Best Essential Android Widgets for Your Android Device

One of the most obvious ways in which Android differs from iOS is the way you can customize your home screens with panels and widgets. We've picked out some of our favorite ones for adding features and functionality to your device—use them as quick shortcuts for key tools without having to open up the full apps themselves.

To get to your widgets, press and hold on a blank part of any home screen, then tap Widgets. Since this is a general list of the best Android widgets, it includes all types of widgets, including clock widgets, weather widgets, toggles, social media and any other widgets that made the cut. You can look at some of our other posts for more specific widget selections.

Best Essential Android Widgets


Any phone's home screen needs a quality weather widget - a widget like the ones bundled with 1Weather. They are compact, yet elegant and loaded with useful weather data, such as the current temperature, the expected daily highs and lows, and probability of precipitation.
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DashClock Widget

Choosing the first widget on this list wasn’t exactly easy, but I have to say DashClock is worth the top spot. While you will be forgiven for thinking it’s just another widget, trust me when I say it can really change your Android experience and get you hooked from the first time you use it. After you install it (Play Store link is below), you will be able to set it on your phone or tablet’s lockscreen, as well as the homescreen.

However, it is the former (lockscreen) where it really does its magic. You will find almost any extension you want and some of the ones I found really useful were word of the day, battery stats, world time and weather updates. Alongside these, the widget also gives you multiple panes for your lockscreen, allowing you to create a homescreen of sorts before you go to your actual homescreen (I know it can sound a bit confusing).

Nevertheless, there are tons of customization options, including the general appearance of the widget and the information you want it to display. If you haven’t tried it as yet, you must give it a go today. Just remember that it only works for phones and tablets running Android 4.2 or higher.

Google News and Weather

Google resurrected this widget from the Nexus One days, and it’s turned into a great choice, putting the latest forecast and news stories right on your home screen.

Even though the widget starts off 2x2, you can pull it wider or longer to better fit that open space on your screen. There are also two color options: dark gray or white. Touching the widget fires up the app, which gives more detailed weather information and the usual Google News avalance of articles.
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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 for Android

You're probably familiar with the popular Evernote writing and note-taking app, which syncs across your various devices. You may not, however, know there's a separate, free Evernote Widget app that lets you bring the specific Evernote features you use the most right to your home screen. The app offers four different types of widgets, in different sizes, and they're all customizable. You can create single widgets to quickly open new notes, capture images, record audio, set quick reminders and save speech-to-text notes, among other things. The app also offers more full-featured widgets that include a variety of options in a single widget. The app is a must for all Evernote users with Android devices.


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