Every weekend, we will be taking a look at a few Android Widgets, which for some are the star of Google’s mobile operating system. They are certainly one of the big differentiating factors between Android and some of the other big players out there, but they are also not infallible.
Like other mobile apps, they still need to be well made and intelligently designed, so we will take several each week and let you know whether they are worth your time and money.
Below you can see a screenshot of this weeks widgets running on a Dell Streak with Android 2.2.
Go!Chat For Facebook
You may have noticed that there appear to be only two widgets in this weeks screenshot, as opposed to the usual three. Well, there is a very good reason for that, as the widget for Go!Chat has a habit of simply disappearing, not only from the home screen, but also from the ‘add widget’ list. Yes, I’m using the paid version. Aside from this incredible bug, the widget shows your most recent activity, the amount of unread chat messages, and also how m,any friends are online. If you can get it to work, that is. Disappointing in the extreme, especially for a paid app.
This is a nice replacement for your built in SMS messaging app, and the widget is one of the best things about it. There is a choice of two widgets, one of which is a tiny icon that’s displays the amount of unread messages, and the larger version that you can see above. The larger one allows you to browse through your most recent messages and read most of them in full. If you have a photo of the sender in your contacts, the widget will display this along the side, and there are a lot of options for customising the app to your particular taste. Excellent implementation of a great idea. Recommended.
Sometimes, a widget doesn’t need any options or customisation to excel, it just need to work, and work well. This example is a case in point. A simple voice recorder app that sits as a tiny icon on your home screen, and tapping it starts it recording through your phones microphone, and tapping it again stops recording, with the result saved inside the app for later viewing. The widget displays the length of time it has been recording, and that’s it. Incredibly useful as a work tool, especially for people who just need to do a quick voice memo with the minimum of fuss. Very well done.
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