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Mastering widgets on Ice Cream Sandwich

Read on for a guide in using widgets on any Android device running Ice Cream Sandwich.

Your home screen is the hub for all your shortcut to the apps and settings you want quick access to. A more common term for these types of shortcuts are widgets. With an Android phone powered by Ice Cream Sandwich, you’ve the ability to add these shortcuts to up to five home screens at any one time. Although it may seem like a good idea to add lots of widgets to every home screen, it can look cluttered, and you only get limited space on each screen. This means that selecting the right widgets to use is of the utmost importance.

The stock widgets that come with most ICS-enabled phones are great, and offer unique shortcuts to your favourite apps. More popular apps, such as Facebook and Twitter, come with a variety of different widgets for you to use, and all in different sizes. By accessing the Google Play store, you’ll be able to find a variety of extra widgets to download. The most common types are weather and clock widgets, but new ones are getting added all the time.

In this tutorial we will show you how to access all the widgets currently available on your ICS device, as well as the process of selecting and adding a widget to one of your phone’s home screens. In the final part of the tutorial we’ll show you how you can search and download further widgets to add to your collection from the Google Play store.

  1. Choose a screen

    You can add a widget to any homescreen on your ICS device. With most newer devices you’ll have access to numerous homescreens, and all of them can be packed with widgets and app shortcuts.

  2. Open the drawer

    Press the app drawer icon within the five icons on the bottom of your screen. From here you can scroll through your various apps. Select the Widgets tab located at the top of your screen to see which ones you can use on your device.

  3. Choose a widget

    You’ll find plenty of new apps for you to look through and use on your device. Each widget will be linked to a certain app or settings option for your device. The size of the widget is listed next to each one.

  4. Long press

    After you’ve chosen the widget you want to use, long press with your finger on the widget. This will now take you to a top-down view of your various home screens which you can scroll through while still pressing your widget.

  5. Place your widget

    Once you’ve selected the homescreen you want to use, choose the exact location on it and let go of the widget. It will now be automatically added to the location and ready for you to use and play around with.

  6. Download extra widgets

    Not every pre-installed app has a set of widgets that come with it, but you will find widgets for most of the standard Google apps. Download further widgets by downloading apps from the Google Play store.