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Old November 19th, 2012, 04:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ziplip What's the point of widgets?

Don't really understand. For instance ive downloaded flashlight and the app icon does the same as widget icon.

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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It depends on the widget. Things that sit on a home screen, and just "turn things off and on" are "toggle switches". Apps which sit on a screen and actively update themselves, such as a stock ticker, or weather, are "widgets".
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Old November 19th, 2012, 11:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quick access.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For me, widgets are all about utility. On my RAZR, I have a mix of toggles and widgets. For example, one one home screen I have quick access to my planner via a calendar widget. On another, one widget with a combination of local weather and current time. On another, a contacts widget giving me quick access to folks I speak most often with. Have a task widget that keeps me on top of things I need to get gone, a world clock (have to do a little international business/calling friends across the pond).

The list goes on. What I promise you though is once you find apps that fit your daily routine, you'll want to get the corresponding widgets for even quicker access on your phone without launching the app itself - namely because when you tap a widget, it launches the full app!
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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would probably go INSANE if there weren't widgets! Using Tapatalk for 8 different forums without the widget or even Tapatalk for that matter, omg I would definitely go insane and that's not even including music widgets lol
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Old November 19th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Really depends on an individual's needs. Personally, there are some widgets that I use on the phone that are a "must have" in my daily functions.

Calendar, Bookmarks, Timeline (e.g. Friendstream or Social Networking integration) are widgets that I've absolutely needed since my HTC days. I now use Android Pro Widgets (Purchased app), so that I can have these widgets no matter which phone I end up with in the future. These are scrollable widgets, which allow me to see things at a quick glance without ever having to open an app.

Widgetsoid - The absolute BEST toggle app on the market. The developer does it all on his own, but it allowed for certain toggles that weren't native to android across the board. Before I had the Note 2, I had the Photon 4g and it didn't have the Notification toggles in the notification bar, so I used Widgetsoid for that alone. On top of that, I have made custom toggle widgets that I have strategically placed on the homescreens whenever I need to access them. Using a Launcher (NOVA, in my current situation), I can re-size those widgets so that the clickable toggles are large, but also transparent, so I can still visually see my wallpaper. In addition, you can customize the color to fit the theme of your phone.

PowerAMP - IMO, still the absolute best music player on the market. In fact, just found out recently that it allows the volume rocker to change the volume output, when playing music via USB, whereas many other players have 2 volumes (mute or loudest). The widget for PowerAMP can be made fully transparent, so that I can still see my wallpaper in the background and also be able to interact with the player (from the homescreen) without ever having to go directly into the app.

Those are just some ideas of what I use them for. I'm sure others will chime in on what makes widgets so useful. I'll try and get some screenshots, but not sure I'll have time to do that right now.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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. . . Widgetsoid - The absolute BEST toggle app on the market. . . I have made custom toggle widgets that I have strategically placed on the homescreens . . .
I second the recommendation on Widgetsoid. In addition to its toggles it can display a variety of parameters, launch applications, and if you want, can always be available on the Notification bar.

"ssFlicker" is an unusual application launcher that you can pop up anytime, can also launch from a list of recent apps, and can display widgets while it is popped up. When I pop up ssFlicker in addition to app icons and recent app icons it shows my scrollable Business Calendar widget, my Sticky Notes ToDo list widget, my data enable/disable widget, my data usage widgets, and other widgets. ssFlicker can be difficult to understand at first, but as the developer says "Please try it!"
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Old November 20th, 2012, 10:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Widgetsoid - The absolute BEST toggle app on the market.
I tried this one on your recommendation, and I have to agree, its great. It is missing one basic "toggle". You can see free ram and free (internal) SD storage, but there isn't a toggle for external SD storage. Oh well, maybe he will add it.

Still worth having.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 10:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I tried this one on your recommendation, and I have to agree, its great. It is missing one basic "toggle". You can see free ram and free (internal) SD storage, but there isn't a toggle for external SD storage. Oh well, maybe he will add it.

Still worth having.
Just email the developer. Even though it's him, on his own, he's VERY responsive. I had a long email conversation with him, prior to his releasing the newer version of it and he asked me to be one of the beta testers, so that I could help report any bugs.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Am I the only one around here who doesn't see the point in widgets.
What am I missing?
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Old November 20th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Just email the developer.
I did yesterday night. Haven't heard back yet, but its only been 14 hours.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 01:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I did yesterday night. Haven't heard back yet, but its only been 14 hours.
I didn't say he'd respond right away...LOL. He's a 1 man show, so give it time, but eventually he will respond.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Am I the only one around here who doesn't see the point in widgets.
What am I missing?
Really depends on what you use your phone for the most, which is always why I preface it by what an individual's needs are (since everybody has different needs and priorities). If you list most of your top priority activities using your phone, I can probably break down what widgets will make things easier for you, and/or if you happen to be a person that doesn't necessarily need widgets. And what are your preferences with these qualifiers:

- Homescreen look over productivity? Vice versa? Or a balance of both?
- Quick access customized to your needs over familiarity? Or vice versa?

See, my theory is that widgets aren't necessarily "needed," but a lot of times people don't use them, just because they don't know how to or don't really want to take the added time to learn which ones would work for them the best. That's the beauty of these forums, as well as other similar ones. We can all continue to learn something knew through whichever android phone we all have. I don't think there's a single day, that I'm participating in these forums, that I don't learn something new.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I didn't say he'd respond right away...LOL. He's a 1 man show, so give it time, but eventually he will respond.
I'm not worried. Like I said, its only been 14 hours.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 05:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I agree regarding learning something new. Forums are a wealth of information. You did say something interesting though. Sticking to what's familiar may be what hinders me from understanding the concept of widgets. How is the use of a widget any different than opening the actual app?
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Old November 20th, 2012, 06:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree regarding learning something new. Forums are a wealth of information. You did say something interesting though. Sticking to what's familiar may be what hinders me from understanding the concept of widgets. How is the use of a widget any different than opening the actual app?
That's actually a very valid and understandable question. I just wish the answer was that "simple." I can answer that in terms of how I personally find widgets useful and then you can judge if that would be of any importance to you.

For me, I like to be able to have as many homescreens as a launcher allows me to have (which is part of the reason I prefer 3rd party launchers over any stock launcher). That said, there are certain widgets offered for different apps that allow you to interact with the app, without ever having to actually open the app...and still be able to move around to the other homescreens to perform other tasks (e.g. multi-tasking, prior to the Note 2, or any phone prior, having the completely awesome multi-window/multi-tasking capabilities).

One example is the Music Player PowerAmp (and this holds true for many other music payers as well). I have a dedicated homescreen for PowerAmp with the biggest possible widget available. When I get into my car, the first thing I do is scroll to the homescreen that has the PowerAmp widget, connect my phone to the bluetooth/3.5mm adapter I bought from ebay (Remember asking me what this would be used for: Wireless Bluetooth Audio Music Receiver 3 5mm Dongle for Cell Phone MP3 MP4 PC | eBay), then press play on the widget (without entering the app). Then, I scroll through the dock (using NOVA) and open a couple of the Car apps I use for known speed traps and other car related functions.

For Non-car related activities, I use both Soundhound and Shazam quite frequently. If there's a song that I don't know, I use both the Soundhound and Shazam widgets to listen to that song and give me the info on the artist and song title. For Video Players, I have yet to find a video player widget that'll play the video on the homescreen, while never having to leave the homescreen and still being able to continue on with whatever else you'd need to do (but that might all change with the capabilities of the Note 2 and the Optimus G and their quad-core processors).

A business activity I frequently do, and this is especially useful with the Note 2 and the S-Pen, is use an "Agenda" widget that's basically a calendar with all of the calendar events listed for the day. I personally use Android Pro Widgets because it offers a similar scrolling widget that was available on Launcher Pro Plus. Not only are these widgets customizable by color (I prefer fully transparent), but they're scrollable too (and with the S-Pen, you can use the hover function to scoll up and down on those widgets. I use an Agenda view for my Calendar Widget, then also have a Social Networking (e.g. Timetable) widget that shows all the most recent tweets and Facebook comments, and I also have a scrollable Bookmark widget (quick access to all my bookmarks without ever having to open up a browser first.

So, again, I emphasize the fact that it all depends on people's most frequent activities. For me, those widgets alone, keep my life efficient, while also being able to multi-task...and never having to really open a single app.

Now that I've gone through that full explanation, the last thing I'm looking for is a scrollable widget that'll allow me to see the forums I post on (at least, be able to interact with just the widget without ever having to open the app)! That would be amazing! If there's anything that I'd hope Tapatalk would do, it would be creating a separate scrollable widget app that shows all of your participated threads and/or all of the forum threads a person participates in (not just a quick launch to Tapatalk, which is what their widgets currently offer).
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Old November 25th, 2012, 10:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Coming from an ex iPhone user I love widgets. They serve their purpose. I havent really

got in depth with all their capabilities but they're awesome lol. I also would like to thank

you guys for talking about the power amp music player. ITS A BEAST
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Old November 25th, 2012, 11:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but I have trouble understanding what's not to get? The widgets I've used are aimed at giving you up to date information without requiring any active action from the user. For instance on my phone (not an Android) I currently have 3 desktop screens, a work focused screen, a more general screen, and a screen with shortcuts for my most used applications. On the work screen I have a calendar widget, an email widget, 3 clocks for different time zones, and a news feed that is linked to news alerts about our clients. On the general screen I have a 7 day weather forecast, a stock tracker, and the music player controls. Except for the stock tracker, all of these update automatically with no input from me (the stock tracker could update real-time, but that would take a lot of battery).

So my question is, what's the alternative if you don't use widgets to get that information easily without opening a bunch of apps separately? I know WP has the live tiles, which seems to serve the same purpose, I think RIM has widgets, I don't know what iOS has, but assume they must have something that can serve the same function?
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Old November 25th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but I have trouble understanding what's not to get? The widgets I've used are aimed at giving you up to date information without requiring any active action from the user. For instance on my phone (not an Android) I currently have 3 desktop screens, a work focused screen, a more general screen, and a screen with shortcuts for my most used applications. On the work screen I have a calendar widget, an email widget, 3 clocks for different time zones, and a news feed that is linked to news alerts about our clients. On the general screen I have a 7 day weather forecast, a stock tracker, and the music player controls. Except for the stock tracker, all of these update automatically with no input from me (the stock tracker could update real-time, but that would take a lot of battery).

So my question is, what's the alternative if you don't use widgets to get that information easily without opening a bunch of apps separately? I know WP has the live tiles, which seems to serve the same purpose, I think RIM has widgets, I don't know what iOS has, but assume they must have something that can serve the same function?
ios doesn't have widgets. Just app drawer and folder organization. Although, I believe iphone can be jailbroken to use Android type functions.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 01:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Apps take time to find and execute. If you have an iPhone you've got a sea of apps and many apps don't fall why in clear cut folder categories. Further, why find the sportacular app, execute it, find out if you team is scheduled to play by navigating through the app and the score of that game if it is in progress...why do all that when that info is always sitting there on page two of your screens (for example). And you get up to date scores of your favorite teams to boot! And thats just one example. I don't understand why anyone would question the utility of widgets.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 07:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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How many widgets can one have active without slowing down the phone?
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Old November 26th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Basically it's EASY access to the program. Flashlight is a bad example.

For instance one of my favorites is the Beautiful Weather Widgets. In those it lets me put my own clock (customizable and skinnable) and weather widget (think HTC's clock offering) that live updates and gives me a quick look at weather, temps, clock and date/time.

I don't use a ton but I do use the following:

1. Battery meter, shows you the exact % of battery, and estimating of either time left or when your phone will approx be dead

2. Soundhound/Shazam. Sometimes you don't have the time to open the apps etc and you want to "catch that song!" With the widget I can easily listen and tag the song.

3. Facebook widget. On Android it's annoying that you basically have to open the app and let the newsfeed refresh before you can post a status, check in or upload a picture. The widget lets you do it immediately and bypass the newsfeed refresh which takes forever.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 10:56 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Can't believe I came across this thread. How can you not see the point of widgets?!?

I have lots of them. First up is the 'HD Widgets'. I have a really lovely clock / weather / date widget that takes up a lot of the first page.

Also there's a battery meter graph, BBC news widget, my email inbox widget, another news widget called appygeek, a favorite contacts widget, music player, cpu/free memory one, one s-note full page widget for a quick things to do list and one more in the status bar for a few more toggles.

I highly recommend nova launcher, since I can use landscape mode on the homescreen, and it just makes the layout of the homescreen so much better + gives so much customization, for example it lets you make use of the large screen by letting you choose the grid on the home screen - I have mine 7x5 and it makes all the difference, and every app / widget becomes resealable.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:21 PM   #24 (permalink)
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...why do all that when that info is always sitting there on page two of your screens . . .
With ssFlinger you can anytime instantly pop up a screenful of widgets on top of whatever app you're using without having to go to a home screen. Then dismiss ssFlinger and continue using your app. Or launch a different app from ssFlinger.

ssFlinger can be difficult to learn.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
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How many widgets can one have active without slowing down the phone?
DrEx gave me a really nice breakdown regarding the use of widgets. I had never seen the point to them when the app itself is just a click away. So I decided to brave the unknown and try them out. The newness has me feeling like a widget junkie.

On the Note 2 I think you can go plum crazy with them and (not professionally speaking) I think it would take a lottttttttttttt before even putting a dent in speed. Right now I have 8 screens and widgets on all of them.

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Old November 26th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #26 (permalink)
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DrEx gave me a really nice breakdown regarding the use of widgets. I had never seen the point to them when the app itself is just a click away. So I decided to brave the unknown and try them out. The newness has me feeling like a widget junkie.

On the Note 2 I think you can go plum crazy with them and (not professionally speaking) I think it would take a lottttttttttttt before even putting a dent in speed. Right now I have 8 screens and widgets on all of them.

Oh...that's the other one! I use Beautiful Widgets and have a Beautiful Widgets Weather widget on my Widgetlocker lockscreen. I check the weather every morning before work and this works beautifully because all I have to do is take the phone off standby, and look at the widget (click if I want to see more detail), and then put it back on standby. This is all interacting through the Widgetlocker, which allows you to interact with widgets on the lockscreen.


And I forgot to mention another one of my favorite apps, GTasks! It allows you to link your Google Tasks and the widgets are semi transparent! I use the scrollable version for my purposes, but there are other options as well. Very easy way for quick look/quick access without ever having to open the app.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 06:41 PM   #27 (permalink)
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There have been many GREAT replies so far.....
But, to me Widgets are FUN.......
Poor Apple people, they do not know what they are missing.

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Old November 27th, 2012, 03:11 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Oh...that's the other one! I use Beautiful Widgets and have a Beautiful Widgets Weather widget on my Widgetlocker lockscreen. I check the weather every morning before work and this works beautifully because all I have to do is take the phone off standby, and look at the widget (click if I want to see more detail), and then put it back on standby. This is all interacting through the Widgetlocker, which allows you to interact with widgets on the lockscreen.


And I forgot to mention another one of my favorite apps, GTasks! It allows you to link your Google Tasks and the widgets are semi transparent! I use the scrollable version for my purposes, but there are other options as well. Very easy way for quick look/quick access without ever having to open the app.
You wouldn't believe how long I've had BW, HD, Fancy, and Colorize Widgets. Having never used any I was surprised just how many weather widgets there are--overkill. I like colorize the most since it's the only one so far that I can make the widgets completely transparent.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #29 (permalink)
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How do widgets affect the battery?

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Old November 27th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #30 (permalink)
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You wouldn't believe how long I've had BW, HD, Fancy, and Colorize Widgets. Having never used any I was surprised just how many weather widgets there are--overkill. I like colorize the most since it's the only one so far that I can make the widgets completely transparent.
I was using Colorize Widgets for a while, but ended up buying Android Pro Widgets instead. Just liked the overall setup better than Colorize.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 11:38 AM   #31 (permalink)
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How do widgets affect the battery?

JM
Short story: They do. Depends on how many and how often they're set to sync. You're better off setting them to mostly sync once a day or at the maximum time period. Even better a manual refresh...otherwise it wakes your phone and polls for data.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Short story: They do. Depends on how many and how often they're set to sync. You're better off setting them to mostly sync once a day or at the maximum time period. Even better a manual refresh...otherwise it wakes your phone and polls for data.
Ditto on this. Really just depends on how often they are set to sync (if they provide a Sync option). That said, I use widgets that also sync pretty consistently and my battery life has still been amazing. 16 hours consistently w/ constant email push from 5am-10pm and normal/heavy use (compared to old standards).
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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Can I end this discussion right now?
This is why:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c39PXAr9_F8&feature=youtube_gdata_player
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 07:15 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I really couldn't stand having something like that with everything all over the place. I like android and the ui so I just have nova launcher prime.

All my widgets are pretty much a couple of news ones and an email one, and a hd widget clock with weather.

I have my most used apps on the first page and then a few shortcuts on the second. It works well for me and I've tried it pretty much every live wallpaper and nexus pro is my favourite.

I'll share my screens below
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 07:33 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Screenshots are below-both landscape and portrait. Nova Launcher prime to achieve landscape mode or use rotation locker - which also makes landscape lock screen work too
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Old February 19th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Security issues?

Windows dismissed the desktop Gadgets (same thing as widgets, really) with extreme prejudice a while ago because of the myriad of security holes they may provide for potential malware and hackers.

So then, how does an Android widget, which is really an app which runs continuously on your desktop, protect the user from having their security compromised? When you say "yes" to all the permissions, just to get the app or widget installed, do you really consider all the possible ways your information may be transmitted, to whom, and for what purpose?

Apple may have a not half-bad idea by not using widgets.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 08:54 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Windows dismissed the desktop Gadgets (same thing as widgets, really) with extreme prejudice a while ago because of the myriad of security holes they may provide for potential malware and hackers.

So then, how does an Android widget, which is really an app which runs continuously on your desktop, protect the user from having their security compromised? When you say "yes" to all the permissions, just to get the app or widget installed, do you really consider all the possible ways your information may be transmitted, to whom, and for what purpose?

Apple may have a not half-bad idea by not using widgets.
No, I don't see any way having a widget presents a security hole any more than any other app whether it had a widget interface or not.

Am I missing something?

BTW, I believe the reason apple has no widgets is because ios can not multitask.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 04:29 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Windows dismissed the desktop Gadgets (same thing as widgets, really) with extreme prejudice a while ago because of the myriad of security holes they may provide for potential malware and hackers.

So then, how does an Android widget, which is really an app which runs continuously on your desktop, protect the user from having their security compromised? When you say "yes" to all the permissions, just to get the app or widget installed, do you really consider all the possible ways your information may be transmitted, to whom, and for what purpose?

Apple may have a not half-bad idea by not using widgets.
enter pdroid, thought of, worked on, solved.

and your comparing the android os which is a rockin os to winblows and crapple? ive been running widgets on a rooted device for two plus years. no issus. ofcorse, i use my brain, not only when deciding what to install, but what network traffic i allow, and what data i allow other apps to read.

want idiot proof, go iphone
if you dont need idiot proof, go android.
totaly your call
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Old February 24th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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want idiot proof, go iphone
if you dont need idiot proof, go android.
totaly your call
Best explanation I've ever heard.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:39 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Default What's the point of widgets?

I know two people who went from the iPhone to the Note 2 for a simple reason. The iPhone 5 was a poor value for the money. The Note's large screen was very appealing and the 5 was still too small for the upgrade cost not to mention the paltry enhancements. They don't use widgets, launchers, or care about customization. If Apple had offered a big screen phone they would still be iPhone customers.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #41 (permalink)
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I know two people who went from the iPhone to the Note 2 for a simple reason. The iPhone 5 was a poor value for the money. The Note's large screen was very appealing and the 5 was still too small for the upgrade cost not to mention the paltry enhancements. They don't use widgets, launchers, or care about customization. If Apple had offered a big screen phone they would still be iPhone customers.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 11:48 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Can I end this discussion right now?
This is why:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c39PXAr9_F8&feature=youtube_gdata_player
I'm glad I found this topic and it still has some kind of recent activity.
I searched the web for it and I really can't see the point of widgets either.

I own a HTC EVO 3D. The widgets HTC includes in it are beautiful, but don't get me wrong, 99% serve no utility, and the ones from apps from the market aren't any better (the great majority of apps doesn't even offer widget options). And believe me I would never touch a iOS device over an Android.

To start, this video only shows me a lot of swipes required to do things and half-baked versions of apps. In the video you can see also that you can have text instead of an icon to launch your apps, that's it, and this isn't useful at all. I don't even know if it's part of a widget or a launcher.
In this topic there are also photos of a cube-like home screen, what does it have to do with widgets? It's accomplished with a launcher, there's no need for widget.

Why should I use a widget instead of opening the app? Are 1, 2 or maybe even 3 or more swipes better than a single tap in the app shortcut?

- I mean, there's a 4x4 Messages widget: I can put in one of the home screens. But why!? If I receive a new message I'll go to it via the notification and reply, if I want to write a new message I just open the app from the dock which will include the full list of conversations and the + button!
- Music controls: the controls on the lock screen are much better. Some vendors put these controls in the notification area, again it's better because you can get to them from any screen, you don't need to leave the app you're on to skip a track or stop the music.
- Toggles: why should I put one in a home screen if I can have all of them with toggles in the notification area? Some people don't even put them in the main home screen, what's the point? You have to dig swiping even more. Again another example of how widgets force you to leave the app you're on while notification toggles will let you do all of this without even leaving the app you're on.
- Social networks streams: so you see a good post and want to comment, you tap and you're throwed to a limited custom built UI - or - you're throwed to the official app. You want to talk to somebody in Facebook chat, then you'll need to open the Facebook app. You want to visit somebody's profile? Again you'll need to enter an app screen. Not even the fact you can have Facebook+Twitter streams together in one stream is worth it, the kind of content posted in these networks are so different anyway... Also any kind of notification like a reply you receive will get to the notification area where you tap and go to the app.
Somebody mentioned if you open the Facebook app you need to wait until it loads new stories before being able to post something, this isn't true. If you post a lot of things a shortcut to the "new post intent" can be created in the home screen, no widget is needed to accomplish this. If you post pics the best thing to do is to open the media gallery app, select the photo and share it to Facebook, not a widget that in the end would require you to follow exactly the same path.
- Want e-mail? 1 tap to get to the app / new e-mail notifications.
- Want to call somebody or even message? If you call this person often it'll be at the top of the dialer or just one more 2 easy taps and you'll get to the group you have sorted this person, no need for a widget with your favorite contacts displayed in a home screen one or more swipes away. Anyway, all needed in this case is to create a shortcut to each person.
- Bookmarks without the need of opening the browser? I don't use the stock browser so I have no bookmarks there. Also, do you really prefer to swipe to another screen and tap the bookmark instead of having a shortcut to your preferred web browser? I use Opera, I just tap it once and then tap the page I want to go to in my "Speed Dial". (It's awkward: you prefer 1 or more swipe(s) + tap vs. two taps.)


+ I actually use one widget: the one from the notes app. It's like the complete app but the list of notes is presented like a pile of paper. It shows the latest note on-screen and you can swipe, flipping, to revel the "paper" page underneath the current one, there's also a + button to create a new one and also buttons to create notes using a image with the camera, mic for recording a note in audio and one for drawing. It's awesome, better than the actual app's interface and that's why I use it. The way you can see your notes at a glance and get to edit them fast and simple like flipping the paper on your desk and start writing with a pen is totally worth it, would it mimic the actual app UI I'd rather to have a shortcut to it in the main home screen.

+ I have the HTC clock widget in my main home screen because it's very good to see time this big in the morning when you wake up and the weather temperature on it is very handy. But if it wasn't in the main home screen its use would be already compromised compared to a notification that can show a bigger clock and weather from an app like Google Now or some other. (It's tapping home to get out of the app you're on then swiping to the home screen you have the widget vs simply pulling the status bar!)

I can see the tasks app widget is also very feature-rich but it doesn't beat the actual app UI in any way to be worth it.

It seems there are very, VERY FEW cases of good implementation of widgets. The thing is whether it's a nice idea or not, the execution is poor. Widgets equals somewhat good visuals with poor productivity and lack so many features compared to the actual app it isn't worth a swipe over tapping a shortcut to open the damn app. Maybe in a tablet you have more space to have widgets on your main home screen and then the situation of swipe vs. tap gets a little better but they'd still be half-baked versions of their respective apps.

I'd like to also leave a link for this topic which questions the usefulness of home screens as a whole:
What's the point of a Home Screen??
I very much agree it's a bit pointless and an app launcher you can rearrange and set up folders like iOS's one or one of the likes of Samsung/LG would be already good enough for me, even the Windows Phone approach is more attractive (but I wouldn't use this OS because it lacks other crucial things such as a notifications/status bar). (Again, before you say I want an iPhone when you run out of "arguments" to defend widgets use: I don't want an iOS device. I'm completely against Apple and their practices.)

The fact is with Widgets you're just wasting more RAM because they're being constantly pre-loaded, and forcing yourself to keep going back to the home screen again and again and perform swipes.

PS. BTW, Widgets were removed from Windows in PCs because of security issues specifically in the way they run "on top" of the Windows OS, I mean, problems somewhat in the "framework" developers use (and hackers could use to exploit the security breach). The issue is in the way Windows execute them, not in the "widgets" idea as a whole, which in Android runs basically as a different and more limited UI of an app.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 12:02 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Windows dismissed the desktop Gadgets (same thing as widgets, really) with extreme prejudice a while ago because of the myriad of security holes they may provide for potential malware and hackers.

So then, how does an Android widget, which is really an app which runs continuously on your desktop, protect the user from having their security compromised? When you say "yes" to all the permissions, just to get the app or widget installed, do you really consider all the possible ways your information may be transmitted, to whom, and for what purpose?

Apple may have a not half-bad idea by not using widgets.
Same issue you have with any app. So what's the big deal? Check the app permissions and be done with it - the widget is nothing more than a persistent face on the app running behind the scenes.
Me I use BW weather with custom clock, my schedule/calendar, Shazam and Google. With the toggles located in the notification pull down I see no point in having an onscreen toggle widget. The Note has those awesome buddy screens that pop up in response to actions like plugging in the headphones - sort of like a dynamic widget.
Widgets are good stuff used judiciously - used for everything they become just bigger clutter than the app icons.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I agree with much of what you said, but would like to make a point or two. You admit you use a couple widgets. So the widgets you find useful might not be the one others find useful. Perhaps o others use the widgets you dislike in ways that make sense for them, even if they are wasted on you. So should the widgets on offer be limited? If so which should be offered? If not then what is your argument?

I only find three widgets useful. Zooper, Google now, and simple cal. Zooper allies me to make my home screen look exactly how I want. The other two provide info without needing to open an app. Using these three, I actually have only two icons on any of my three home screens.

Anyway, just my two cents.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 12:56 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Having current weather and news updated on one screen of my phone is handy as can be. It's right there and nothing to click except to go deeper into the widget for more displayed info.

I'd been waiting for a phone to come along with the resources to handle frequent auto updating of those two items instead of having to click an app icon and updating/syncing weather on demand. Now they're here.

Other users may feel the same about their social networking widgets; on screen data without touching it, unless you want to get into it further or post/tweet/facebook etc.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I agree with much of what you said, but would like to make a point or two. You admit you use a couple widgets. So the widgets you find useful might not be the one others find useful. Perhaps o others use the widgets you dislike in ways that make sense for them, even if they are wasted on you. So should the widgets on offer be limited? If so which should be offered? If not then what is your argument?

I only find three widgets useful. Zooper, Google now, and simple cal. Zooper allies me to make my home screen look exactly how I want. The other two provide info without needing to open an app. Using these three, I actually have only two icons on any of my three home screens.

Anyway, just my two cents.
I understand, in the case Zooper widgets make it much easier to make visual customization. When making my point I was all about "productivity" and put aesthetics aside (I believe a launcher would be able to make everything Zooper offers but it'd be less easier).

I said I use clock to big time and weather but in my mind maybe there wasn't a necessity to make widgets feature as it could be displayed by the launcher IDK. Also I use the Notes app widget because it has a better UI than the app as I explained (more after this second quote below...).

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Having current weather and news updated on one screen of my phone is handy as can be. It's right there and nothing to click except to go deeper into the widget for more displayed info.

I'd been waiting for a phone to come along with the resources to handle frequent auto updating of those two items instead of having to click an app icon and updating/syncing weather on demand. Now they're here.

Other users may feel the same about their social networking widgets; on screen data without touching it, unless you want to get into it further or post/tweet/facebook etc.
They usually don't fit in your main home screen (unless it's a tablet) making it a swipe away instead of a tap away. I find tapping easier than swiping so widgets "lose" to apps.

I was thinking about this topic earlier and I see a point I missed. Widgets can be useful if they display information that would be in a deeper level of an app (2 taps or more), in that case widgets would "win" the practical use of apps the problem is we just don't have many examples of such useful widgets and that's what caused us to come here and wonder their usefulness (but I can see it now).
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Old June 15th, 2013, 12:03 AM   #47 (permalink)
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I have 13 widgets on my 6 screens. I see them as frequently used apps which I never have to hunt for to launch when I need them. As I know so well owning an iPad which consists of a sea of icons that often defy classification into easily discrete folders. I spend way too much time finding what I need. Widgets also look cool and break the monotony of the iOS world. Pointless to argue against them as it is to argue Mercedes vs. Bimmer. I certainly can't be convinced otherwise.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 02:44 AM   #48 (permalink)
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I understand, in the case Zooper widgets make it much easier to make visual customization. When making my point I was all about "productivity" and put aesthetics aside (I believe a launcher would be able to make everything Zooper offers but it'd be less easier).

I said I use clock to big time and weather but in my mind maybe there wasn't a necessity to make widgets feature as it could be displayed by the launcher IDK. Also I use the Notes app widget because it has a better UI than the app as I explained (more after this second quote below...).

They usually don't fit in your main home screen (unless it's a tablet) making it a swipe away instead of a tap away. I find tapping easier than swiping so widgets "lose" to apps.

I was thinking about this topic earlier and I see a point I missed. Widgets can be useful if they display information that would be in a deeper level of an app (2 taps or more), in that case widgets would "win" the practical use of apps the problem is we just don't have many examples of such useful widgets and that's what caused us to come here and wonder their usefulness (but I can see it now).
Here ya go. These are my favorite widgets that are extremely useful, make my life more productive without wasting extra time. And a big reason why I love widgets, if they serve a proper purpose.

Android pro widgets. Scrollable widget and multiple interactive click throughs for all my organized folders of bookmarks in chrome. Can go directly to a website without needing to open browser first.


Android pro widgets. Scrollable widget and multiple interactive click throughs for all my calendar events and switchable to full month and agenda view.


Android pro widgets. Scrollable widget and interactive click throughs (twitter and Facebook) for all my social media feeds, sync'd with app.


GTasks for sync with gmail tasks and updatable.


Widgetsoid on top with soundhound and shazaam. These are mainly for work purposes. The shazaam and soundhound widgets work without having to enter the app. Saves time, not needing to click into app


Widgetsoid also offers great notification panel widgets. Most of the widgets I enjoy using the most are the ones that are also customizable.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 01:45 AM   #49 (permalink)
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You just showed examples of widgets that only mimic apps' UI.
I mean, you can get to the actual apps with 1 tap and have all that functionality but you decided to switch to a situation where you'll need 1 or more swipe(s) to get there (vs. 1 tap if those apps were in your home screen) and more RAM is used for the widgets.

What's the advantage of having your bookmarks displayed one or more swipes away for example when Chrome is 1 tap away in your home screen or in task-switcher anyway? I know it might require more taps to get to the bookmarks list but this is just one of the reasons why I use the Opera browser.

Since my last post I noticed right now that you actually can create shortcuts to a specific part of the app (it is just not implemented by the stock launchers) but it could become a mainstream feature that could make widgets be even less used if supported well by app developers (according to my thought about widgets being useful when you want to access something deeper in an app).

In my usage I ended up getting rid of all the widgets that came by default in the home screens of my Android smartphone (per my first post in this topic) and that's the reason why I searched for a topic like that. For example I'd be very satisfied already with the clock from the lock screen -> Blinkfeed / app drawer from the new HTC One, and that would leave my widget usage to solely the handy (but not mandatory for a fair experience) Notes app's one.

PS. Yes I can see the cool, easy to customize and aesthetic factor, but not exactly productivity (faster use of software) that's why I dropped my comments here. (Don't take them so seriously, I'm not trying to extinguish widgets or something.)
I guess everyone have their own needs and wants.

Note: I see a lot of Android fans bashing iOS/WP a lot because they lack widgets yet I'd safely assure these users they aren't missing anything that significant in this regard.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 02:52 AM   #50 (permalink)
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If you don't like widgets, you're free to not use them. But I have many apps on my device, so I have to swipe any way to get to them, then click to open them. A widget just requires a swipe.

Ps, the lack of widgets is ios' s least problem.
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