Widgets have been a part of Android since day one and remain one of the most useful features of the platform.
These tiny applets that you can place on your home screen are ideal for quick and immediate information, such as weather updates. Sometimes they have buttons to control music or your phone’s flashlight.
But with so many apps offering widgets, how can you be sure you don’t miss out? Here is our pick of the best widgets for Android that every user should have.
1. Best widget of the day: Google at a glance
Want to keep your home screen clean but still want a handy summary of your agenda for the day? You already have the best widget; you may not have noticed it.
In short is part of the Google application installed on all Android phones. It’s a full-width, single-line widget that updates throughout the day to show information such as traffic or your next appointment. If nothing special happens, it becomes a nice date and weather widget.
If you prefer a bit more customization, take a look at Another Widget. It is inspired by At a Glance and it looks almost identical, but offers a bit more functionality.
Download: Google (free)
2. Best weather widget: Overdrop Weather
Overdrop is a newcomer to Android’s rapidly expanding genre of weather apps. It’s one of the prettiest and it offers incredibly accurate minute-by-minute forecasts from the DarkSky service.
It also focuses on widgets. You get 21 free widgets and 17 more if you upgrade through an in-app purchase. They cover just about every style you could think of.
If Overdrop isn’t for you, check out our guide to the best weather widgets for Android. You are sure to find something that you will like there.
Download: Weather Overdrop (free) | Overdrop Pro ($ 4)
3. Best clock and alarm: Chronus
Every home screen needs a beautiful clock widget. Chronus gives you half a dozen. It offers a choice of digital and analog clocks, with an additional view of the agenda, weather, stocks or a news feed. It even has a Google Fit compatible widget, which shows your daily steps on your home screen.
You can customize every aspect of the look of your Chronus widgets. And by downloading third-party extensions from the Play Store, you can make it even more useful.
Download: Chronus (free in-app purchases available)
4. Best Notes widget: Google Keep
You will find many great note taking apps with widgets in the Play Store. But you can’t really beat Google Keep.
It offers two widgets. One is a simple shortcut bar that lets you create a base note, list, voice memo, handwritten note, or photo note. The other lets you pin notes to your home screen. Great for shopping lists or anything else you need to remember when you’re on the go.
Download: Google Keep (free)
5. Month: The Calendar Widget
Month is a beautiful collection of calendar widgets, with over 80 themes that can integrate seamlessly with whatever wallpaper, icon set, or launcher you are using. There is something for every taste.
You can choose a class, transparent, full page Month view, or go more functional Agenda sight suitable for professionals. It is also fully compatible with Google Calendar.
Download: Calendar Widget: Month (free in-app purchases available)
6. Best widget to do: TickTick
TickTick is an awesome task manager app that comes with nine guaranteed widgets to make you much more productive. They range from a comprehensive, multi-page to-do list to a three-day calendar list to a basic checklist. There’s even a Pomodoro timer widget that will help you eliminate procrastination and get more work done.
All of this ties in with a vital app for anyone with a busy life. In fact, the app is so good that we’ve produced a comprehensive guide with essential TickTick tips.
Download: TickTick (Free, subscription available)
7. Best battery widget: Battery Widget Reborn
A simple battery widget is a must when you need to monitor your phone’s remaining charge. Battery Widget Reborn is as simple as they come: it’s a small 1 × 1 circle with a number inside. This number can be a percentage or the estimated time you have left. You can also click for additional battery statistics.
Download: Battery Reborn Widget (free in-app purchases available)
8. Best flashlight widget
Flashlights are one of the most notorious categories of Android apps. They are so often filled with unwanted ads and permissions that roam your data or worse.
Flashlight Widget is a breath of fresh air. It’s free, open source, ad-free, and doesn’t require permission. In fact, all it does is drop a little on / off button on your home screen that you can use to change your flashlight. And when you think about it, that’s all it takes.
Download: Flashlight widget (free)
9. Best Music Widget: Musicolet Music Player
Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services have their own widgets that let you control your songs without opening the app. But if you prefer to listen to music stored on your phone and want to control it, just look at Musicolet.
Not only is it a fantastic music player, with some unusual features like support for headphone controls and multiple queues, it also offers a handy selection of widgets. These include the basics like standard music controls with album art, up to a larger option that lets you browse your chosen playlist.
Download: Musicolet Music Player (free)
10. Best Twitter Widget: Owly for Twitter
Owly is a relatively new Twitter app, and one of the nicest on Android. Its great design extends to widgets. Along with the three shortcut icons for tweeting, following a particular user, and doing a quick search, makes for a fantastic timeline widget.
This allows you to keep track of all your latest updates or see what’s going on without having to open the app. And when you want to launch a thought of your own, all you have to do is tap a screen.
Download: Owly for Twitter (free in-app purchase available)
11. Best Stocks Widget: Stock Investing.com
Keeping track of the price of your stocks is one of the best uses of a widget. Investing.com has a good one as part of its stock market app. You can search for stocks on over 70 global stock exchanges and follow as many as you want. These are automatically added to your widget, you can resize them to fit the whole home screen. You can then view real-time price updates.
Download: Investing.com Stock Exchange (free in-app purchases available)
SEE ALSO: The 5 Best Android Themes To Make Your Smartphone Amazing
More essential Android apps
Most of your favorite apps are likely to have their own widgets. It’s always worth checking out because it’s so easy to miss out on some really useful features in the apps you use every day. Gmail, Snapchat, Spotify, VLC, Fitbit, Chrome and many more have it.