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A small, single-purpose application that provides quick, at-a-glance information, or quick access to simple interactive functions. Widgets are simpler and faster to access than full applications (apps) that may provide more functionality.

Most widget platforms are designed around small widgets that only take up part of the screen, so that you can access several widgets at once. These widgets may be located in a dedicated widget area, or on the home screen / lock screen, making them quick to access.

Examples of common widgets include ones that display basic weather information, news headlines, a clock, upcoming appointments, social network updates, web search entry, or a flight mode switch.

There are several different, incompatible widget platforms. (A widget designed for smart TVs generally won't work on an Android phone, for example.)

Last updated Aug 3, 2022 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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