I had to explain widgets to someone the other day. I'll do the same demonstration.
Here is one of my home screens. I have the power widget, music player widget, & shazam widget. With the power widget, I can toggle gps, bluetooth, wifi, screen brightness, & sync w/ just a tap. I can control my music player from my home screen w/o opening the app. With the shazam widget, it starts tagging immediately after it's tapped, wheras if I go into the app it takes a few seconds to prepare to start tagging.
On another home screen, I have the Weather Channel widget, WeatherBug Maps widget, & my to-do list widget. The WC widget shows current conditions & the weather for the next few days. If there's an alert, a red "stop sign" w/ an exclamation mark appears. With the map widget, you can have it set up to refresh @ whatever interval you'd like, or to refresh it manually. You can refresh it by tapping that blue circle. If you'd like a closer view, you can tap the widget & a larger map pops up. With the to-do list, you actually have to tap into the widget to check off your selections, but I like having my list right there in view on my home screen.
Here is an email widget where you can look @ your inbox @ a glance w/o having to enter the app:
Another option lets you see a snippit of the email:
With both of these, you can scroll through your inbox. It's not just a static shot.
Here is my calendar widget:
I can scroll through about 6 weeks of entries w/o leaving the home screen.
Another widget I like is the home screen music player widget:
This is especially handy when I'm @ the gym. I just unlock my phone & I can scroll through music.
I heart widgets