December 29, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
Hangouts is a first-party Google application designed to handle various types of messaging such as Google Talk, and more recently SMS and MMS. Hangouts is the successor the previously popular Google Talk, which it replaced back in August 2013. And right now, it’s probably the most popular messenger on Android.
Despite being such popular application, Hangouts lacks one major feature: a good widget. Instant access to messages should be a priority, and Google obviously failed to deliver this with decent widget support. But who said that there must be an official widget to support Hangouts?
XDA Senior Member RSenG2x made an unofficial widget that allows you to preview and create messages instantly. It has very nice, clear look, and does its job perfectly. You can also resize the widget, so that it doesn’t take up too much space on your home screen. Unfortunately, though, this app only works on Android 4.3 or higher, so not everybody will be able to use it.
If your device runs 4.3 or 4.4, you can get the newest version of the widget from the original thread. Make your Hangouts communication as fast and easy as it should have been from the beginning.
December 23, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
The new year is coming, so it’s time to get rid of those pesky wall calendars and find something smaller, more functional, and free. Android devices have essentially become powerful computers, so they are used for a variety of tasks such as music playback, scheduling, telling time, and whatever else you could ask for. That said, stock Android lacks very many good looking widgets, especially for such an important thing as a calendar.
XDA Forum Member Syncd made a good looking calendar widget that integrates with Google Calendar and shows upcoming events in a nice, transparent, and “Holo” way. This app offers two ways of viewing the calendar: You can view the full month in the form of a grid. Days with events are marked, so it’s really easy to spot when something important is coming. The second way is agenda view, which shows events for the next few days. It also includes the weather forecast for these days, so you will know when to take your jacket and umbrella. The widgets can be shown in four different ways (calendar view) or two (agenda view), and Event Flow Calendar Widget supports themes.
I like this widget, as good free calendar widgets are quite rare. If you are looking for some neat widgets, make your way to the application thread and give it a try.