bring news to your home screen.
The widgets are somewhat customizable which is still better than most widgets from news readers.
Taptu itself is a very solid and enjoyable news reader.
Social media support so you could actually use this to check social media too.
There are a lot of features and some of them you probably won't use.
There have been some bugs and server issues popping up recently that Taptu is working on but they aren't fixed yet.
If you want news on your home screen, this is the app we recommend.
You’ve been reading this whole time about widgets made by others so now we’ll talk about making your own! UCCW made its way into fame when it became the first truly competent application that lets you build your own widgets with your own features. There are a limited number of actions that you can assign but this is great for people who just can’t find what they’re looking for in these other apps.
You've tried the others, why not make your own?
Create your own widgets with your own themes and colors.
Plenty of widget features including unread counts for gmail, missed calls, battery, clock, weather, and many others.
You can share skins which means you can download skins too. So if you find one you like, you don't have to build it.
Plenty of add ons and skins available in the Google Play Store.
There is a learning curve for this app so may have to sit down and actually learn it.
It's still a work in progress and that means there are bugs here and there. Some of which have been around for a long time.
If you're skills in design rival that of a farm animal like mine do, your widgets will turn out pretty bad.
It’s free in the Google Play Store so there’s no reason not to try it out!
[Price: Free / $2.49]
Last and certainly not least is Zooper Widget. Much like UCCW, Zooper Widget allows you to create your own custom widgets. Unlike UCCW, Zooper is a bit more polished of an effort and you can create some truly amazing stuff with this app. Our own Jonathan Feist has a whole series dedicated to making awesome Zooper widgets. To get everything, it’ll cost you $2.49 but you can use the free version to try it out first.
The most polished 'make your own widget' experience out there.
You can create some truly awesome stuff with this.
Loads of customization.
You get most of the features in the free version but the pro version is still very much worth it.
Like UCCW this is a work in progress and thus there will be bugs.
Also like UCCW if you have the design skills of a first grader, your widgets will look like they were designed by a first grader.
If you’re looking to create your own widgets, stop reading and go get this.
This is a small sample of the widgets that Android has to offer. It’s a really good sample, but a sample nevertheless. If we missed an incredible widget or set of widgets then feel free to let us know in the comments!