Tag Archives: weather

15 Useful Android Widgets

Widgets are a quintessential Android feature and one of its clearest differences with iOS. The best widgets provide convenient, live-updating streams of information, easy customization, and rapid access to important functionalities, all from your home screen. In many cases, they can replace the static app icons that you usually use to launch apps. Here are 15 of my favorite Android widgets for Android Jelly Bean and later:

Dashclock Widget

I’ve written multiple articles about this amazing widget. It can become the default lockscreen for your device, and it supports clickable mini-widgets/extensions for virtually every app or service on your phone.

Simple Dialer Widget

If you make calls with your phone, this free widget is a must. It provides a full-screen widget that lists the contacts from the stock People (contacts) app. Each contact is tappable, meaning that you can call them straight from the widget.

Beautiful Widgets Pro

Nice collection of weather, clock, and date widgets, with support for Daydream (Android 4.2+).

Tiny Flashlight + LCD

The most popular flashlight app for Android, and for good reason. Its colorful lockscreen widget lets you get your flashlight in a flash. And why not? You shouldn’t need to unlock and hunt down the flashlight app when you need it in a pinch.

Sound Search for Google Play

A built-in Shazam which analyzes audio and links you to the track in Google Play. It has a great lockscreen widget, which is essential when you need to tag a song before it’s over.

Widget Calculator

A full-screen sleek calculator widget. Like many of the other selections here, it supports lockscreen widgets and as such is handy for calculating tips etc.

Holo Clock

A nifty blue analog/digital hybrid clock. It fits perfectly with icon packs like SMPL Blue. It also clicks-thru to the Clock app so you can manage your alarms, stopwatch, etc.

UCCW

Highly customizable widget with tons of compatible themes and icon packs. Use it for a clock, weather, or as a shortcut to any app.

Reddit is Fun Golden Platinum

This is the best Reddit client I’ve used on Android. Its widget lets you pick a specific subreddit to monitor, and then it lets you scroll thru hot topics and go directly to links and comments from the widget.

Falcon Pro

Full-screen scrollable widgets are the bee’s-kness on Jelly Bean, and Falcon Pro (already one of the best Twitter clients in existence, alongside Tweetbot and TweetDeck) is the cream of the crop in this field. It lets you refresh your feed, compose, or toggle between mentions/timeline from the widget.

Minimalistic Text

This widget presents stylish, plain text readouts of things like weather, time/date, and phone statistics. It’s highly customizable.

Google Keep

I love Google Keep. And its scrollable widget lets you go through all of your color-coded notes, or create new notes/photos/recordings.

Google+

I usually set it to the What’s Hot filter since I don’t have many friends on G+ yet. Also works on the lockscreen.

Flipboard

A nice widget to keep tabs on news and Facebook (I don’t use the Facebook app for Android).

Eye in Sky

The best weather app on Android, and its stylish widget only strengthens its case. It has customizable color schemes, a host of cute icon packs, and read-outs for the entire week ahead.

-The ScreenGrab Team

5 Alternatives to Some Popular Android Apps

Bored of all the same-old free “must-have” Android apps that top the charts? There are a number of alternative, richly featured apps that do the same thing (or tap into the same service), plus, as an added perk, many of them are Android-only.

Flipster Pro (over Facebook)

Facebook’s Android app is ugly, slow, and unreliable. The Web app via Chrome is somehow a much better experience. But luckily, you don’t have to put up with either of them. Flipster is a nice Holo client for Facebook which gives you full functionality within a sleek design.

Falcon Pro (over Twitter)

I wrote about this great Twitter client before, but now it’s even better since it has a gorgeous 4×4 scrollable widget of Tweets. Its built-in browser lets you read articles, view photos, and watch videos without every leaving the app.

Notif Pro (over Wunderlist/Any.do)

Notif Pro does more by doing less. There’s really nothing to the “app” itself – it simply exists to make up your textual, visual, or list-based reminders, and then pins them (along with a custom Holo icon of your choice) to the status bar.

Eye in the Sky (w/Pro Key) (over WeatherBug and The Weather Channel)

Tim Clark’s exclusively Android weather app is a sublime marriage of style and substance. It has a beautiful widget that can forecast your city’s weather for the whole week, with a bevy of stylish icon packs to choose from. It also has a persistent in-status bar notification that gives terse assessments like “Slighty Cloudy. Ice Fog. Cool.”

Snapseed (over Instagram)

Ok, so this may be a bridge too far for some, but Snapseed is a great way to initiate actual reactions and +1s in Google+, which is so central to the “stock Android” experience, after all. It has some robust editing features that let your crop, rotate, filter, and tune your image, and it can share it directly to G+ with a button. Maybe it’s not a replacement for Instagram, but it’s something fun to run alongside Instagram.

-The ScreenGrab Team