Extended Controls: What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? Everything. Extended Controls is definitely the best settings widget app that I have come across and there are quite a few available at the moment. This app provides great functionality and does not require a rooted device.

Extended Controls is available on the Android Market for about $1. Available in addition (and for free) are the Extended Controls Theme Pack and Gingerbread Theme. There’s absolutely loads of different settings and toggles and ways to customize this app,

Getting Started

If you’re like me, you are the kind of person who never reads anything when installing applications due to years and years of conditioning to this on Windows. Thanks to the power of screenshots this wasn’t missed. Do not install Extended Controls on the SD Card. After such a strong mise en garde I didn’t dare try, even just for a laugh.

first screens

What you'll see first is...

Features Explored

There really is a truly massive number of items that you can widgetize through this application. Depending on your device/interface and whether you run a custom ROM or not, what’s useful will vary. I’m running Oxygen 2.0.1 at the moment which supports a great powerbar that allows for scrolling through. Even so I’ve found a great use for it shown a little later on.

Look left

Look left and see some lions, the true kings of the Serengeti

Look right

To our right you'll see a rhinoceros, a graceful creature of the plains.

Basic Setup

For the review I chose five items that I would find useful — there’s no point reviewing if you don’t put the app into practical use! Beware of the reboot option; one press and it reboots very quickly without any warnings whatsoever.

Widget Settings

Widget Settings

Use it for Apps

Extended Controls is really useful for people who don’t use a custom launcher but do want to make the most of their home screens. You can make a widget take up to four columns, which is the maximum for a regular ROM. However, even taking this amount of space, you can get Extended Controls to harbour more than four items with absolute ease; I have found that it can comfortably fit six apps, and the same’s true for toggles.

This program really has a lot of settings...

This program really has a lot of settings...

Customization

I was very impressed with how far you can take customization on Extended Controls. You can change the icon’s outer blur, the color of labels, the background color, the picture for the widget, icon themes, the widget transparency, blur color of the background, indicator type and color, whether to use dividers, labels, and more.

This is how I use it on a daily basis

This is how I use it on a daily basis

Out of the Box Features

Here’s what Extended Controls lets you alter through widgets (*deep breath*):

  • 2G/3G Switcher
  • 4G Toggle
  • Wi-Fi
  • Data
  • Brightness
  • Flashlight
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • Autosync
  • Battery
  • Autolock
  • Airplane Mode
  • Autorotate
  • Hotspot Wi-Fi
  • USB Tethering
  • Silent/Vibration/Normal Mode
  • Silent/Normal
  • Reboot
  • Screen Always On
  • Stay Away
  • Mass Storage On/Off
  • Lock Pattern
  • System Language
  • Media Scanner
  • Blank
  • Force Sync
  • Lock Screen
  • Shortcut to App
  • Shutdown
  • Haptic Feedback
  • Volume Manager

More Customization

Remember, on the Marketplace, there’s two theme packs available which add loads of new settings to the appearance. Both of these are absolutely free and linked to earlier in the post, but just in case you missed them…

Save Profiles

At any time it is very easy to customise your widgets in the same way as you originally set them up. You can save a vast number of profiles to load and place at your own discretion.

Final Thoughts

Extended Controls is definitely one of the best widget apps on the Marketplace right now, and it’s definitely the most competitively priced. If you’re looking to add some widgets with a bit more variety than either the stock Android widget, whatever comes with your UI, or your custom ROM provides, then EC is easily the first place you should look.


Summary

One of the best, most customizable widget apps available for Android.

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