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What's a widget & What's an app?!

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Smileyguy3000, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. Smileyguy3000

    Smileyguy3000 Member
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    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:thinking::thinking::thinking::eek:

    E.g., Is Purecalendar an app or a widget, or both?
     

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  2. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer
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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.
     
  3. hannahl3

    hannahl3 Well-Known Member
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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
     
  4. mrmojoz

    mrmojoz Android Enthusiast
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    To clarify, most applications do not have widgets...
     
  5. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
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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.
     
  6. Smileyguy3000

    Smileyguy3000 Member
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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?

    Thanks:)
     
  7. hannahl3

    hannahl3 Well-Known Member
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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.
     
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  8. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
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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.
     
  9. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
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    Not quite. Shortcuts are homescreen icons but they are not widgets. A widget typically has more functionality than an icon.

    They're generally a feature of an app.
     
  10. tdieckman

    tdieckman Member
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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.
     
  11. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    Adding this to my faq, credited to you. Thanks have been given =)
     
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