We are familiar with the typical mix of mobile apps on phone screens. Proprietary apps that belong to the operating system; the phone manufacturer’s utility apps; and other downloadable apps. And those colorful, feisty mobile phone widgets that make your phone screen attractive.
Here in this article, we present to you a number of essential mobile phone widgets you should be using regularly. They can turn your phone into a super productivity tool. These mobile phone widgets can enhance the quality of your work, leisure, learning and information search right on that phone screen. You don’t need to search far at all.
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First Things First: What is a Mobile Phone Widget?
Widgets are small tools or elements that are a part (or extension) of the operating system’s user interface. They display quick, on-demand information; or help users to interact with the operating system or an application right from the screen.
That of course means widgets are found on the screen of every operating system, and on every digital device. Be it a smartphone, tablet, computer, smart watch, name it.
Widgets can be customized to display the most important information or functionalities in an application, right on the home screen. Thus when you click the widget, it takes you straight into the app to perform more tasks.
Widgets may also provide important at-a-glance information (such as the current time, or today’s weather). Or provide control buttons to operate key utility apps on your phone or device. Buttons or controls used to manipulate the search engine (search bar), music player, or sound volume are good examples. Widgets are often quite easy to move around the screen and resize as desired.
The Techtarget website presents a comprehensive list of widgets that can be found on a typical smartphone or digital device. They include:
- Pull-down menus
- Scroll bars
- Selection boxes
- Progress indicators
- Toggle buttons
- Window margins/edgesfor resizing the window itself
- Any tool that can display information, invite, and respond to user actions
The Android developer page in describing widgets, further classifies them into four main categories. There are:
These widgets display and track changes in important information over time, thus updating themselves regularly. They include sports statistics (e.g. scores), breaking news, weather and clock widgets. A single tap on that widget takes you right into the app behind it, to access more details.
These widgets display several similar or related objects (or elements). It could be a collection of images, emails, notifications, messages from an instant chat/messenger, or recent articles on a news app. They allow you to scroll through the collection, or click each one to reveal more details. You can even indicate a selection is chosen with a ‘Done’ or ‘Read’ checkmark.
These widest display controls for frequently used functions. They are more or less like remote controls. So you can trigger the function from the screen without opening the app, by clicking the control.
Hybrid widgets – A wide collection of widgets actually combine the features of the three major categories above. A control widget will usually display additional information; or a collection widget could come with useful controls. Or even combine elements of all the three categories. These are hybrid widgets.
10 Categories of Recommended Mobile Phone Widgets You Should Be Using
Below is a curated list of 10 categories of mobile phone widgets highly recommended for you. Under each category are top 5 widgets you should try, based on reviews from trusted online sources. These widgets can transform your modern, simple but boring phone into a high-performance digital assistant.
These widgets come with their original apps which you can download from Google Play (and other app stores/apk sites). Some of the apps are entirely free to download, while some others have both free and paid versions. There are also fully subscription-based (fully-paid) ones if you can afford them. They are definitely a must-try.
- Google Keep
- Colornote Notepad
- Samsung Notes (for Samsung devices)
- Microsoft OneNote
News and Information widgets
- Google At-a-Glance
- Google News
- Google Maps
- Overdrop Weather
Clock & Alarm Widgets
- Circle Clock
- Digital Clock & Weather widget
- KWGT & KLWP
- Google Calendar
- Event Flow Calendar
- Business Calendar
Task Management Widgets
- Sectograph Planner & Time Manager
- My Stocks Portfolio & Widget
- Yahoo Finance
- MSN Money
- Audio Widget Pack
- Plug In Music Widget
- Material Music Widget
- KWGT Kustom Music Widget
- Ubiquity Music Widget
Battery Management widgets
- Battery Widget Reborn
- Gauge Battery widget
- Battery Monitor widget
- GSam Battery Monitor
Widgets for Special Functions
- Authy (Authentication widget)
- Google Drive
- Sesame Universal Search Bar
Social Media widgets
- Pure Messenger