“Life is beautiful”, “The Beauty and the Beast”, “Isn’t the world a beautiful place?”
As you can see, people across borders and centuries have always appreciated beauty. We’re not just practical beings; we also have an inherent soft spot for the esthetic. Android may be super functional, but is it always pleasing to the eye?
In the eyes of some users the beauty of HTC Sense trumps considerations about effectiveness and usability. For those of you looking for a UI à la HTC Sense without having to root your device, Beautiful Widgets is a great solution for pimping up your phone’s screen.
Beautiful Widgets brings you a great deal of cool-looking widgets to your phone.
Find out why Beautiful Widgets is more than just about good looks in today’s test report.
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Features & Use
Beautiful Widgets includes widgets for:
- Home screen
What’s a widget in the first place?
For all Android newbies that haven't come in contact with widgets on their computers here's a short explanation of the term.
A widget is not an active program, but a small graphic window that can receive (and sometimes transmit) information. These pieces of data can be exchanged over an API. To put it simply: widgets are programs that can be installed. In the case of Beautiful Widgets, the widget simply accesses the Android weather app or the Android clock to get its information.
All available widgets can be accessed by long-pressing the screen and selecting Widgets. There you can select a widget from the scroll-down list and place them on your home screen.
Beautiful Widgets includes Widgets and Skins
The widgets included are available in different sizes and designs. Generally speaking, there are three aforementioned types of widgets. Each widgets can be customized to your liking:
- Super Clock Widget: This widget can display the time in 12 or 24 hour format. The date format can also be adjusted. You can also choose which apps to open when you press on the a) clock, b) date or c) weather icon. The font and color can also be adjusted.
- Weather Widget: Here you can adjust which weather app to be used in conjunction with the widget: either Accuweather or Google. Additionally, you can have your location specified or have the phone automatically know your location. The temperature can be displayed in Celsius and Fahrenheit. All in all: a whole treasure full of options!
- Home Widget: The home widget is a mix from the two widgets above with similar preferences and options.
Differently sized widgets can be placed on the home screen. Depending on the amount of space on your screen, you can choose between 2x1, 4x1, 4x2 and 1x1 (not always available) widgets.
The skins are the real attraction of Beautiful Widgets. With their help, you can change look and feel of your widgets. In the app you can assign certain skins to specific widgets. There’s a small library where you can browse through different designs. Once you’ve found the perfect skin, you can download the skin for free and save it to your SD card.
Toggles – Key Functions At Your Fingertips
Toggles are one of the app’s other important components. They are small on/off switches that allow you to control key Android functions directly from your home screen without having to open your settings. With Beautiful Widgets you can add Toggles for the following:
- Unlock Pattern
- Silent Timer: Pretty useful. One click on this toggle lets you define a timeframe where your phone should be silent (e.g. you’re at the movies or a dinner with your girlfriend/boyfriend).
“The beautiful is as useful as the useful” is a famous quote from Victor Hugo’s epic novel Les Misérables. Beautiful Widgets combines both of these things to make your Android phone as customized and personal as possible. The number of available skins is impressive and the list keeps on expanding. This leaves you the possibility to change and redesign your home screen as much as you please.
It’s a shame that the widgets don’t display any animation, but have to be activated with a click. It would also be a good idea to add a wallpaper library to the app. That way you can have the perfect widget wallpaper combo! Beautiful Widgets would get 5 stars if it has those extra features.
Screen & Controls
The weather animation for Beautiful Widgets has a lot in common with HTC. I would be doing this app a dishonor by simply comparing it to HTC Sense. In actuality, Beautiful Widgets has a lot more to offer. There’s a huge library of different skins from numerous designers that can be downloaded for free. And the designs are COMPLETELY different from each other so there isn’t any repetition.
Speed & Stability
The widgets on the home screen didn’t have any effect on my phone’s performance. No crashes experienced. Beautiful Widgets saves skins to your SD card saving you precious storage space.
Beautiful Widgets can be purchased for about $3.31 from the Android Market or AndroidPIT App Center. The price is appropriate for the huge amount of variety and selection.