Android Widgets: Which Are The Best Social And Utility Widgets?
When I bought my first Android phone I decorated every screen with widgets. I wrote a few blog entries here about the best Android widgets of the time and we had a lot of positive feedback. The types of widgets I’m using now have changed dramatically and its time to share again!
My Social Media screens (yes I have two screens that are dedicated to social networking) contain several widgets. As you can see in this screenshot, I like having the Facebook widget handy. Its a quick time killer if I want to check out recent items in the news feed or post something quickly to my own wall.
I also am enjoying the new Google Plus widget. Because none of my other social tools can post to Google Plus (Hey Google how about an API), its nice to have quick access to post to this new social media site. I like the quick access buttons for the camera and the gallery.
Last on this site is the Foursquare Places widget. There is also a Foursquare Friends widget but I like this one better given the space constraints. I like being able to see which businesses are around me. It reminds me to check-in and saves a little time in pulling up the list of whats close.
On my other somewhat social screen I have a few more widgets. On top I have the Goodreads Widget. Goodreads is the largest social network for books. On Goodreads you review books you have read, recommend them to others, follow authors you like, join book clubs, and search for books you want to read. Visit this link to learn more about the Goodreads Android App.
I also have the YouTube widget shown here. It displays recent videos from YouTube users I am subscribed to. It makes it easy to go right into a search or to start recording your own video. Which means I don’t need the camcorder app on my home screen anymore.
You may also notice the little traffic icons on this screen. These are a new addition to Google Maps and they tell me how the traffic is going to be between my current location and my pre-programmed destinations. In this case you can see that traffic between my current location and my work is good (green) and it should take me only 18 minutes. Only zzzz’s at home because, well, that is my current location.
This is my “news” screen and the top widget is the default Google News & Weather widget. I am more into the weather but its nice to see some random rotating news stories too. Sometimes something cathes my eye. Clicking on the weather icon does open up the rest of the forecast. You can also setup individual weather and news widgets from Google if you wish.
The next widget is my Google Reader widget. I subscribe to a lot of industry blogs as well as just friends stuff etc. This widget rotates through unread stories making it easy to get caught up.
Lastly is the ESPN Sports Center widget. I’ve been through several sports apps lately trying to find something that I love and this is getting the job done for now.
This is my “productivity” screen. The first widget is a agenda widget that I think is exclusive to Motorola. I don’t like very many of the Motorola widgets but this is an exception. It makes it easy to see the next upcoming appointment and today’s date. Clicking on the date opens the daily agenda and clicking on the appointment open’s that item in the calendar.
The other obvious widget is the Astrid Tasks widget. Astrid is a Task (to-do list) manager that I started using a view weeks ago. In my Astrid Android App review I pointed out the new syncing functionality. The widget is clean and shows the most urgent and pending task items. The plus sign also makes it easy to quickly add new items to the list.
The other widget on this screen is the NewsRob widget. It just shows the number of unread items in my Google Reader.
I’m always on the hunt for new and productive widgets for Android. What are your favorites?