Widgets have been around for a long time. It used to be one of the features that made Android better than iOS. These days, our reliance on widgets has waned. Between better designed apps, quick settings, app shortcuts, more powerful notifications, and always-on displays, there aren’t too many reasons to have them. However, there are just some things, like note taking, weather, calendar, to-do lists, etc that will always simply work better in a widget format. We simply don’t live in the era we once did, but that doesn’t mean widgets are useless now. Here are the best Android widgets! We’d also like to give an honorable mention to HD Widgets for continuing to receive updates, but it really needs some extra work.
1Weather is arguably one of the best weather apps available. Its Android widgets aren’t half bad either. It invokes the old style “flip clock and weather” style that used to adorn HTC Sense devices and it’s configurable. Clicking on the clock portion takes you to your alarm app. Clicking on the weather portion takes you to 1Weather’s main interface. There are also weather-only widgets that deliver a good amount of information. It’s free to use. All the paid version does is remove ads.
Battery Widget Reborn among the best Android widgets for battery meters. It provides a single, circular battery gauge widget. You can change the color and size to match your theme and home screen layout. The app itself also comes with battery information, shortcuts to things like WiFi and Bluetooth settings, and it even gives you charts to show more detailed battery activity. It’s nothing overly complicated. However, in an era where smartphone makers still don’t always let you enable the percentage in the status bar, apps like Battery Widget Reborn are still useful.
Calendar Widget: Month and Agenda are two Android widgets from Candl Apps. The first one is a fairly standard and minimal calendar widget. It includes over 90 themes, a minimal layout, support for Google Calendar, and it shows your various upcoming engagements. It looks and feels pretty good, although power users may need something a little more powerful. Calendar Widget: Agenda is much like the other Calendar Widget app, but with more options. You can create widgets specifically for your agenda as well as any other upcoming events you might have. Both widgets are free to use with a limited number of themes. You can buy more as in-app purchases.
The Google App has a couple of decent Android widgets. The first is the classic Google Search bar that we’ve all seen a million times. It’s simple, functional, and lets you search for things quickly. The other widget one is a four-by-four widget. It shows you the weather along with news cards with information related to things you like. It also provides a quick way to get to Google Now/Assistant from your home screen. It’s effective, it’s free, and it works well as an all-in-one option. You likely also already have this app on your phone so it won’t take up any additional space. This one works best when integrated directly into launchers like the Pixel launcher, Lawnchair Launcher, Nova Launcher, etc. However, barring that, it can create its own widgets for your home screen.
Google Keep is a simple and effective note taking application. With it, you can make text notes, list notes, and even voice notes. It also gives you the option to share notes with others for collaboration. There are a bunch of extra little hidden features throughout the app as well. It also comes with a simple set of Android widgets that gives you the ability to create notes quickly. They range in size from simple to more complex depending on your needs. That’s essentially all you need when it comes widgets for note taking apps. It’s completely free to use. You can also access notes on Google Drive using any web browser.
HD Widgets and Beautiful Widgets were the two most popular clock and weather combination widgets in the whole Google Play Store. HD Widgets still gets updates and is still somewhat relevant. After all, the art of the clock and weather combo widget is still something only a few developers do well. HD Widgets features weather from OpenWeather or AccuWeather along with a host of widgets. Some options include a clock, a weather and clock combo, and setting toggles. The widgets are customizable, but feel a tad old compared to totday’s Material Design. We would love it if HD Widgets gave itself a refresh with some more modern themes. In any case, you can get Kairo and Colourform plugins for additional theming options for $0.99 a piece. Beautiful Widgets is another popular option, but without any updates since 2016, we think that app might be done.
IFTTT is one of the most powerful apps out there. You use it to create automated tasks that your phone completes on its own. One of its many features is a button widget that activates a command when pressed. For instance, you can use it to turn your Hue lights on or off, automatically text someone that you’re on your way home, or pretty much whatever you want. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s a fun way to automate a lot of tedious tasks. The widget itself is rather simple. However, it’s easily one of the most versatile Android widgets out there.
KWGT is one of a few make-your-own Android widgets. It employs a WYSIWYG editor. That makes it a bit easier than one would think. You can have it do a variety of things and make it look almost however you want. It also includes support for Zooper, Tasker, and other apps. Some of the things you can have it display include system info (CPU speed, network stats, etc), time, battery, date, countdowns, traffic info, next alarm, location, and more. It’s fairly powerful, but it’s more work than you’d get with most widgets. It is, to our knowledge, one of the very few custom widget apps still in active development. Zooper and UCCW are other options, but they don’t get updates anymore. Buzz Widget is no longer available as of February 2019. That basically leaves KWGT as the top dog.
Muzei Live Wallpaper is a popular live wallpaper app. A recent update also gave it a new widget. It allows you to switch it up to the next piece of artwork. It’s a fun little widget for those who like to change their backgrounds a lot. Additionally, there are tons of apps with Muzei support, including some launchers, other wallpaper apps, and even Tasker. It’s not half bad for the low, low price of free. The widget selection isn’t great, but it does what it needs to do. It’s also fair if you call this a live wallpaper app because it kind of is.
Ovedrop is one of the newer Android widgets on the list. It’s technically just a weather app, but it has some surprisingly decent widgets for the home screen. That includes a forecast widget with up to five days, a card style layout that includes the date and battery percentage, and your basic current forecast weather widget. It utilizes Dark Sky as its weather provider and has some basic weather app features as well. The app itself has a dark mode that we quite like and the UI is lovely. There isn’t a lot wrong with this one to be honest, and it’s a great option if you want some good-looking weather widgets.
Tasker is one of the most powerful apps ever made. It’s also one of the most complex and complicated. You can use this to make your phone do pretty much whatever you want. The downside is that it’s going to take you a while to get there. It includes over 200 actions on its own with tons of plugins that add additional functionality. A lot of other apps also have Tasker support to add to the number of things it can do. Once you make whatever it is you’re going to make, it doesn’t take long from there to turn it into a widget. That makes this one of the most powerful Android widgets you can get.
TickTick is one of the best to-do list apps on mobile. It has a simple UI, plenty of organization and customization options, and most of its features are completely free. It employs a list style with simple controls. You can use it for remembering your work tasks or your grocery list. You can even share lists with friends or family for collaboration. It also includes reminders (up to two per task) for free, unlike many to-do list apps. TickTick is flexible like that. The app also comes with a bunch of widget options. That includes a minimal, but functional calendar widget and widgets specifically for your to-do lists. You can also sort tasks for things like date due. The $29.99 per year version subscription isn’t necessary unless you are really trying, so we think it’s a good budget option as well.
Time Until is a fun little app with some decent little widgets. It’s a countdown timer app. You use it for things like holidays, birthdays, special events, or whatever you would need a countdown for. You can set it down to the second, minute, hour, day, week, or month. It even takes working days into account. The widgets are minimal, but effective. You can choose the background from your own images if you want to or just use a solid color. They also come in different sizes for your convenience. It’s not the most popular use of a widget, but Time Until is easily one of the best countdown timer widgets we’ve seen.
Todoist has some of the most gorgeous widgets of any to-do list app. The whole app looks really good, actually. The developers do a great job incorporating bright colors, full Material Design, and it’s still relatively easy to use. The free version comes with most of the basic features, including tasks, due dates, and some organizational features. Going premium adds things like reminders and other power user features. In terms of looks and Android widgets, this one is as good as it gets in the genre. Widgets are like the app. By that, we mean they’re colorful, easy to use, and powerful. We also quite appreciate the cross-platform capabilities of Todoist. It and TickTick are easily the top two best to-do list apps and as it turns out, they both have really good widgets.
Weather Underground is one of the best weather apps out there. It also has some decent widgets. The app features your usual weather stuff like current temperature, extended forecasts, and a weather radar. You also get stuff like pollen count, UV index, and other useful stats. The widgets come in a variety of sizes, but they all work pretty well. They are lightly customizable and that’s usually enough for most people. We prefer the one that changes the color of the widget based on the temperature. The app is entirely free with advertising. You can remove the ads with a $1.99 per year subscription. That’s cheap enough to honestly forget that you have it for years. That’s what happened to me.
If we missed any of the best Android widgets, tell us about them in the comments! To see all of our most recent app lists, click here!