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Android How-To: Widgets

Ever wondered what an Android widget is and just what it does on your Android device? Android by Google, is now the number one portable electronics operating system. At WorldStart, we always keep our readers updated on the latest and most popular tech, so we’ll be doing a multi-week series on how to use Android. If you don’t own an Android device yet, it’s still worth reading. Google gives away the source code to Android. That means it’s showing up on more devices every day.

Part 6: Widgets

Widgets are programs which go in the same spot as program icons on the Android Home Screen, but update with live information. An example of a Widget is a calendar which shows upcoming events from your calendar or an analog clock which shows the current time. Widgets are both built-in to the Android operating system and part of certain apps you download from the Google Play Store.

To access the list of widgets on your device, go to your home screen and tap on the app list icon, (this icon is two rows of three small squares) then click on the Widgets Tab. You’ll see an alphabetical list of installed widgets.  Wwipe right and left to move through the list of widgets.  When you install apps from the Google Play Store that include widgets, they will appear in this list.

To load a widget onto one of your Android home screens, simply press and hold on the widget. The widget will pop out and your home screen will appear with a line outline of where the widget will fit on the screen. Continue holding down on the screen and you can drag the widget to the location where you wish to place it. Since widgets can be quite large, some of your app icons may move automatically to accommodate the widget. Let go of the screen to drop the widget in place.

If there is no more room left on your home screen, you will receive an error indicating that. In that case, you’ll want to move it to another home screen by dragging on the far left or right side of the screen. You could also remove some of the existing icons or widgets by holding down on the icon. Then drag it to the X or Remove at the top of the screen.