Even if you are the kind of user who dislikes widgets that tend to drain your device’s battery and clog its memory, you can’t deny there are times you simply need a good-looking widget that would give you the necessary information at a glance. You are not looking for weirdly shaped clocks that need decyphering to understand what time they show, no. You want something functional, yet stylish. We hear you. Needless to say mobile fashionistas are constantly customizing the looks of their home screens, and to them widgets still play an important role. We hear you, too. Below is a roundup of widgets and a few apps that just might make the cut for you. Check them out.
Minimalistic Text is a collection of time, date, weather and battery widgets with a unique, stylish, textual representation, customizable layouts, fonts, and sizes. It supports the use of custom fonts and the barcode battery bar looks really nice. Works with most stock and third-party launchers, and can be customized to work with Tasker variables. It’s free, has a neat wiki, is not power-hungry.
Developer: Candl Apps
With the gazillion of calendar widgets and apps on Google Play, why choose this, you ask? Simply because it looks awesome and is currently on sale. Currently, the 100% discounted app comes with a stylish collection of themes for the calendar widgets, with over 80 hand0crafted themes available from within the app, also discounted. The widget is resizable, and as you shrink or enlarge it, it auto-adjusts the amount of days, weeks, additional info you can see on your widget. Sync with Google Calendar, displays events, agendas, to-do lists and birthdays, lunar calendar. You can customize the volume of data you wish to see in your widget. It’s fast, does not consume too much resources and looks great with minimalistic or flat and vivid Material design style colors.
Developer: Tamás Barta
Elixir 2 is an app, and Elixir 2 Widgets is an add-on for it, but you can use the Widgets app on a standalone basis. It’s a collection of configurable widgets that come in many sizes, small icons, icon packs, widget backgrounds and more customizable options to tweak how your toggles look. You can use the presets or create your own widgets, save them and back up to be able to restore later. With Elixir 2 you can create if not the prettiest, but certainly the functional home screen widgets for your contacts, recent and running app, battery stats, storage, CPU, memory, missed calls, unread messages, history, bookmarks, time, uptime, alarm, date, signal strength, all sorts of Wi-Fi info and toggles. Speaking of toggles, Elixir 2 has you covered in APN, WIMAX, network, hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS, Airplane mode, brightness, auto-rotate, lock, wallpaper, volume selector and a couple dozen more settings options. Being a free app, Elixir 2 is great for the stats and control geeks.
Developer: Kustom Industries
Kustom, like Elixir 2, is also a widget creator with a slew of pre-loaded templates you can use. I would not recommend it to those who just want to have a ready-made widget, but to those with a knack on creating pretty things on their own. Kustom is also gentle on your battery. It lets you create analog and digital clocks, live maps, weather, text, battery, memory widgets, media player, astronomy widgets and more. It has shapes, gradients, tiling, colors, curves, image support, programming language support with functions, global variables and conditionals. You get it; it’s serious about widget making. It supports Tasker, RSS and text download. Among the things you won’t see in many other widget creators are moving speed, IP, traffic info, astronomy and some more.
Zooper Widget Pro
Another DIY widget maker, also with stylish presets available even in the free edition. It has a neat, minimalistic touch, and plenty of customization options. You can use the custom fonts available in the free edition, or use your own fonts, create your templates with a slew of variables and toggles, layers, style builder with colors, shapes, positions, and more. With Zooper, you can use the existing or create your own customizable widgets to display time, date, weather, world clock, battery info, calendar, system info, network and Wi-Fi, missed calls, unread messages, astronomy data, progress bars, and more. It’s Tasker compatible. Again, this one is for the designer nerds.
Developer: Painless Apps
Not the prettiest chic on the block, but a total nerd of an app perfect for the right user, Power Toggles offers a fine selection of toggle widgets. No more tapping to get to your settings, have everything, or just what you use most, on your home screen. Tasker-compatible, very much supported by the developer, Power Toggles contains 40+ toggles for most, if not all, controls of your devie including flashlight, Wi-Fi, data, system shortcuts, app shortcuts, notifications, fast dial. Works on lockscreen, too, is customizable (theme colors and icons). If you need toggle widgets only, look no further than Power Toggles. Easy to use, lightweight, not power-hungry.
Digital Clock Disc Widget
This widget is two years old, but style and beauty do not age, or age with grace. I am guilty- I like everything Tron-style, so I could not pass by this holo disk widget that looks just perfect on my Google Now-type of wallpaper. It does not drain the battery, nor does it require extensive permissions. Flynn would have loved this.
Developer: Nate Wren – Graphic Design
If you are into Fallout, check out Nate Wren’s live wall, icons and widgets pack. It comes in free and premium editions (read our review), and turn your device into a neat, minimalist Pip-Boy 3000, and the widgets are plain awesome. The app itself comes with a load of custom-made Fallout styled icons and wallpapers.
PipTek UCCW Attified Widget, on the other hand, is just that – one Pip-Boy w`idget that displays your battery, time, location info. You will have to customize the rest manually, or not. It also requires UCCW widget creator app, which is a nice option for the DIY folks.
Developer: Carsten Drösser
This one won’t reside on your home screen at all times. Instead, it adds that layer of multitasking you might have been wanting all along. Tiny Apps is a floating apps widget collection that lets you open app widgets on demand and use them while you perform other task on your device. The app comes free, with 12 apps available for free, and 6 via IAPs only, like translator. The apps are notes, audio recorder, paint, web browser, music player, app launcher, stopwatch, video player, widgets, calculator, file explorer, contacts, gallery, system info and more. The design is very simplistic, but then again, you won’t be using it at all times, but when you try the functionality this app might stay on your device for a long time.
Developer: Garwood Software
QuickLook™ Widget is a newcomer to the market, and if you want all-in-one solution, we suggest you check it out. Say, you use a lot of widgets – weather, time and date, calendar, news feeds. My guess you are using Flipboard or some other cumbersome and huge piece of widget that takes up the entire screen. May the fans of Flipboard forgive me. QuickLook lets you create a custom feed of your favorite news websites, entertainment, sports, blogs, you name it. It also covers weather, calendar, time, date, and stock prices, all customizable, easy to use and intuitive. Before long, you will know what the taps on these widgets do – the news feed literally lets you drill the news without leaving the widget. It comes with presets and lets you create something completely unique – resizable, customizable, not resource-hungry.
XWidget is the mobile port of a Win desktop app, so if you use that, you can create your custom widgets on your desktop and sync them with your Android app. It also has Win Phone app. It’s lightweight, highly customizable, and comes with some presets you won’t find anywhere else, like the Moto Droid clock, if you feel nostalgic. One of its advantages is it supports old-ish Android versions, comes with indecently few permissions and is totally free.
Flashlight widgets and apps must be the most numerous on the play store, but do you remember how the Brightest Flashlight spied on you and sold your data to marketers? Oh, those marketers! If there is hell, that’s where they’re going. And if you still install stuff on your device blindly skipping the permissions screen, shame on you. For the privacy-minded, SnoopWall made a flashlight app with as little permissions as possible. It does not geolocate you, nor does it send data about your device anywhere or wants to access your USB storage. All it needs is the access to your device’s LED, hence the cam-mic permission request. It is also lightweight – guess why? Because the code is not loaded with tons of stealth missions that would run in the background.
If volume sliders is all you want from a widget, get Slider. It gives you just the perfect set of volume and brightness sliders in 7 categories – brightness on/off, volume for ringtone, media, notification, system, alarm, voice call. The app comes with 3 input options, several widget sizes customizable in position, color, and transparency.
YoWindow gets on the list thanks to its good looks – that’s the kind of person I am. Instead of pasting silly sunshine and raindrop icons on your screen, it plants a living landscape or cityscape that reflects your current weather and time of the day in real time. So, the problem of a changing wallpaper is also solved for you. You get the idea – the sun rises in your living landscape when it rises outside your window, it gets gloomy and rainy when it rains for you, but the fun of it is the good looks and how you can scroll forward to see what the forecast has in store for you, if you still believe in forecasts. Hands down, YoWindow is one of the best new weather widgets for Android. Hope they add a forest landscape where hedgehogs come out at night. Oh, and it also comes with a wintery Christmas theme perfect to set the holiday mood. For a free app, Yo is very fun, too.
A tribute to the mainstream apps, HD Widgets is paid, but very much appreciated by the Android users. It comes with a load of ready-made widgets, different in sizes, looks, or purpose, they can also be customized to an extent that would suit the non-techies. With over 50 toggles, loads of sizes, lock screen widgets and theme packs and add-ons, HD widgets is one of the massive collections for the very big fans of the widgets who get tired of the same thing too fast and need to change the scenery, and with HD Widget’s downloadable packs, you can do just that.
This is our list for the moment. What are your favorite widgets? Share your suggestions in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow, share and like PocketMeta on the social networks. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, folks! May there be world peace.