Widgets are definitely Android’s claim to fame. I’ve even heard tales of long time iOS users finally making the switch over simply because they can stick whatever their heart desires on the Home screen.
But some of the widgets built into Android, or that come packaged with apps, are limited in functionality. And sometimes you want to go the whole nine yards when it comes to customizing your Home screen so that not only the wallpaper and icons match, but the widgets do, too. If that sounds like you, check out these three fantastic apps for making and customizing your own widgets.
Ultimate Custom Widget (UCCW)
Ultimate Custom Widget (UCCW - we don't know why there are two "C"s) is not nearly as ultimate as it advertises. However, it’s very easy to use for first-time widget tinkerers. I found it much less overwhelming to use than some of the other custom widget apps in the Google Play store, but it’s the most useful when you download theme packs.
Like most other widget-making apps, UCCW features battery meter, custom clock, and weather information widgets. You can also create custom Hotspots, which refers to a designated part of the widget that, when you tap on it, brings up a certain app or action. For instance, you could create a Hotspot over a clock widget to bring up the function to set an alarm when you tap in the left-hand corner.
Objects can also be easily resized from the Home screen, or made transparent from within the app itself. Bear in mind that while UCCW is free, it’s covered in ads. If you want to remove the advertisements, you can “donate” $5 inside the app.
So you want to step up your widget game? Buzz Widget is all about that widget game. Buzz Widget offers the same custom widget editor that’s available in Buzz Launcher, broken out into its own app so that you don’t have to deal with the headache of installing a launcher.
It’s a little intimidating to use at first because of all the options it offers, but if you’re really committed to customizing the heck out of your Home screen you’ll want to take the time to learn how to properly use everything. The pay off is definitely worth it.
Out of the box, Buzz Widget offers weather, music, battery, and clock widgets, which you can all customize with or without theme packs. You can edit quite a few elements of each individual widget, like what it does, its background image, its icons, and how dates and numbers are displayed. The best part of the app, however, is the excessively massive library of user submitted compatible themes that you can choose from.
This app is quite possibly everyone’s go-to for adding stylish and configurable widgets to the Home screen—you can usually find it on any “best of Android apps” list, and for good reason. HD Widgets comes loaded with a plethora of clock, date, switch, weather, forecast, and location widgets, with over a dozen different sizes to fit both phone and tablet interfaces. You can even make custom lock screen widgets, and download theme packs and icons to take customization a step further. One of my favorites right now is Kairo, which is flat, bold, and Material Design-esque.
The only caveat is that HD Widgets 4 requires Android 4.0.3 and up, so if you’re way behind on updates, you’re out of luck.
Got a widget maker we didn’t mention that you like way better? Pop it in the comments!