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
Shazam is one of those apps you always show to someone who has never really seen a smartphone up close before. The ability to ‘magically’ listen to music and display what song is playing always leads to a ‘wow’ moment. Shazam Encore comes with it’s own widget, which is only really useful for people who plan to use the app a lot. The widget shows the last song you ‘tagged’ or looked at, and also has a shortcut to the main app, but the really cool feature is the ability to tag a song straight from the widget. In reality this is just a quick shortcut to the ‘listening’ screen of the app. Pretty good, but would have been more relevant if the widget did that on it’s own.
This is better. Weatherbug is an excellent weather app, one of the best available on Android, and the widget is just as good. The app has two different sizes of widget, which is always a plus given the vast variety of different screen sizes for the platform. The widget is also fully customisable, with different colours to choose from, for both the background and text, and also the ability to choose the location for the weather data. So it’s possible to have several widgets, all displaying weather from different cities, a really good feature. A nice picture of the current weather, the temperature and the highs and lows for the day are also displayed. Highly recommended.
Want to root your phone but are put off by the various terrifying techniques you have to go through to do it? Well, you may be in luck, as Universal Androot can do it with one click. That’s if it supports your device and firmware, but if it does then Universal Androot will also install Superuser on your phone and is amazingly easy to do. The widget allows you to perform a soft root of your device, and also to undo that root. This is extremely handy in certain situations, particularly if you like to be able to quickly reverse a soft root without diving into the app.