A Complete Guide to Customizing Widgets on Android Phones and iPhones

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There are few things more satisfying than a well-organized phone. Maybe you’ve managed to colour-coordinate all of your apps, and perhaps you’ve even gone to create folders with clever names and icon backgrounds to match. Stop right there and get ready for the next step: widgets!

Widgets are little boxes that display information on your phone, like the weather or the date. They can be cute or functional, but what matters is that their usefulness makes them ultra-customizable to your liking. Let’s explore using these pocket-sized miracles (oh yeah, they fit in your pocket).

What Are Widgets?

Widgets are small applications that can be added to a home screen to display helpful information. The idea is similar to the sticky note concept, where you can take down notes or reminders and then stick them somewhere in your office.

There’s no limit to how many widgets you can add to an Android phone, but Apple restricts the number of devices you can place on your iPhone. If you have an Android phone, you’ll probably want to tweak it to have some extra functionality built into it.

Widgets come in all shapes and sizes; they’re available for many different types of devices such as watches, televisions (e.g., Fire TV Stick), laptops (e.g., Chromebook Pixel), computers (e.g., MacBook Pro), etc.

Widgets can also send severe weather warnings, as demonstrated here. Additionally, you may add as many as you like on your home screen for easy access and quick information. Let’s look at how to add and personalize them on your Android or Apple iPhone.

What Are the Benefits of Having Widgets?

Widgets are a great way of displaying information that you need access to regularly. They’re at the top of your screen and easy to see, so they’re very convenient. They can also be customized in many different ways, so you can make them look whatever you want them to look like!

Additionally, widgets are often used as shortcuts or launchers for apps; for example, if I have an app called “Music” and I want quick access to it on my phone screen all the time without having to go through multiple menus (or even open up my full app drawer), then I could put a widget directly into my home screen where I’d see it every time I opened up my phone.

This saves me time because now, whenever something comes up where I need music in a hurry—like if there’s some party happening right now—then all I need do is open up my phone instead of searching through every single menu option available before finding what exactly it was that I wanted: just one tap away!

Is Adding Widget to Your Phone’s Home Screen a Good Idea?

Yes, widgets are a great way to get information quickly. They can be used to control your phone or device, and some of them can even show you the time, weather, or other things such as music controls. Having something like this on my home screen makes it much easier to check on certain things without opening apps first, going through menus, or typing something in with the keyboard.

There are also many different widget sizes available, so if you don’t want something taking up space on your screen, there are plenty of other options available. You can choose smaller sizes that won’t take up too much real estate on the home screen.

Adding Widgets to Android Phones

You can add widgets to your Android phone by:

  • Swiping down from the top of your home screen and then tapping the “Widgets” tab
  • Pressing and holding on to a space on your home screen, then choosing “Widget”
  • Long-pressing on an app icon until it starts jiggling
  • Tapping the edit button at the top of the menu that appears
  • You can select which widgets to add and remove from each app’s layout

Adding Widgets to iPhones

Adding widgets to iPhones is different from adding them to Android phones. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open Settings on your iPhone and scroll down until you see the “General” section
  • Click on it, then choose “Accessibility”
  • This will open up a new screen where you’ll find an option called “Home Control”
  • Tap this, then toggle it on. You’ll be asked for permission for Apple to give itself access to your phone’s home screen (which means it can add widgets). Permit by hitting “Allow”
  • The Accessibility menu should close automatically after this step; if not, close it yourself by tapping the button in the top left-hand corner of your screen that looks like three horizontal lines stacked one above another (the same button used for closing apps)
  • Your home screen will now look different because there’s a white box with plus signs at both ends next to each app icon—this is where you’ll be able to add all kinds of things like weather updates and music players!
  • To add widgets when launching any app, tap on its icon once instead of double-tapping as usual
  • Then select Add Widget at the top left side corner of the bottom menu bar (or type the ‘a’ key twice)

One Word About Widgets for Windows Phones

Windows Phone has a few widgets, but they’re not as customizable as you can do on Android and iOS. If you’re a Windows Phone user, there are two things to keep in mind:

  • Widgets are designed for the mobile experience. This means that widgets tend to be more helpful in getting quick updates on weather, traffic, and calendar appointments. They’re also great for accessing frequently used apps such as your phone’s camera or calculator.
  • Windows Phone doesn’t offer many options for customizing existing widgets or adding new ones. There’s no way to resize or reposition existing widgets on your home screen (like you can with Android), so the only way to change their appearance is through text size settings within each widget (similarly with iOS).


We’ve covered a lot today, so let’s recap. We discussed why you would want to customize your widgets; then, we looked at how to do so on Android and iPhone operating systems. The good news is that no matter what type of device they have, pretty much anyone can personalize their widgets.

To do this on an iPhone, select the “Edit” button in your Today View app; then, you should see small circles with plus signs in them appear in the top left corner of each widget page—select one of these and choose a widget from the list that appears (we recommend Apple News for up-to-date news stories!).

On Android devices, all you need to do is open up your phone’s Settings and tap “Widgets,” which will bring up a list of built-in widgets from which you can choose what will show up on your home screen.

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