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Last Updated on November 14, 2017

19 Best Android Widgets, No Matter Which Android Phone You’re Using

19 Best Android Widgets, No Matter Which Android Phone You’re Using

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.

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        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.

              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.

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                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

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                        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.

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                                  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.

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                                        Published on September 20, 2018

                                        11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                        11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                        In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                                        Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                                        In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                                        Minimizing Tabs

                                        Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                                        Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                                        Incognito Mode

                                        Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                                        1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                                        2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                                        3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                                        This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                                        Save Webpages as PDF Files

                                        Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                                        Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                                        Open Recently-closed Tabs

                                        Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                                        One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                                        The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                                        Solve Mathematical Problems

                                        Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                                        For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                                        Play Media Files

                                        Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                                        In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                                        Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                                        With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                                        Stay Focus(e)d

                                        Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                                        Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                                        With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                                        This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                                        Grammarly for Editing

                                        Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                                        You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                                        Loom

                                        There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                                        There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                                        With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                                        Chrome Calendar Extension

                                        No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                                        Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                                        Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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