The 13 Best Android Widgets for 2013

Work faster and stay better-informed by adding these essential Android widgets to your homescreen.

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30 comments
programki
programki

You have decided to meet the sunrise or sunset with a loved one, this widget will help you to always be aware of when the rising or setting sun.

Day and night - colorful widget that shows the appearance of the sun in the sky, and the text field shows the time of sunset (when the sun is shining) or sunrise (when the moon is shining).

The application contains advertising.

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JustinD.Hill
JustinD.Hill

I am surprised Pure Grid Calendar is not on this list or; Premium Widgets, WinAmp Pro, Battery HD or Torch to name a few? Google My Tracks is a bonus too if you ride bikes and/or travel a lot and that is because it is the only app I have seen to accurately monitor speed and distance statistics within a click. I am running a Motorola Triumph Ginger phone that has been modified and sandwiched with ice cream though. I had Google Car before and that is nice if you have a dashboard display and feel the need to use your phone while you are driving but everything else pretty much gets owned by other applications which are far superior. *Note a widget is not a drawer button that is simply moved to the home screen for toggling. Sorry, I am a little late on this but Stumbled across it ;-) 

rehanyf
rehanyf

Oh yea ! I love this widget ! I wish there were more widgets like this  ... I've been carrying this widget on my home screen for more than a year and can't get enough of it ... an essential widget for my phone ! (looks beautiful on my Xperia Z)

GattiAngela
GattiAngela

Great app! Extended Controls ! Android Widgets! The best!

GattiAngela
GattiAngela

Great ! Extended Controls! Android Widgets! The best!

RONTHINKblog
RONTHINKblog

I have a new Toshiba Excite 10 running Jelly bean and I have yet to see Google Now work the way I keep hearing it is supposed to. Everyone I know with an iPhone loves Siri and, based on watching it work for them, Google Now seems like an also-ran. The fact that I have yet to HEAR Google Now speak is problem. I am not the only one who has this issue judging from hundreds of posts asking "how do you make Google Now speak?" I just wish the Google faithful would admit that the shocking lack of consistency from device to device, carrier to carrier and platform to platform makes Android a clunky mobile OS. When you don't have to root a device to get rid of bloatware, you can then correctly call Android a true open source platform. Plus, Apple supports its users. Have you ever tried to get Google to respond to an inquiry...about anything...ever. I'm currently 0 for at least 20 attempts over the past few years. It takes a lot of time and energy to get multiple Android products working and looking the way you want them, no matter how pretty the widget. Apple isn't perfect but the doe-eyed Android fanatics are also in a state of severe denial. 

sue.lous
sue.lous

I just downloaded this, I like the fact that it shows more than one days worth of weather on the home screen.

NancyHall6
NancyHall6

I love  android widgets specially Calendar, Timeout Toggle and Holo bulb. :)

Kulls
Kulls

Car,weather and halo light widgets are really good. 

bsibby
bsibby

Android 4.2 also runs on the Galaxy Nexus GSM version, and the Verizon update is expected to hit soon.. just fyi

HerbH
HerbH

Actually, AudioManager has several nice widgets. You don't need to launch the app to make changes to audio profiles.

HJCD
HJCD

I would have mentioned Any.DO. A great task manager that comes with a beautiful widget. And second I would have included a Launcher (preferably Nova Launcher) because it provides extended options for widgets.

davijoh723
davijoh723

@RONTHINKblog why do you even have droid?  It sounds like you are an Apple fan, so then why purchase a Droid only to complain about all the things that Apple does better?  Buy an iPad.

newmanjb
newmanjb

@RONTHINKblog It's best to think of Google Now as a feature of Google's broader Search app, which includes voice search and other things like Google Goggles. Google Now is just the part that tries to give you information automatically, such as traffic on your commute, forecast on places you are traveling to, etc. It's definitely still a work in progress, but I also think it's more useful on a phone than on a tablet, since a lot of the stuff it shows is related to where you are.

As for voice search, I agree that it's not as full-featured as Siri in the voice response department. It only talks back to you for certain Internet queries, such as the score of yesterday's Yankee game or trivia. You can ask Google to set a calendar appointment, for instance, but you still have to tap the screen to confirm it. You can't ask what your next appointment is and get a verbal response. On the flip side, I find that Google voice searches tend to be faster and more reliable than Siri.

Carrier/vendor bloatware definitely sucks. I can't stand S Voice on Samsung's Galaxy S3, and it bothers me that Samsung even presumes to have a better solution than Google, which has been refining search and voice search for years. But the fact that Android is open source is precisely what allows those companies to put those atrocities on their hardware. If you look at Windows Phone, the bloatware situation is a lot more tightly controlled because it is not open source.

newmanjb
newmanjb

@HerbH Just tried it again to make sure I wasn't crazy or missing something. When you tap on the widget in AudioManager, it takes you into the app. With Sliders it just opens a pop-up volume slider so you can make adjustments right from the home screen. Not a huge difference but the latter just feels faster and simpler in my opinion.

newmanjb
newmanjb

@HJCD Thanks for the tip! Any.DO looks great.

I tried to keep this as entry-level as possible, so I stayed out of third-party launchers. At least it's not so necessary now that the stock Android launcher supports scrolling and resizing.

newmanjb
newmanjb

@HerbH Okay, I think I figured out what's going on. The ability to adjust straight from the home screen is only for the Pro version of AudioManager. Sliders does the same thing for free, though it doesn't seem to have as many power user features as AM.