Great List of Android Widgets For Tweaking And Monitoring Your Device Settings [Part 1]

With the growth of apps, the various smartphone platforms are all becoming similar. What makes Google’s Android stands out from the rest is the ability to add “widgets” on the home screen and offer the user a unique experience. For those of you who are not sure what widget is, they are essentially interactive icons on the home screen which update with information or change the settings of your device. There are thousands of widgets in the Android Market and unfortunately there is no effective way of searching for them except to simply search for “widgets”.

In this series of articles, I will highlight groups of widgets that are useful for different tasks. This first article in the series features widgets that are useful for monitoring or tweaking Android settings.

Note: Most of these widgets also have “pro” or “extended” versions with more features, but which also costs money.

Adding Widgets

To add a widget to your Android device, simply long press anywhere on your home screen and select “widget”.


Widgets For Toggling Settings

A smartphone has a number of features that are not always necessary. For example, unless you are in an area with WiFi, having your WiFi radio turned on is a waste of battery as it will constantly try and find a new network. On the other hand, it is a pain to have to constantly dig through menus to disable selected radios. Therefore, putting toggle widgets (widgets that activate or deactivate particular functions) on your home screen alleviates this pain.

1. Free Power Widget: This puts a widget bar on your home screen that allows you to monitor and toggle a multitude of settings, including the following:

  • USB
  • Airplane
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth (only Android 2.x)
  • Silent
  • Lock Pattern (Only Android 2.2 or lower)
  • Brightness Toggle
  • Brightness Slider
  • Sync (only Android 2.x)
  • Orientation
  • GPS
  • 2G/3G
  • Stay awake
  • Always On
  • Screen Timeout
  • WiFi Lock



2. Toggle Widgets Pack: This pack of widgets places individual icons on your home screen (unlike the above widget bar) and it allows you to toggle the following settings:

  • Airplane mode
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS (Not one click since Android API does not support this)
  • Reboot (Requires root access)
  • Silent mode
  • Vibrate
  • WiFi



3. CurveFish Widgets: The developer CurveFish has created individual widgets for toggling the following settings:


SilentMode, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, AutoRotate, Brightness Level, 2G to 3G, APN (data), AutoSync and LockPattern

You can also download the OnOff Widgets Pack (from the same developer) which features a collection of the following toggle widgets:

  • Airplane mode
  • APN (data)
  • AutoRotate
  • AutoSync
  • Bluetooth
  • Brightness
  • GPS
  • LockScreen
  • Network 2G/3G
  • Screen timeout
  • Silent mode
  • WiFi



Battery Monitor Widgets

It is strange that Google does not provide an adequate application for monitoring the battery level of your Android handset. There is a battery icon in the notification bar, however it is not very precise. Fortunately, there are a number of widgets that display the battery level of your device on your home screen:

  1. BatteryLife
  2. Circle Battery Widget
  3. Battery Watcher Widget
  4. Battery Widget
  5. Battery Solo Widget
  6. Battery Monitor Widget: The above widgets are all fairly basic as they merely display the current battery level. In contrast, this widget gives you complete battery monitoring through a notification icon, battery history, graphs, and alarms.




In the next part of this Android widget series, we will discuss the various clock widgets in the market.

Image credit: Johan Larsson

Abhiroop Basu

Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something, he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye.


  1. Nice list, the battery widgets are especially cool, have you tried this list of free android apps?

  2. My advice (for whatever it’s worth):  Don’t be in a hurry to download any widget sets until you have checked-out ELIXIR2 and SDTOOLS.  At first, I thought they did about the same thing, but they don’t… not quite.  I have them both on my AT&T Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S class), and while there is, of course, some overlap, they actually complement one another quite nicely…

    …and between the two fo them, pretty much every widget described in this article is covered.

    That said, some of the widgets described in the article are both interesting in terms of function, and quite interesting looking… beautiful, even, a few of them.

    My overarching point, though, is that one should first see how either ELIXIR2 or SDTOOLS does a certain thing, and then compare the winner between those two with whatever else on this page looks nice.  As I’m sure I don’t have to explain, the more apps one has on one’s phone, the more things can slow down; and that’s especially unnecessary when/if one has too many apps which do the same things.  After installing ELIXIR2, I dumped server individual apps which did things it does; and then I only installed SDTOOLS to compare them, but that’s when I realized that it can actually make sense to keep them both… just live with the tiny bit of overlap.  By so doing, I was able to uninstall even MORE individual apps which, because what they did is covered, by hook or by crook in one or the other or both of ELIXIR2 and/or SDTOOLS.

    All that said, I admit that some of the widgets in this article sure seem nice.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

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