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Old March 23rd, 2010, 05:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's a widget & What's an app?!

A few newbie questions here:

I am sure I can deduce what an "app" is, but what is a "widget" or rather, what is the difference between the two?

Whay does a widget size seem to matter (as it seems to with calendar apps - but then is that an app or a widget?) What is a 4x3 widget

E.g., Is Purecalendar an app or a widget, or both?
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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App is short for application, pretty straight forward.

A widget is a 'gadget' that sits on your home screen. The size is important as to how you want your home screen real estate set up.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, most apps have a widget that you can put onto your homescreen.
A bone-fide widget is along the lines of one that you can download to put on your screen to (for eg) toggle WiFi on/off, mute the ringer, enable bluetooth etc
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 08:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hannahl3 View Post
Yeah, most apps have a widget that you can put onto your homescreen.
To clarify, most applications do not have widgets...
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 09:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As stated, widgets typically only operate in your home screens, and they typically do one of three things.
-The first is act as a pleasant and instant viewing experience for some sort of information in your phone (ex. wifi status, calendar viewing, clock etc).
-Another is a method to instantly change a setting in your phone without redirecting you to the sub-menu within your phone (ex. on/off wifi, on/off LED flashlight, on/off airplane mode, etc)
-And the last typical use of a widget is to expand the capabilities of you home screen. (ex. some widgets are 1x4 but act as a carousel of multiple 1-click contact access icons, thus making a 1x4 space act like a 1x20 space).

Apps in the other hand, do not act within your home screens. They only show up as a launchable icon that will require a separate window/interface to open.

In short, widgets typically grant quick/easy/pleasant/efficient access to something that your phone already does (or to an app that it came with)... but an app allows your phone to do entirely new things.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So a widget is like a fancy icon - with which you can actually intercat somehow?

Sounds like widget is actually an app, but specifically one that works oof your desktop?

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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmojoz View Post
To clarify, most applications do not have widgets...
To further clarify - if an app has an icon that can be placed into a homescreen, then that icon becomes a widget with which to use it.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So a widget is like a fancy icon - with which you can actually intercat somehow?

Sounds like widget is actually an app, but specifically one that works oof your desktop?

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Eh, more like a widget grants you easy access, or somehow enhances your interaction, to something that your phone can already do.
An app is something that gives your phone an entirely new ability.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 11:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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To further clarify - if an app has an icon that can be placed into a homescreen, then that icon becomes a widget with which to use it.
Not quite. Shortcuts are homescreen icons but they are not widgets. A widget typically has more functionality than an icon.

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Sounds like widget is actually an app, but specifically one that works oof your desktop?
They're generally a feature of an app.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A widget is an app that exposes all or some of its UI (user interface) through a space on a home screen. It generally updates this space automatically to show you some information.

It can be totally new functionality or just expose something your phone already does.

Interaction with the widget on the home screen might bring up other UI that displays what some of you apparently think of as a separate app, but that UI is most likely also in the same application package, so it is essentially the same app.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 12:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CriticalCritic View Post
As stated, widgets typically only operate in your home screens, and they typically do one of three things.
-The first is act as a pleasant and instant viewing experience for some sort of information in your phone (ex. wifi status, calendar viewing, clock etc).
-Another is a method to instantly change a setting in your phone without redirecting you to the sub-menu within your phone (ex. on/off wifi, on/off LED flashlight, on/off airplane mode, etc)
-And the last typical use of a widget is to expand the capabilities of you home screen. (ex. some widgets are 1x4 but act as a carousel of multiple 1-click contact access icons, thus making a 1x4 space act like a 1x20 space).

Apps in the other hand, do not act within your home screens. They only show up as a launchable icon that will require a separate window/interface to open.

In short, widgets typically grant quick/easy/pleasant/efficient access to something that your phone already does (or to an app that it came with)... but an app allows your phone to do entirely new things.
Adding this to my faq, credited to you. Thanks have been given =)
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