While watching a movie from the late ‘80s or early ‘90s today, have you ever shaken your head and chuckled whenever someone on the screen makes a big deal about how their car has a “mobile phone”?  Yes, times have changed, and now that little device has more computing power than the Apollo spacecraft that took astronauts to the moon. Nevertheless, the smartphone is a constant and versatile companion.

Naturally, multifunctional hardware (like our Android phones) means many apps to download, install, and run. But sometimes, all you want or need is a quick, straightforward look at some specific pertinent information from your apps without going through the trouble of opening the app itself. That’s why Android widgets are so important.

Today, we will explore the ten best android widgets for your mobile device's home screen. But, first, let's kick things off with a definition.

Full Stack Java Developer Course

In Partnership with HIRIST and HackerEarthEXPLORE COURSE
Full Stack Java Developer Course

What’s an App Widget? An Overview

In the context of mobile devices, a widget is a mini-program that exists and runs on the mobile phone's home screen. Widgets display either an entire program or part of one, which serves as a shortcut to a more extensive application.

Sometimes, you will see the word “applet” used in conjunction with applications and programming, especially Java. An applet is defined as a small software program that performs one task, supporting a larger program. That’s why some people use applets and widgets interchangeably.

Widgets provide a quick and easy “at a glance” view of an application’s most important information or functionality without the user ever having to leave the device’s home screen. For instance, you may have a weather app on your Android that provides you with a full 10-day forecast, current conditions, radar images, and weather advisories. However, the weather app's widget shows you only today's current weather conditions and maybe something extra, like forecasted highs and lows. 

Widgets typically fall into one of three broad categories: 

  • Information widgets: Information widgets are straightforward resources that offer important or helpful information, such as weather, sports scores, time and date, and stock figures.
  • Collection widgets: Collection widgets, unsurprisingly, display multiple similar elements derived from an app like an article collection from a news app or images from a gallery app.
  • Control widgets: Finally, control widgets let users see often-used functions in a given app and let them manipulate controls on their device's home screen without opening the app. For instance, many of today's automobiles come with an app, and you could use a widget to lock or unlock your car doors or open the trunk.

So, the widget lets users quickly access valuable information with minimal effort and no need to open the entire app.

And just as there are countless apps out there for your Android device, there are just as many widgets. We will make things easier by breaking down the widget selection into ten primary kinds, calling out the best representative of each category:

  • Notes widgets
  • Clock and alarm widgets
  • Weather widgets
  • Battery widgets
  • Flashlight widgets
  • Music widgets
  • Stocks widgets
  • Tasks and agenda management widgets
  • Productivity widgets
  • All-in-one Android widgets 

Best Notes Widgets

There's too much to remember on any given day, especially in the workplace, so taking notes is essential. As a result, many consumers rely on Google Keep for their note-taking needs. Google Keep offers users two Android widgets. The first is a simple, one-tap shortcuts bar that lets you create a new basic note, list, handwritten note, voice memo, or photo note.

The second widget allows users to pin notes to their home screen. It also gives you an easy way to scroll through your notes, giving you a choice to view all messages, only pinned notes or those exclusively associated with a given label.

FREE Java Certification Training

Learn A-Z of Java like never beforeEnroll Now
FREE Java Certification Training

Best Clock and Alarm Widget

You’ve no doubt heard of the old saying, “Time is of the essence.” So, what better clock widget for Android can you ask for when dealing with your precious time than Chronus? Chronus offers you six different customizable clock widgets featuring analog and digital displays. You can even add details like stocks, weather, or news feeds.

Additionally, you can download third-party extensions and increase the functionality even more!

The Best Weather Widget

It's important to keep current on the weather, especially if you live in a climate with cold, snowy winters or live somewhere that's prone to extreme weather such as hurricanes or typhoons. That's why you need a solid weather widget for your Android, 1Weather. The app offers you a variety of Android widget options to match your preferences.

Note that 1Weather features advertisements — you will have to upgrade to 1Weather Pro for the ad-free experience. However, the non-ad version is only $1.99, so it’s not a budget-breaker by any means.

The Best Battery-Saving Android Widget

No one likes to see their mobile device run out of power, especially during one of those critical moments. That’s why you need an excellent Android battery widget like Battery Widget Reborn that puts a battery power percentage widget onto your home screen.

Note that the downloadable widget is free but comes with ads. If you don’t want commercials, it’ll cost you a mere $3.49.

Best Flashlight Widget

Smartphones are one of the most versatile electronic devices available today. It’s a calculator, camera, music player, clock, internet-connected mini-computer, and oh yeah, it’s a phone! But that’s not all. It can also be a flashlight! With Flashlight Widget, it can also be a flashlight!

Flashlight Widget is the best light-based widget because it’s free, requires no permissions, and is devoid of annoying ads.

The Best Music Widget

There’s nothing like a bit of music to make the day brighter. The Musicolet Music Player widget lets you control and play the music you have stored on your device instead of listening to streaming music. The widget comes with album art and typical music-playing controls and even comes in a larger option that lets users browse their playlists.

The Best Stock Widget

If you like keeping tabs on the stock market but don’t want to open another application, get Investing.com’s Stock Exchange, the best Android widget for your investments you can find today. Search and track real-time price updates on stocks in more than 70 exchanges. Investing.com even offers a Bitcoin widget for cryptocurrency fans.

Free Course: Programming Fundamentals

Learn the Basics of ProgrammingEnroll Now
Free Course: Programming Fundamentals

The Best Task and Agenda Management Widgets

There’s so much to do every day and only so much time to do it, which is why it’s essential to manage your time wisely. So let’s save you the time looking for the best task management widget and offer you this choice for the best: Any.do.

Any.do’s main widget features a scrollable task list that you can easily interact with, checking off items or adding new items using text or voice input. And there are more features, such as a calendar widget displayed alongside your tasks, a more compact task list, and a super-minimalist widget designed to add new tasks.

The Best Productivity Android Widget

Task and agenda management are important, but you also need to master productivity and efficiency for success. That’s why you need TickTick, the best productivity widget available. TickTick lets you add widgets directly onto your home screen, so you can quickly glance at all your essential tasks and commitments you need to meet. This widget arrangement boosts efficiency because it saves you the bother of manually opening the app to check every little tiny detail.

TickTick even comes with a timer widget to help you stay motivated and prevent procrastination.

The Best All-in-One Widget

By this time, you may be curious if there’s one widget that could handle many of the above tasks. There are so many great widgets to choose from, and it brings the risk of you getting too many Android widgets! After all, if you’re trying to simplify your app and widget use, it would be counter-productive to download all the above widgets. But perhaps there’s a widget that offers many functions in one simple package.

As it happens, there is such a widget, and it’s one we have already covered. Chronus is the best option for an all-in-one widget. Not only does it offer the time and alarms, but it can also display the weather and other critical information you desire.

You can customize your Chronus to show a news feed, tasks, missed calls/text messages, and calendar. If you purchase the Pro version, you get additional news and task providers, stock alerts, and much more.

Learn top skills demanded in the industry, including Angular, Spring Boot, Hibernate, Servlets, and JSPs, and SOA to build highly web scalable apps with the Full Stack Java Developer Masters Program.

Do You Want to Make a Great Living Designing Android Widgets and Apps

If you’re interested in building a career in mobile app development, then the Certified Android App Developer Training Course from Simplilearn is an absolute must. This training course is an essential part of any professional’s overall goal of mastering Android app development.

This Google-authorized Android training course will enhance the career of any professional Android app developer. The course teaches you how to set up an Android environment and master its architecture, including user interfaces, controls, layouts, activities, content providers, services, and multimedia APIs. In addition, the training course provides you with practical development experience by tasking you with building six top-trending applications.

According to Indeed, Android app developers in the United States earn an average base salary of USD 117,127. Furthermore, Glassdoor reports an average base pay of ₹500,000 for Android app developers in India.

So, whether you’re an experienced developer who wants to upskill by learning vital Android app development skills or a newbie who wants to start an exciting new career, Simplilearn has everything you need to get you started. Check out their courses today!

About the Author

Karin KelleyKarin Kelley

Karin has spent more than a decade writing about emerging enterprise and cloud technologies. A passionate and lifelong researcher, learner, and writer, Karin is also a big fan of the outdoors, music, literature, and environmental and social sustainability.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.