7 Great text-based widgets, for those that would rather read their home screen

Why use a picture when you can use a thousand words?

text widgets primary

You need to do more reading!

Widgets are the easiest way to customize your Android device and add extra functionality to an otherwise static screen. But why would you want to look at boring pictographs of this info when you could read it instead?

Er, yeah, that’s assuming you’re a word nerd like myself, or a designer who prefers text to icons. Either way, there are several cool text-based widgets out there that will display everything from the time to your phone’s battery level using words—and only words.

minimalistic text

Minimalistic Text

Don’t let its name fool you: Minimalistic Text’s customization options are anything but minimal. This is a great widget to download if you’re looking for a pack: Minimalistic Text comes with four widget layouts (clock, time and date, battery level, and weather in Fahrenheit or Celsius). You can also choose the widget’s orientation (horizontal or vertical), which can make for a unique home screen layout.

Minimalistic Text (Free)



Clockr is my favorite text-based clock widget because it looks simple and elegant right off the bat. You can customize Clockr’s font style, clock style (e.g. choose to display 2:04 as twoOHfour or twoZEROfour), and toggle the transparent background on and off. For more functionality, such as a text date option, you can purchase Clockr Evolution for $1.53.

Clockr (Free)

text clock widget

Text Clock Widget

Text Clock Widget is an ultra-simple clock widget that displays the time in a slightly different format than Clockr. Instead of writing out numbers, Text Clock Widget displays the time “like we say it.” In other words, 2:04 is displayed as “four past two” rather than “twoOHfour.” Likewise, 9:30 is displayed as “half past nine,” and 11:45 p.m. is displayed as “quarter to midnight.” Text Clock Widget has fewer customization options, but you can choose to show the date (not as text), battery level (also not text), and change the widget’s font color.

Text Clock Widget (Free)


BattStatt Pro

BattStatt Pro is a free open source battery level widget. Unlike Text Battery Widget, BattStatt Pro is very customizable (it used to be the paid Pro version of BattStatt Free, and has since become free). You can change text style, color, size, capitalization, boldnews, and set the widget tap action to show your battery info or your battery usage screen. BattStatt Pro comes in three sizes and 8 languages.

BattStatt Pro (Free)

text battery widget

Text Battery Widget

Style-wise, Text Battery Widget looks like Clockr, but it displays your phone’s battery level instead of the time. The free version limits customization, though you can change the widget’s language (it supports 12 different languages, including Japanese and Polish). For $1.42 you can grab the Pro version, which lets you tweak text style, color, and size.

Text Battery Widget (Free)

amazing text free 1

AmazingText Free

At first glance, AmazingText Free looks like a pretty useless widget: like Text Widget, AmazingText Free is a simple widget that places a static text string on your home screen. However, unlike Text Widget, AmazingText Free lets you select a custom tap action for each created widget. In other words, you can launch an app or a shortcut from your widget, which means AmazingText Free is one of the easiest ways to create text-only app icons.

If you want more presets, fonts, and effects, you can fork over $1.50 for AmazingText Plus.

AmazingText Free (Free)

simple text icon creator

Simple Text – Icon Creator

It’s not exactly a widget, but Simple Text – Icon Creator is an application that lets you create cool text-based icons to replace your stock icons. There are a few ways to change icons: you can use a custom launcher, or you can use an icon changer such as Icon Changer. You can choose font, text size, x and y coordinates, background, orientation, and add gradients and shadows. You can create icons from scratch, or you can use one of the app’s templates. The app does have a widget feature, which lets you add single 1x1 widgets (basically, icons) to your home screen and choose a custom tap action.

Simple Text – Icon Creator (Free)

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