The Weekly Widget – Android Widgets Reviewed

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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

BBC News

The BBC have their own widget, and it is slightly disappointing. It basically displays a ticker that leads to the main BBC News app. The ticker is really small, which is ok, but only if there are options for bigger widgets, of which there are none here. The widget is also really plain, with no BBC branding on it, and although it does display a graphic for each piece, it really does look substandard. In it’s favour is the fact that is updates and displays quickly, and you can also choose which BBC feed to display.

Beautiful Home Weather

Now this is better. Looking rather like HTC’s own weather widget, this has the added bonus of being completely customisable, with the ability to mix and match two different themes for the time and weather display. You can download dozens of different themes for free, and some of them are stunning, and really bring your home screen to life, from NES 8 bit themes to dark and moody backdrops, this really is an essential download. No need to be so jealous of Sense for non HTC Android lovers, this is the best weather widget on the Android Market.

Google Search

It is easy to look at this widget and wonder what the point of it is, after all with most of your browsers only a click away and offering Google search in an instant, what’s the point of having a widget to save a couple of micro seconds of your time? Well, the beauty of this widget is that searching the internet is only one of it’s talents. When you start typing, results from your contacts and the Android Market are displayed, meaning a really handy shortcut to call, text a contact, or even download an app from the Market. Not quite giving Android webOS ‘Just Type’ functionality, but it comes very close, and if Google add more sources it will be essential.


About Author

Simon Burns is the editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. He has been a fan of technology for over twenty five years and loves playing with gadgets and spending time with his family. You can get in touch with him via the ‘contact us’ section of the site or on Twitter by following @smartappreview

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