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By far the app/widget I use that attracts the most interest is Beautiful Widgets. Every time someone sees my Galaxy Note 2 phone or my Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet the first question they ask is, "what is that cool home screen widget?"
Beautiful Widgets is a customizable clock widget that can turn your device into a work of art. The hundreds of downloadable themes vary from the pure whimsical to the simply elegant, and every aspect of the appearance is user-configurable.
In addition to the clock widgets, the package also has weather widgets and system control widgets for turning things like wi-fi on and off from the homescreen. There is also an integrated weather app, accessed by tapping the weather section of the widget, that is excellent for seeing the forecast from your favorite weather service.
The Live Wallpaper shown in the image above is part of the package and besides being attractive, it shows the current weather conditions. The wallpaper changes with the weather condition so rain, snow, and other conditions are displayed to show the weather at a glance. It also varies with time of day, so the wallpaper slowly changes from daytime to night to provide an attractive screen that never gets boring.
Beautiful Widgets Pro — $1.99 (free version available with limited feature set)
Digical+ Calendar and Widgets
Android works well with Google services, especially Google Calendar. This is a great calendar app that syncs with Google Calendar and has an attractive interface for doing everything you need to do.
In addition to the nice calendar app, a number of widgets are included to display whatever calendar events you want to have on your home screen. They are customizable so you can have a widget as big (or small) as you want on your home screen.
Digical+ Calendar and Widgets — $4.95 (free version available with limited functionality)
- Stylish and intuitive user interface in Holo dark and light theme
- 6 unique calendar views (day, week, agenda, month, text month and list)
- 5 beautiful and fully customizable widgets (list, grid, day, day list and month)
- Built-in location search via Google Places for quickly adding locations to your events
- Google Now (Android 4.1+) support, notifying you when it's time to leave by planning your route, checking traffic and calculating your travel time
- Improved notifications with shortcuts for snooze, map and navigation
- Smart action bar for quick editing, moving, copying, pasting and deleting events
- Event pop-up makes it easy to go through your individual events
- Gestures like pinch to zoom and swipe to navigate are supported
- Fully compatible with any device running Android 2.2+
I discovered this utility when the Nexus 7 was released. That tablet had autorotation that would switch from portrait to landscape orientation when the tablet was rotated. Google chose to only display the home screen in portrait, even when the tablet was rotated to landscape.
This was extremely annoying for me as I want my home screens to always reflect how the tablet is being held.
Enter Ultimate Rotation, an app that forces phones and tablets to have the rotation behavior that the owner wants. It can override the OS, and autorotate or not depending on the settings. This simple control is very useful on any device.
While my current Android devices autorotate as expected, Ultimate Rotation lets me put a widget control on the home screen to temporarily override that behavior when it makes sense. I usually tap the control to disable autorotation when I'm reading a book on my device, as I only do that in portrait.
Ultimate Rotation — $2.99 (7-day free trial available)