Why Widgets Matter

Being an iPhone user first and foremost, I have to say that I often feel cheated when looking at the static screen of inactivity. Whether it be the lock screen or one of the several pages of home screens, I feel they are waste lands of valuable screen real estate. I respect the decision by Apple to keep things simple and unified across the platform and the devices their OS runs on, but I don’t believe that Apple has provided the most innovative ways to get the most important information to me in the quickest and most efficient way. I also believe that the most common and routine tasks should be able to be performed on your “smart” phone in a way that doesn’t require a lot of uneccessary swiping and tapping.

So I have this Android phone right. Well, let me tell you what. They have taken a different path entirely in that they give you a plethora of options and available customizations so that you can tailor your smartphone experience in a way that takes advantage of all that screen real estate (and with Android devices, that’s a lot of display to play with.) Whether it be applications, action shortcuts, widgets or toggles, you can be assured that the customization options are endless. What this does, is make every Android phone interface different and unique for each individual user.

One example of a widget that has enhanced my mobile computing experience is the new widget created by Evernote. Depending on your desired level of integration, you can have quick access to just about everything Evernote has to offer. My personal setup gives me the ability to create a quick text note, photo note or record an audio note. I also have a search button so that I can easily find what I’m looking for in my Evernote database. Finally, by selecting my default notebook, I have access to my recent notes within the notebook chosen. I have also selected Evernote as an example, because I wanted to show iOS users that there are Android developers out there who care about design. This widget is a perfect example of how something can be functional and beautiful and exist on the Android platform. Below is a great video of the most recent changes Evernote has made to their Android application.

 

So have you been missing this kind of functionality on your smartphone? If so, take a look at the Android platform or if you have the patience, wait and see what Apple reveals in its upcoming 6.0 iOS release at WWDC. Whatever, you decide, just know you always have options.