1. Doron Midroni's Avatar
    I have just started using the Galaxy S4 (Rogers) and I noticed that alongside the Applications there are pages and pages of Widget icons.

    I have been trying to figure out what they are, what is their fucntion, how can they be used.

    I tapped a few of the widget icons and each time I get a message that I have to tap and hold it to move the icon somewhere else; nothing else happens. The point is that I don't want to move them; I don't even know for what purpose they exist and how they can be used.

    I would appreciate being guided to available information on the topic, that would go beyond what widgets are but explain what is their use, how I can improve the use of Galaxy S4 taking advantage of these widgets.

    Or, hopefully, being guided by this forum.

    Thank you!
    07-15-2013 09:04 AM
  2. starbuckk's Avatar
    Widgets are part of what makes Android stand out over other mobile os systems. They provide at a glance info on your home page without opening the app. Your home page probably already has a weather display on it. That is a widget.

    Welcome to the Android community!

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2
    07-15-2013 09:46 AM
  3. garublador's Avatar
    The "apps" are shortcuts to open whatever app it represents. When you tap the icon it opens the appropriate app. So if you have a weather app and tap on the icon for it it will open that app and tell you the weather.

    A widget is a thing that takes up space on your home screen that acts like an app. So you can have a weather widget that takes up four columns and one row that shows you the current weather and the forecast for the next few days without you having to open an app.

    The advantage of widgets is you don't have to open an app to get the information. It will display it on part of your home screen. So you can have that weather widget, a widget that tells you your next appointment, one that shows your to-do list and one that tells you your monthly data usage all on the same screen. If you used shortcuts you'd have to first open your weather app, close it, open your calendar app, close it and then open your to-do list app just to get the same information you could get by just looking at one screen.

    Another use for widgets is to change phone settings without having to open up a settings dialog. If you frequently turn WiFi on and off you can put a widget on your home screen that, when tapped, toggles your WiFi on and off. The "Assistive Light" widget is my favorite because it turns on the camera flash led so you can use your phone as a flashlight. If you tap it once the light comes on, if you tap it again it goes off. There are apps that do that, but with the widget you just need one tap for on and one for off. You don't need to open the app, turn on the flashlight, turn off the flashlight and then exit the app.

    The disadvantage is that all of these things have to be running and updating for them to be useful. This will have an effect on your battery and data usage. Fortunately, most developers know this limitation and program their widget around it. The weather widget might only update every hour or if you tap it and only takes a few kB of data.

    The reason those widgets don't do anything when you tap them is becasue that's not how widgets work. In your app drawer they aren't meant to do anything. They're only there to show you what options you have when it comes to placing them on your home screen. So there is no purpose to just tapping them, the only reason they're in your app drawer is to be moved to your home screen.
    07-15-2013 09:57 AM
  4. HPferoxCraft's Avatar
    Welcome to the wonderful world of widgets. Apps will most times have a widget that you place on one of your Homescreen. They will provide you certain functions/info of the main app right there on your homepage without having to actually open the app.
    For example: if you have a music player it will have a widget that may simply have a pic of the album art, play, stop, FF, rw. A weather widget may simply state the temp and have an icon of currant weather or you can pick a widget that also displays multi day forcast.
    Tapping the widgets usually will open up the main app for more in depth info.
    Widgets can sometimes be customized to your liking, as in colors, sizes, fonts ect. And there are great programs like UCCW and Zooper Widget that let you make your own very simply.
    You can think of them maybe as smart icons.
    Once you start using them and creating them you'll find that you can make your phone stylish, smart and sexy and be an extension of your personality instead of just a phone with a wallpaper and some icons.

    Edit: we should add when your on the widget page hold down on the widget, your Homescreen should appear and you can drop it where you want it placed on your Homescreen. Or on your Homescreen long press in a blank spot and choose widget from the pop-up list then choose the widget you like.
    07-15-2013 10:19 AM
  5. Doron Midroni's Avatar
    To: starbuckk, garublador and HPferoxCraft!

    Thank for the welcome, thank you for taking the time to reply in such detail. A lot to digest, and I may have more questions but I will try to make them topic-specific; I am a moderator on a non-commercial travel website, and so I am quite clear on the need for being specific.

    Back to widgets: a lot to learn and to experiment!

    By the way, I have been using a Galaxy Tab for about three years, so my start on Galaxy S4 was somewhat facilitated by some familiarity with the layouts, icons, tapping, etc. Still, there is a world of difference, new "stuff", new concepts. Rogers offers tutorials; I applied for a session. In the meantime, I have uploaded my music, my videos, and pictures stored on the Galaxy Tab to the S4. The books didn't transit so well...

    Onwards, back to your replies and trying to see how these widgets work!

    Thank you again!

    07-15-2013 07:24 PM
  6. HPferoxCraft's Avatar
    The best way to learn about them is to just play around with them and see what they do. If your not a fan of one on your Homescreen just long press it and select remove. Have fun and always feel free to ask questions.
    07-15-2013 07:39 PM
  7. theShiz's Avatar
    I have a question. Why does the Assitive Light widget on the Galaxy S4 have so many permissions? It's just a light.

    Posted via Android Central App
    12-15-2013 09:49 AM

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