As long as Android has been around, there have been widgets. It is one of the features that has separated Android from its competitors for all these years. There are widgets for everything too. News feed widgets, social networking widgets, calendar, weather, clock, battery, and pretty much everything else you can think of. So which ones are the best? We went to search the Play Store for the best widgets for Android and found some pretty good ones. As usual, if you’d rather watch than read, we’ve posted the video at the bottom.
Battery Widget Reborn isn’t a must-have widget, but it has a lot of features that you’ll find to be pretty useful. You can track your battery usage (i.e. what is using your battery life), temperature of the device, battery history, and you can even set up some more advanced power saving functions.
Additionally, the widget is very customizable. There’s an ongoing notification in your notification panel that is highly customizable. Also, there’s a a widget you can setup on your home screen, which has quite a few customizeable options as well, including changing the color of the widget and how much space it takes (i.e. 2 by 2 or 4 by 4).
Next on our list is Clock Now. As the name implies, it’s a simple widget with that beautiful Google Now card-like theme. So, if you’re looking to spice your home screen up with that authentic Google look, you’ll love this widget right off the bat. There’s also a bit of customization that can be tinkered with. You can set up four different background options and two color options for the text.
In addition to the clock, this particular widget will also let you see some quick weather info and an incon of your choice. The icon acts as an alternative way to toggle off your Wi-Fi connection. If you’re looking for more toggle spaces than just one, Clock Now provides you with up to six spaces.
DigiCalender & Widget pairs as an app and a widget. Most stock and OEM skinned calendar offerings are very well put together, but more often than not, they lack a good widget. DigiCal looks to fill that void with some really awesome widget options.
DigiCal offers a lot of different styles of widgets. It has just about anything you’d think a calendar widget should have. Full screen month view? Check. A 2 by 4 day by day widget? Check. The widgets also have a neutral color, so you shouldn’t notice any conflicts with themes. On top of that, you’re able to control the transparency.
All in all, it’s a really nice calendar widget, and unlike a lot of apps and widgets, it has tablet support. That said, it should look really nice on whatever device you put the widget on.
HD Widgets is perhaps one of the most popular and highly raved widgets on the Google Play Store. There’s two reasons for its wild success. The first reason is that HD Widgets is one of the few true widget apps to have an extremely wide range of widget configurations. It has literally everything. Toggles, clocks, weather data, date widgets, you name it. The majority of these widget configurations can be combined as well.
The second reason for its wild success is the sheer amount of customization that HD Widgets offers. You can tell this is a really good widget app when you spend a good 20 minutes configuring the widget to your liking. Each individual widget can be customized in a number of ways. You can change the color of the text, background colors, and clock colors. If that’s not enough, you can download their Colorform app to add a plethora of other customization options.
This is a must have widget app for widget aficionados.
Last on our list is Taptu. If you’re familiar with our work here at Android Authority you may recall that this particular app made it in our Best Google Reader replacement apps list awhile back. That’s because Taptu offers some very nice widgets to aggregate your news.
The first option is a scrollable widget, but if that’s too resource intensive, there’s another card-like widget. Both can be customized to show a certain stream of news. While Taptu doesn’t really need a whole lot of customization, you’re able to change a few things, such as the style and color. When it comes to news widgets, and aside from Pulse, Taptu is one of the best options out there.
If you take a gander out our leaderboard (image above), you’ll be able to see how these apps compete with one another. As per the norm, the leaderboard is based on Google Play Store ratings and downloads, so there isn’t any bias on our part.
This is a great list of widgets, but it was a difficult list to compile. It’s very hard to judge the value of a widget, as most of them are very niche oriented. In example, something like Taptu is great, but it’s completely useless for someone who doesn’t use their devices to catch up on the news. Similarly, someone who doesn’t really care about saving battery life as long as they can get through the day won’t care about the Battery Widget Reborn app.
With that said, we’ve put together a list of honorary mentions for you. These include UCCW, Beautiful Widgets (similar to HD Widgets), Battery Monitor Widget, Resizeable Contacts Widget Pro, and Minimalistic Text.
As I mentioned, widgets are very niche oriented, which means there’s an innumerable amount of them on the Play Store. If you’ve got a favorite widget or just a widget that should have been included in this list, let everyone know about it in the comments!