You have been using widgets for some time to organize the main screen of your smartphone and you already know how to use them to simplify some operations, for example taking notes, or to understand at a glance what the weather will be tomorrow. Well, functions of this type are integrated into the widgets already present in your device, such as Notes and Weather, but at this point you would like to be able to customize your Home Screen by inserting more particular widgets, without sacrificing functionality.
You are wondering, therefore, if there is a way to embellish the Home by inserting custom widgets and – if so – how to create a custom widget that fully meets your needs and also your tastes in terms of style, fonts and colors. Well, I have good news for you: you’ve come to just the right place! In this guide, in fact, I will explain step by step how to create a custom widget using some applications made especially for this and by following the various steps you can easily get an efficient and beautiful widget to look at.
On your part, only a little inventiveness and creativity is required: in most cases, widgets are highly customizable – I mean down to the smallest detail – and if I weren’t here you could even risk getting lost among the many options available to you. disposition. The tutorial is valid for both Android and iPhone / iPad, but towards the end I will also give you some tips regarding Windows PCs and Macs. Ready to give your Home Screen a new look? Then let’s get started!
How to create a custom widget: Android
If none of the pre-installed widgets satisfy you and you need a little more customizable content, then you can download KWGT Kustom Widget Maker , one of the most popular apps for creating widgets on Android .
The customization options of the widgets contained in this app are far superior to those offered by the default widgets. Within the collection you will find different categories of widgets (there are the most common ones such as clock, weather and calendar), but keep in mind that there is also advertising (visible only within the app, not in the widget itself).
To install it, search for the app in the Play Store or in an alternative store, if you have a device without Google services, by simply typing “kwgt” . Then select the KWGT Kustom Widget Maker application from the list of results and then click on the Install button . Once the download and installation are complete, go ahead and open the app and press the Let’s Go! Button . in the first screen you see.
Then skip the preliminary information on how to contact the Kustom Widget team by tapping the Next button and decide which permissions to grant by tapping the corresponding levers from the Permissions screen . At this point, press again on the Next button and then on the Allow item .
You will find a short tutorial on how to physically insert widgets; check it out if you like, otherwise tap the Close button . You are now ready to customize the Home!
Now go to the main screen of your smartphone and long press anywhere on the screen (the important thing is that it is empty, that is, without icons and any widgets already inserted). A small menu will open with the available customization options: press the Widget item and search the list for the Kustom Widget collection .
The app allows you to create widgets of various sizes; swipe with your finger from right to left to the desired one and hold down to insert the widget in the Home. You can always resize it later by making a long tap on it and dragging the four dots on the sides of the widget.
Once you have inserted the widget, press on it (this time a short tap is enough) and choose the content you want from the Explore section . Let’s say you want to add a watch; press on the style you prefer and then on the OK button in the warning that appears regarding the resizing (as we said before, the app warns you about the possibility of changing the scaling of the widget at any time). Press the OK button again after reading the welcome message and loading the preset.
The “preset” is nothing more than the widget that you will customize from the Editor menu that has just opened for you. Choose what to change by selecting the various tabs relating to Objects , Background , Layer , Global Variations , Links and Touch each time .
The most common customization is the one that concerns the background. Then press on the corresponding section and choose a color by tapping on the code that begins with the hash. Move your finger on the color wheel until you find the one you like; once done, press the Apply button and, if you feel like it, make further changes by moving to the other tabs. For example, from the Layer tab , you can increase the size of the widget by repeatedly pressing the (+) or directly typing a number (eg 50) text field.
When you are done, remember to save it by clicking on the floppy disk icon at the top right. At this point, go back to the Home and you will see that the changes have already been made automatically. If you need more information on using this app, I refer you to the other tutorial I wrote on how to create a widget.
As an alternative to KWGT you can use Magic Widgets and – if you like the style of the iPhone and want to emulate it on your Android device – iOS 14 Widgets . All three of the apps mentioned are free and do not feature invasive advertisements (at least not on widgets). I recommend Magic Widgets for a slightly more colorful and imaginative customization, while Widgets iOS 14 is suitable for those who love the minimal yet elegant style of the iPhone and would like to recreate something similar on their smartphone.
How to create a custom widget: iPhone
The update to iOS 14 has also made it possible for iPhone owners to create custom widgets to give a touch of style to their Home screen. The necessary premise, before getting to the heart of the tutorial, is that it is essential to have already installed the fourteenth version of the operating system on your iPhone, made available from September 2020 and presenting some important news regarding the user interface.
So make sure you have already installed iOS 14 from your iPhone Settings , in particular from the General> Software Update menu . If you have not already done so, you can proceed with the help of my complete guide on how to download iOS 14. If you use an iPad , you can use widgets, but in this case, up to version 14 of the iPadOS operating system, they will only appear in the ‘special side menu of the Home Screen and can not be positioned freely as it happens on the iPhone.
Widgets, as we said, represent the most important aesthetic novelty introduced by this update. To create your own, my advice is to download Widgetsmith , a hugely popular app used by thousands of users to bring the interface of their dreams to life.
Widgetsmith offers tons of custom widgets based on weather, calendar, reminders, tasks and much more. The first parameter to set, trivially, is the one related to the size: you can choose between large, medium and small widgets and then indulge yourself by choosing the style, font and color or background photo.
To get started, search for Widgetsmith on the App Store and download it by pressing the Get button and verifying your identity via Face ID , Touch ID or Apple ID password (if required). Then, open the newly installed application and click on one of the options available between Add Small Widget , Add Medium Widget and Add Large Widget (the preview on the side allows you to get an idea of the actual size).
Now suppose you want to create a medium widget: press on the second option Add Medium Widget and, from the screen that opens ( Style ), proceed with the choice of style. The alternatives available, this time, are Photos , Time , Date , Weather , Step Counting , Health & Activity , Calendar , Reminders , Tides and Astronomy (you will find them as you scroll down the list).
In our example, we want to create a clock widget: to do the same, scroll down to the Time section and select the style that suits you best (when you click on it, the style outlines turn blue). Go ahead and customize it by tapping the Aesthetic / Theme tab found at the bottom of the screen. You can choose between free and paid themes (they are those with the padlock symbol above); keep in mind that the monthly subscription to Widgetsmith Premium costs € 1.99, or € 21.99 per year.
If you don’t intend to pay for now, however, you can always select a free theme such as Index Card . You will notice that other customization options such as Location and Time Format are available below ; if you have special needs, you can also intervene on these parameters, for example by opting for a time zone other than that of Italy or for a time format like that of the United States, i.e. with the initials AM and PM.
In any case, to continue with the customization, you will have to go back to the Aesthetic / Theme tab and from there press the blue Customize Theme button . A new screen will open with many other tabs inside, one for each parameter to be modified. As before, make your choice by clicking on the font and colors that best suit your style: from Tint Color you can change the color of the time, while from Background Color you can change the color of the background. Border Color , very simply, allows you to select the color of the borders: you can match it to that of the background by pressing the first option None .
Ignore the last Artwork tab if you don’t have a Premium subscription; the only style available to free users is the Christmas Candy Cane .
When you are satisfied, click on the Save button at the top right and then on the Apply to This Widget Only item if you do not plan to create other matching widgets (different in content, but which adopt the same style). If not, tap Update Theme Everywhere .
At this point, go back by pressing on the button (top left and then again on the Save button . Close the application and go back to the Home . Press on an empty part of the same and then on the (+) button always at the top left . Scroll the list of widgets to Widgetsmith and then press on it. You will be asked to select the size of the widget you created a little while ago: in the case of an average widget, just swipe to the left and at the end press the button at the bottom Add widget The widget has appeared: to complete the operation, touch an empty spot on the screen again. Easy, right?
In addition to Widgetsmith, the most popular of its category, there are other apps for creating custom widgets such as Color Widgets , Colorful Widgets and ScreenKit . The first is basically similar to Widgetsmith; the peculiarity of the other two, on the other hand, is that they also provide packages of icons to be combined with the widgets created to obtain a truly unique and one hundred percent “your” effect.
The choice is yours: if your goal is to create custom widgets, I suggest you focus on Widgetsmith; alternatively, the aforementioned apps represent excellent solutions for decorating the Home screen in an exclusive way.
How to create a custom widget: Windows
Even on Windows PCs it is possible to take advantage of the comforts and aesthetic pleasure offered by widgets. In reality, on the latest versions of the operating system the possibility of creating widgets (in the jargon “gadget”) as on Windows 7 has been excluded, which is why, if you want them back, you will have to take advantage of some alternative solutions such as the ones I have proposed to you in my tutorial on how to put the clock on the desktop.
Alternatively, if you are interested in a customizable widget for the weather , you can consult this other guide of mine in which I explain step by step how to display a convenient widget (or gadget) on the desktop, always keeping in mind that the customization options, in case of widgets for PC, are a little more limited.
Again, if you prefer to take advantage of a “native” function of Windows 10 and later , I suggest you add Live Tiles to the Start menu, that is to say dynamic tiles visible to the right of the list of programs that have the exact same function as widgets.
To insert a Live Tile, open the Start menu by clicking on the flag icon , at the bottom left, and search in the list of programs for an application to use as a “widget”. You can choose those from Microsoft that you usually find already installed, such as MSN Weather and Microsoft News . If, on the other hand, they are not on your PC, you can download them from the Microsoft Store and from there proceed with the installation by clicking on the Get button .
Once done, click on the application (for example Weather) and start it. A window will open from which you can choose various preferences (eg the location in the case of the weather). From the top menu then click on the Add to Start button and press the Yes button to confirm.
A new icon has already appeared to the right of the Start menu, larger than the others and above all dynamic: change its size by right-clicking and, after passing the mouse pointer over the Resize item , choose between Small , Medium , Large and Large .
You can create a widget for virtually all applications made available by Microsoft, such as News. Try and find your style!
How to create a custom widget: Mac
The most recent versions of macOS have introduced redesigned widgets designed to appear directly in the Notification Center of the operating system. To access the latter, just click on the date or time in the top right of the menu bar, or alternatively, you can swipe from the right edge of the trackpad with two fingers.
Adding a widget is very easy: just click on the Choose widget button at the bottom of the Notification Center (after any notifications or widgets already present) and then, from this view, click on the Add (+) button in the corner of any widget. If the widget is available in various sizes, three “sizes” will appear: S , M and L , one for each size. This is the most common type of customization; otherwise, macOS native widgets do not offer many possibilities in this regard.
Once you have chosen and sorted the widgets you prefer, click on the Finish button , at the bottom right, to save your preferences. For more information on how to add widgets on macOS, see the dedicated tutorial I dedicated to the topic.