Create a Custom Power Control Widget With Widgetsoid

In the ongoing battle for smartphone supremacy, Android and iPhone have come a long way and are very close in terms of style, performance and features. The one standout feature that keeps many users on the Android platform is customization – especially the ability to configure your home screen to have much more than a bunch of icons. To be more precise: widgets.

Introduction

Widgets allow you to customize what you see on your phone every time it lights up: time, date, weather, calendar, update notifications, snippets from apps, the list goes on and on. No matter how much I customize my home screen, the one thing I always like to have at hand is a power control widget to let me toggle my most used settings on and off.

Although the stock Android power control widget is neat, it is nowhere close to being as powerful as Widgetsoid, a free power control widget with more options than you can shake a stick at and an insane level of customizability. Let’s look into how one can use Widgetsoid to create a subtle minimalist panel of toggle switches like this one here:

The Finished Widget

The Finished Widget

Step-by-Step

Before we move on to the tutorial, make sure you have installed Widgetsoid2.x from the Android Market, and freed up enough space on one of your home screens for a single row of icons spanning the entire width. Done? Let’s go then:

(Video not working? Try this link.)

A Quick Summary

  1. Tap and hold on an empty part of the home screen.
  2. Select ‘Widget’ in the ‘Add to Screen’ list. Depending on the version of Android on your device, you may either find a bunch of Widgetsoid options in the following list, or a single ‘Widgetsoid’ link that leads to a sub-menu.
  3. In either case, tap the ‘Widgetsoid Switcher (4*1)’ or ‘Widgetsoid Switcher (5*1) link, depending on how many columns of icons can be displayed on your home screen. The default is usually 4, but you can easily set it to 5 if you are using a custom launcher like LauncherPro or Go Launcher Ex.
  4. In the Widgetsoid Configuration panel, start checking the widgets you want to include in the widget. The tabs at the bottom are categories and as you have no doubt realised by now, the number of possible widgets is pretty mind-boggling.
  5. Although you are not limited to just four or five widgets, you’ll want to avoid adding too many unless precision tapping is your area of expertise.
  6. Next, move to the ‘Theme’ section, where you can customize the look of the widgets to your heart’s content. I am looking for a very minimal style with no separators, background or indicators, and a white color for the icons to make them stand out on my gray wallpaper.
  7. If you do not like the look of the icons that come with Widgetsoid, you can even choose your own icon by tapping the icon in the preview pane at the top. Check ‘Add color filter’ towards the bottom of the Theme list to have your custom icon look flat like the others in the widget.
  8. Next, go to ‘Advanced’ and check ‘Modifiable’ so that you can always come back and edit the widget at a later point.
  9. All done. Hit ‘Apply’ and you can start using the widget right away!

Summary

What I’ve covered is very much the tip of the iceberg as far as Widgetsoid is concerned. The number of ways you can customize your widget is pretty insane and should satisfy the toughest of control freaks just fine. For a free app, there’s very hardly anything more you can ask for.


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  • http://www.jakub.chodorowicz.pl/ Jakub Chodorowicz

    I’m using Galaxy S with Samsung Sense and it has a built in Power Control widget (in notifications section) – is there a way to turn it off when using a custom widget like this one?

    • http://ashish.bogawat.com Ashish Bogawat

      You don’t need to turn the notification widgets off. I actually have both on my phone with controls in each. Higher priority stuff goes on the home screen and secondary controls – those that I don’t use as often – go in the notification area.

  • http://www.ritaelkhoury.com/ Rita El Khoury

    +1 for the awesome Widgetsoid. I’ve been using it since last December and I can’t believe that people still pay money for similar applications when Widgetsoid has every single option you can imagine and more, for free.
    The fact is that no matter what wallpaper or look I decide to go with for my homescreen, I can always go into my widgets settings, to the theme panel, and tweak it so it looks right at home with the rest of the icons, background, colors…

  • http://abhimanyughoshal.com Abhimanyu Ghoshal

    Perfect! Thanks for explaining things so simply here – I downloaded Widgetsoid but couldn’t make head or tail of it for a while and gave up. The look you’ve described for your toggle widget is exactly what I was looking for. Now if only there was a simple way to take screenshots of my HTC Desire S screen without rooting…

    • http://ashish.bogawat.com Ashish Bogawat

      Why not root it? Assuming you are in India where we don’t even have carrier limitations like in the US, I see no reason not to take full advantage of the device you paid full price for. :-)

  • http://www.puretablet.com Issac Rhodes

    Definitely one of the better free utility apps for Android. I travel a lot, especially by plane and I like to have the airplane mode toggle where I don’t have to dig down into the settings. I’m sure there are a lot of other great features I’m missing but I usually only find them when I need them.

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