A home screen widget is a unique feature of the Android OS—other mobile operating systems don’t offer them at all. If you aren’t sure what a widget is, it is a shortcut to accessing basic functions of an app. Some widgets will show the time or weather, while others will show calendar appointments, battery information, or let you raise a digital pet.

Keep in mind that widgets can be a little more of a battery drain than not using a widget, but in most cases they are extremely useful and well worth the trade-off.

HD Widgets

HD Widgets

HD Widgets are some of the most configurable information widgets in the Google Play Store. They have a lot of different sizes, with some of the large sized ones being 6×2 so they fill up the width of a 7 inch Android tablet pretty well. Within the different sizes are different set configurations: some of the sizes allow for parts of the widget to be changes, while all of them allow for colors and style do be changed.

Evernote Widget

Evernote Widget

The Evernote widget is configurable and lets you have fast access to some of the most popular note options. For example, you can start a note from an image by pressing on the camera icon in the widget. You also have a search tab for quick access to search for a tag, notebook or note.

Android Pro Widgets

Android Pro Widgets

Android Pro Widgets are a combination of different widgets. In this combo pack, you will see separate ones for Agenda & Calendar, Contacts, Bookmarks, Messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader. All of which have the option to be styled and look, and many of the widgets allow for scrolling as long as your Launcher allows for it as well.

Beautiful Widgets

Beautiful Widgets

Beautiful Widgets are, well, beautiful. :) This group offers a lot of different configurable sizes from 1×1 to 4×2. Depending on the size you can easily make changes like removing the weather icon and add a more useful battery level icon, and then you can choose the look of the battery icon. Add the animation add-on for an even better-looking widget.

 Battery HD

Battery HD

Having a hot-looking battery widget will add to the aesthetics of your home screen rather than detracting from it. Depending on the location available on your home screen, you can choose from either a horizontal or vertical battery widget. When clicked, you can see a lot of information such as usage and battery health.

 BeWeather & Widgets

BeWeather & Widgets

BeWeather is a fantastic weather widget: not only will you love the look of it, you will have access to features like the weather radar so you can see if bad weather is on the way or if it looks like it will miss you. You will also have the temperature displayed in the notification bar.

SEE ALSO: 10 Apps That Will Turn Your Android into the Ultimate Business Machine

DroidPet Widget

DroidPet Widget

People love to take care of pets. For people with allergies or who can’t have pets where they live, DroidPet Widget is a great way to fill the void you feel. Take care of up to 5 pets at the same time by petting them, playing with them, and keeping them happy or they will go to the special farm where animals go to live when no-one wants them.

Agenda Widget Ultimate

Agenda Widget Ultimate

On a busy day, you just need to see what appointment is next and when you have time to schedule other things, like a lunch break.  Agenda view is ideal for this and that’s what you get with Agenda Widget Ultimate: a great-looking, easy-to-read widget with all of your appointments laid out in a way where you can scan them easily. This is a great option for someone transitioning from a paper planner.

Days Left Widget

Days Left Widget

We all have days we are excited about and count down to, like days ’til vacation, Christmas, a birthday or anniversary. Days Left Widget lets you add little widgets to your home screen counting down to that special day. You can add several to the home screen, each with different countdowns.

DIGI Clock Widget

DIGI Clock Widget

On some Android devices, the clocks leave something to be desired. Adding DIGI Clock Widget to your Android will give you a lot more control over what your clock looks like: you can change the colors, fonts and date format to what you prefer. Simple and clean, just like a clock should be.

Sense Analog Clock Widget

Sense Analog Clock Widget

Do you like the way the HTC clock widget looks but don’t have an HTC device? Sense Analog Clock Widget creates a good likeness of the HTC Sense clock on your non-HTC device. The good-looking flip clock and weather widgets are sure to create a pleasing space filler on your home screen.

Fancy Widgets

Fancy Widgets

These widgets live up to their namesake, with over 400 different clock and weather skins available for you to get just the right look. Your choice of weather services, configurable time, refresh interval, and tap actions make for a very usable set of widgets in many different sizes.

Multicon Widget

Multicon Widget

Multicon lets you add more than the usual number of application icons to your home screen. Instead of having a few app icons on each of your screens, you can load them all on one. Select the number of rows and columns you’d like in the grid then start adding apps—it’s that simple.

Next Switch Widget

Next Switch Widget

neXt Launcher is a new-ish launcher by the GO Dev group. They make awesome apps like GO Launcher EX and GO SMS Pro. While the neXt Launcher is a paid launcher, neXt Switch is a free add-on. You have very stylish widgets to turn on and off functions of your device such as Bluetooth or Data Syncing.

Slider Widget – Volumes

Slider Widget - Volumes

Need fast access to the volume controls for various parts of your Android device? Slider Widget – Volumes grants that wish. In addition to being able to quickly change the volume of media, ringtones and other sounds, you can adjust the screen brightness and other adjustments too.

‘Today in History’ Widget

'Today in History' Widget

‘Today in History’ Widget scans many different sources to bring you the most interesting historical events that happened on this day. Sources such as the New York Times and BBC are sure to have a healthy knowledge of historical events around the world. The preceding day is downloaded so you don’t always need to be connected to the internet to have your day in history.

Wizz Widget

Wizz Widget

Wizz Widget is a collection of different widgets for commonly-used apps. The Stacks are pretty cool, and they let you flip through the days in your calendar or the tweets in your Twitter timeline. The widgets are resizable and configurable—just set the refresh interval, color, transparency and more.

Tabr widget

Tabr widget

Tabr widget is a pretty unique take on widgets, and within one widget you can have different modules. These modules show up in tabs, making it super easy to switch to the information you’d like to access. Add modules for your calendar, social networks, contacts and more.

Chameleon Launcher for Tablets

Chameleon Launcher for Tablets

While Chameleon Launcher for Tablets is not a widget, it increases your productivity through the use of widgets. You choose the area of the screen where you’d like to have a widget for Twitter or an RSS feed, and place it there. The widgets fit together really tight to maximize your screen space.

What widget do you absolutely love that’s not on this list? Let us know what it is and why you love it in the comments below.

SEE ALSO: 30 of the Best Android Apps You Should Have in 2013

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