Do you use widgets on your home screen?

Has Google’s refocused attitude changed the layout of your phone?


widget-hero

Widgets have been a part of Android from the very beginning, all the way back when you could run out to your local T-Mobile store to pick up a G1. They have come a long way since then, but not without some bumps in the road. Android 12 has found that Google is once again focusing on design with dozens of new widgets for its first-party apps and services. Of course, whether it has gotten anyone back to throw a lot of widgets on their home screen is a whole other question.

After years of stagnation, it’s hard not to look to Apple as the reason for Google’s newfound dedication to widgets. When iOS 14 finally brought a new look and feel to the home screen of iPhones, it was a big deal – as popular as Android is around the world, millions of users had not seen that level of customization on their phones before. TikTok videos and Twitter threads showed the best combination of widgets and home screen adjustments you could find on iOS – even if it did not scratch the surface of what you can do on Google’s smartphone OS.

Go into Android 12. With its biggest selling point centered around personalization and dynamic themes, it was the perfect moment for Google to take a step back and reconsider how its widgets look and feel for the first time in years, all while offering a renewed API for other developers. We started seeing these redesigns over the summer along with each new beta release. With some amazing – and possibly questionable – new shapes and sizes, it didn’t take long before many of us at AP were working on widgets again.

Almost every single Google app has either received brand new widgets to try or a thorough rethinking of what was already there. Photos added a Memories widget to decorate your wallpaper with all sorts of family photos. Drive brought a new X-shaped control panel for quick uploads and other actions, while Keep received a similar tool. Chrome rolled out a search widget to jump faster into your results. Even Google Clock got some attention with all sorts of shapes, sizes, and transparency options that match the app’s new look.

Last May, we asked Android Police readers if they used widgets on their home screen, and if so, how many. The results were surprising: more than two-thirds of voters limited their phone to two or fewer. Nearly 18 months later, the state of widgets on Android has changed a lot, especially with last week’s release of Android 12. So in the wake of Google’s new look, it’s time to revisit the question: have you charged your phone with widgets, and if so, how many?

Android has had widgets forever – they were built into the first release – but Android 12 gave them a makeover and made them more useful. So we’re wondering: do you use widgets on your home screen? If so, how many?


Yes, 1 widget


Yes, 2 widgets


Yes, 3 widgets


Yes, 4 widgets


Yes, 5 or more widgets


I do not use widgets


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