Beautiful Widgets Freemium pre-release now available, first 2,500 early adopters get discounted access for life


Freemium is another one of Android’s “f-words” that never really seems to sit well with users (fragmentation being the other). Most often used to describe games in the Play Store that are free-to-play, but also impossible to beat without forking over tons of dough via in-app purchases. It’s because of this Android users typically wince whenever they hear the mention of the word.

Looks like another Android developer is looking to embrace the freemium business model, but it’s not another game. Enter Plume and Beautiful Widgets creator LevelUp Studio. Chances are you’ve come across Beautiful Widgets in the Google Play store while looking for clocks and weather widgets to dress you your Android. The application has been around since the Android Market was on the G1. But it seems therein lies the problem. You have to pay for Beautiful Widgets and according to a lot of data, Android users are more frugal than other other mobile OS users. While many feel BW was well worth the $3.50 they plunked down for it back in ’09, there are still thousands of Android users who have simply passed it up due to the “steep” upfront cost.

LevelUp Studio hopes to remedy this by offering a free-to-download version where users will only have to pay for the options they like. It’s definitely clever, and for someone like me who only ever wanted the default widget — could possibly work out to being cheaper for some. Even better news is for the first 2,500 people that sign up for the beta via the link below, Beautiful Widgets will give you discounted access to all the features in the freemium app as a thank you gift.

If, like me, you’re already a paid user, there wont be any benefit in downloading the freemium or beta version of the app. Just carry on and enjoy the many beautiful widgets already at your disposal.

[Beautiful Widgets Freemium signup page]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. It’s not a freemium if the cost are reasonable. So if the cost for the options are reasonable, why call it a freemium? I’m thinking I’ll spend well over $10 just to get everything this app has to offer. Is that true? *serious question*

    1. Freemium simply describes the business model. Whether or not the prices are reasonable didn’t change the description.

    2. Freemium means that the base application and features are free, but further features can be unlocked through additional purchases.

    3. It is exactly what Doan said. No link to the price. Freemium is just a model with free limited features and in-app payment to unlock all the features.

  2. That “discounted access for life” has me a bit worried. It sounds like for those of us who payed for the app, there could be updates down the road with new features that we’d only gain access to if we payed more for them.

    1. This will not be the case. LevelUp Studios has been good to current paid users offering all kinds of themes for free.

      LevelUp Studio is simply offering another payment option. This way, users who have always been interested in the app, but maybe didn’t want to pay the upfront costs can still give it a shot.

      1. Alrighty then. Thank you for easing a weary mind.

    2. I can confirm what Chris said. It is just an option for new users, no change for old users.

  3. Why don’t they just do what fancy widgets did? The app, and then the “unlocker”.

    1. It is the case, you have an option “Unlock everything” in app ;)

  4. That sucks for people like myself, that forked up the money before. I wonder if they’re doing a promotion for us loyalists?

    1. I mean, it sucks that I bought a PS3 back in the day for $700 only to see it price drop to $100 today. Same goes for phones.

      I paid $3.50 for the app almost 3 years ago and have been enjoying all the constant updates. I think it’s been money well spent.

      1. True, true…LOL. Same situation with me on the PS3 (although, I was one of the lucky early purchasers that got an Amazon deal that would’ve been the equivalent of a $800 purchase). I’ve loved it for sure, ever since joining the Android revolution with my EVO. But, Chris, did you experience bad battery drain with one of the more recent updates? There was an update that just started eating up my battery like crazy, so I had to set everything to manual refresh, just so it wouldn’t drain!

        1. On Beautiful Widgets? Haven’t had it on my phone since the Nexus 4 but I’ll try it out on my One and let you know…

          1. Thanks, Chris. Yeah, very strange. There was an update that just bumped up Beautiful Widgets to the top of my battery percentage usage and I’ve been afraid to turn automatic refresh back on since then.

      2. Adding insult to injury, the PS3 got slimmer with larger capacities for a fraction of what early adopters paid. I paid $400 for one that’s heavier than the TV I put it on.

        1. The PS3 got slimmer, and lost multiple features.

  5. Just uninstalled yesterday after using for 2 years, fancy widgets before that. Just come to find the htc style clocks just don’t fit my needs anymore. Still a great app but could use a few more widget template, ie the Motorola clock widget would be nice, or an analog clock

    1. That’s what all the hundreds of themes are for. You don’t have to stick with the stock appearance.

      1. But they are all basically the same. I use the cLock widget now because I like the design of it.

    2. Exactly. Come up with some different templates.

    3. Hi,

      You can help us to improve the application by making comments on

  6. I bought Beautiful Widgets for only $0.10 during Google’s xmas 2011 sale, and it’s still my all time favorite widget (before that it was the leaked HTC “fancy widgets” apk).

    Depending on prices, I might’ve gone freemium. All I ever use is the 4×2 clock+weather, with the 4×1 weather forecast below it, and current weather notification. Just glad they didn’t try to put all the free themes behind a PAYWALL, as that probably would’ve pushed me to dump the app.

  7. Paid full price for the app and don’t at all regret it.

    My fear though is that the new fremium version will get all the developer love, with the pre-paid version seeing fewer updates.

    1. We will maintained both of the applications. It is just to offer a business model choice to the user.

      1. Thanks for the clarification and assurance.

  8. Has anyone ever had any problems downloading a third party download? I downloaded the link and it gave me a security warning. Just kind of new to all of the Android stuff, LOL. Thanks for the help.

    1. You always get a warning for downloading an app from anywhere other than the Play Store. This is a legit source (a well known developer) so there shouldn’t be any issue.

      Just don’t go downloading apps all willy nilly from warez sites and you should be okay.

  9. I feel like these types of apps aren’t needed anymore. At least I mean I have no need for it anymore. Back in the day beautiful widgets was the best though

  10. does anyone know where i can get that background on that picture with the mountain?

  11. I used to use beautiful widgets, then I tried a number of other widget apps and BW no longer looked beautiful. Gotta keep up with the times, guys.

    1. With the tons of themes we provided you can’t find yours ?
      What is needed ? It is interesting for us to add needed features in the application.

      1. It’s less about themes and more about beauty. I don’t need a zillion themes, but I want every one of them to look like a polished product. I hate to name drop, but when I tried HD widgets next to BW, it was a no brainer. Maybe you’ve updated since then, I don’t know.

        1. I don’t know when you tried the last time !

      2. Is there ever a plan to bring back the 4×1 Beautiful Small Home Weather? That was my go to widget and ever since the “major” update it has been missing. A 4×1 widget with clock, weather + city name + temperature all in one is still needed. All that’s available for a 4×1 widget is a ridiculously large clock face and a weather icon that removes the city name.

        1. It is already available with an alternate layout for 4×1 clock widget.

  12. This freemium stuff is poison! To get it to work decently, you’ll need at least 100 GetJar points, which means downloading 3 useless Ads apps which I can’t because their URL are blocked by AdAway. All of this ordeal just to save a few dollars?!?! Especially the app get discounted from time to time. A few month a go I bought it for $1.30.

    Frankly, the folks at LevelUpStudio loses my respect. Going to such length to disguise their app as a gigantic ads trap. Which is not worth at all the saving compared to the paid version. Its time to look for an alternative.

    1. I don’t understand why we lost your respect.

      We will keep both apps with new features in the future. We just offer a new way to pay for the app for those who don’t want to pay the full version. And if GetJar is not good for you, you can pay with PlayStore’ in-app.

      But you are definitely not the target because you have already purchased the full version. So, I don’t understand why you are so worried.

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