Jason Hiner's 15 best Android smartphone widgets
One of the biggest advantages of Android over iPhone is widgets. Here are 15 of the best widgets available for Android, updated for 2012 and selected by TechRepublic Editor in Chief Jason Hiner.
If you'd prefer to view this as a list instead of a photo gallery, then see the companion blog post.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).
Is the article not about widgets? I see so many defensive Apple comments that are judging this article based on the actual apps. That already tells me that some of you Apple users don't have or don't know of the luxury of a widget.
These aren't very useful to me, but I'm not an editor of a tech mag that has to keep up with what you have to stay on top of. Frankly, Android is a disappointment to me. I'm going back to my blackberry. I don't need all of thes fru-fru apps, just a good phone with exchange sycnh, and internet. Android runs slower than Windows IMHO.
Extended controls now require mega permissions. They want control of your phone your contacts, they want to see who you are talking to and be able to contact them as well. This makes them no more than hackers. We should all stay away from any app that requires total control of your personal cell phone.
Perhaps people wouldn't be as harsh on the list of apps if they realized that it was made in August of 2010.
in Ginger Bread I can only have till 7 screens, so i use them for links, short cuts, and a small widget s, at most 1 for each widget, how can I have more menu screens on GBread?
in Ginger Bread I can only have till 7 screens, so i use them for links, short cuts, and a small widget s, at most 1 for each widget, how can I have more menu screens on GBread
Most of them are only useful for those living in the US. Pity that most of the world doesn't live there & would prefer to see something more than the usual US-centric bunch of limited apps/widgets etc. How about showing things anyone can use & on more than one brand of phone, or would that be expecting to much?
I bought an Asus Slider with Android to get away from closed Apple products and gave the ipad to my wife. I would seriously consider going back if this article were really advocating these apps as a reason to leave apple to join the android crowd. Author should look for other lines of work, like sales or something in marketing.
As others stated, they try to keep widget free. No worries with my obsolete Palm Pre, didn't have many to choose from, in the first place. Even less to worry about and clutter now. So my little Palm Pre just keeps chugging along, running WEB OS, synchronizing with my HP Touchpad, and doing all the useful things I need, all at the same time, like email, phone, text, GPS, mapping, calendar, my absolutely favorite feature FREE unlimited Mobil Hotspot, photos, wi-fi, pdf, mp3 player,calculator, UTube, automatic back ups, videos, and the limited Palm developed apps I need or want.
These have very little use - I keep my phone fairly clear of unnecessary apps so I can find what I want quickly. These widgets all just clutter up your phone, except maybe Google+ if you use that a lot
There are 2 or 3 interesting widgets here. The one thing I've never understood, though, is the appeal of BFC. Big...Clock. Many/most ads show BFC, as though it were a selling point.
Why would anyone use Direct Dial when you can already simply drop a contact on your desktop. You can fit 16 contacts on a desktop and each contact can offer multiple phone options to contact them. No app needed.
Direct Dial & Direct Message? Picture Dial? Come on. Anyone used Animated Pro Widget? Its a picture dial with WAY more options than any of these. Picture dial only allows 4 contacts. Animated Pro allows many more, not sure how many but i have 14 on my phone right now. You can set a default call, i.e. cell phone, by pressing twice on teh picture, or you can click once and choose from one of the other numbers stored in the contact or email, or message etc. The free version only allows 4 contacts, but i paid for the full version, which i got free on my old phone. It was worth every penny. From time to time you'll see it on sale on amazon for free.
How can anyone say that iPhone users are snobs. I actually have both iPhone and andriod (Galaxy S2). Now if I wanted something that is exclusive, the iPhone is the last thing I would buy because too many people have them. As for Apple's technology being behind the rest well who cares, It works. The user interface is slick, smooth and easy to use. I have two cars, both the bluetooth hands free systems from the manufacturers. The Apple works flawlessley in both, connecting automatically the moment I start the car. The Andriod works with neither. Ok I suppose my Mercedes SL is one of those useless 'snob' cars. But my Ford Focus...
You have to have picked some of the worst widgets out there. For example, I love Pulse but the one thing it's lacking is a decent widget. Without the ability to see more than one news item at a time, it's rubbish. Much prefer the likes of Wizz, which gives you multiple widgets, one of which is a link into your Google Reader streams. The Twitter & Ticker widgets suffer the same problem - one update at a time. In fact, I like Business Calendar because it doesn't have this limitation. For an alternative to this you can also look at Smooth Calendar.
No one of the iPhone users will change his iPhone for nothing despite of technology or price. The iPhone users uses technology to feel like the user of a luxury car ( a car that is useless, contaminant and snob). Is the perception of own something exclusive, despite of the fact that Apple technology is by far obsolete and designed to the obsolescence.
I wanna have apps that make me laugh. Maybe a mobile youtube version of American's funniest home videos.
15 of the most useless apps I've ever seen ... if I didn't already love my Android phone/tablet, none of these would make me want to switch. Back to the drawing board, Jason ...
Some widgets are using only one row (like pandor radio - or weather show in screen shots), some take like 2 icon spaces, like small time clocks), so you can have 4-5 or more widgets on one home screen. Not to forget some widgets can be sized in ice cream sandwitch, so you can make them smaller as you want.
Finally someone has posted an exact description! Also most of the people I know don't use it as a business tool but just to play games.