How to add widgets to your status bar « Android :: Gadget Hacks

While it took Apple a long time to ultimately include widgets in iOS, I admire their achievement. Accessible from any screen by pulling down the Notification Center (or, more correctly, the “Today” view), the home screen remains clean and minimal, which some of you with Android devices might appreciate, despite any hatred of Apple you might have.

If this sounds like something you want to try, follow my instructions below, as we can simulate iOS widgets on just about any Android device. And, like most iOS to Android features, it’s actually better on Android! Just pull down your status bar to see your widgets (and keep your homepage less cluttered!).

Step 1: Install Snap – Widget Drawer

Go to the Google Play Store to install the free app called Instant Slide Drawer (formerly Snap – Widget Drawer) from developer Francois Barroso. You will need Android 4.1 or higher for this to work.

Step 2: Select your widgets

Launch the app and tap the plus sign at the bottom of the page. You will be presented with a list of all widgets currently available on your device, allowing you to select them and add them to the widget drawer.

With the free version, you’re limited to just three widgets, but with an in-app purchase of $1.85, you can unlock unlimited widgets and remove ads.

Step 3: Personalize it

Once your list is created, you can rearrange the order by long-pressing an item, or remove them by simply swiping them to the left.

But before you start using the widget drawer, select the three-dot menu icon to enter preferences, then select up to two enable areas. When you scroll down from these areas, you’ll see widgets instead of your notification bar (that way you can still see notifications!).

Also available in the preferences is the option to reduce the widget drawer animation effect when enabled.

Step 4: Pull down the widget drawer

Now, from any screen or app on your Android device, simply swipe down from the designated activation area to access your widgets.

Unfortunately, as the app is new, there are no resizing options, so some of the widgets you place in the drawer may not look as good as others. Also, the drawer is accessible from the lock screen, so be aware of that when placing widgets that may contain sensitive information, although it will still need to be unlocked to launch an action or app.

To progress on this application, follow the Developer’s Google+ Community Page, and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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