May, 03 2013

Android Widgets

The old saying holds true: you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. That’s the thought that has been playing in my mind during my first days carrying the iPhone as my primary mobile device. Don’t get me wrong, I am having no immediate regrets about my decision to put down the Android in exchange for the phone with the apple on its back, but, man, you just don’t realize how useful widgets are until you don’t have them anymore.

You also don’t realize ¬†how deeply tied into Google’s ecosystem your internet life is. Hence, getting all of my Google apps up and running was one of the first things I did upon powering up my iPhone 5, as was pulling my existing contacts list down from Google’s servers to populate my iPhone address book.

But I still can’t get over the fact that my homescreen is more or less my app drawer. Sure, Apple has introduced folders in more recent iOS releases, allowing me to handle some of the clutter. I suppose I could make a folder called Apps, put all of my apps in there, and have a simulated app drawer. But then what would I put on my homescreen? Here I go missing widgets again.

OS X Dashboard

You mean I actually have to open Gmail to see my most recent messages? I can’t just slap an inbox widget on my homescreen? And this is Apple, a company that devoted an entire screen in OS X to widgets and widgets alone. It’s funny, when I picked up Android, widgets were pretty low on my list of killer features. Now I’m struggling to live without them.

OK, so struggling is a bit dramatic. I’m doing just fine without widgets. I’m handling the iOS notification center. I’m remaining hopeful that future iterations will further flesh out Apple’s mobile operating system. It’s likely that I’m just getting used to my new digs; I have no immediate itch to return to Android. As if that was an option. I’m in this one for the long haul, ladies and gentlemen. But seriously, can I plz has widgets, Apple?

Longtime Android user and Phandroid blogger Kevin Krause has made the switch to iPhone. Follow his exploits as he navigates the world of Apple over at

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