On most Android smartphones, you simply long-press your home screen and then select Widgets from the menu that appears. (This is also where you can change your wallpaper and theme .) You’ll see the letters in alphabetical order for all of your available widgets, which you can install with a simple tap. The list includes apps you download and widgets offered by Google and built-in widgets from your phone’s manufacturer.
You can use Android widgets in the following ways:
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watch the weather
Aside from checking the time, looking up the weather forecast is probably everyone’s top smartphone activity. Most weather apps, such as 1Weather (pictured) and AquaWeather, offer widgets so you can see the current temperature, rainfall alerts, humidity levels, and other information without having to launch the app.
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Alarms and clocks
Of course, the most basic function of a smartphone is to tell the time, of course, you also have a smartwatch. A clock widget displays the time in a large font, so your eyes won’t have to search for it when you’re in a hurry. If you use your clock as an alarm clock, a widget shows whether your alarm is on or for what time. All you need to do is knock your bad smartphone off the side table when it’s time to hit snooze.
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Obsessed with tracking your steps? Avid walkers don’t need to refresh their Fitbit or any other fitness app. Simply add the Fitbit widget to your home screen, and you’ll be able to see how many steps you’ve taken so far, and when your Fitbit last synced. This feature is also available with other fitness apps like Endomondo.
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Playing music on your smartphone is great as long as you press stop while moving. Simply add your favorite music service’s widget to your home screen, so you don’t have to launch the app every time you want to skip a track, pause a song, or mute the volume.
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keeping a calendar
Smartphones also make great mobile calendars. Using the widget lets you keep upcoming appointments as well as ignore any reminders.
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keep on top of the task
Besides the calendar, a solid to do list app will help you manage your day. It’s a constant struggle for many of us to set up reminders of essential tasks without overwhelming ourselves with notifications and written notes. Apps like Gtasks, Todoist, and Wunderlist provide widgets for this purpose.
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An excellent companion to a task management program is a note-taking app. Evernote and Google Keep both offer widgets, so you can create new notes, take a quick overview, and view important information from your home screen.
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Got a limited data plan? Get a data usage monitor with a widget so you can quickly see when you’ve reached your limit. You can then avoid the surcharge by upgrading your plan or cutting down on data usage until the end of the billing plan.
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Monitor battery life and other statistics
See how much time you have left on your battery and other important stats with Battery Reburn, System Monitor or Zooper.
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follow the news
Find the headlines that interest you with a news widget like Taptu or Flipboard.
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Easy flashlight access
If you have Android Marshmallow or later on your smartphone, you have a flashlight that you can quickly access from the quick settings pulldown menu. For the rest of us, download a flashlight app that comes with a widget so you can quickly turn it on and off.
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Finally, you can create widgets with an app like UCCW, which provides battery meters, weather information, clocks, and more.