Windows operating systems have been gaining a lot of traction due to their widget feature. This article discusses the best Windows 10 desktop widgets and how they help in personalization of our PCs. Personal computers or PCs are titled aptly because they are not mere technical gadgets which help us get through our day but they are personalized objects. A lot of times we make things our own by giving them a unique character which is basically an extension of our personality.
For instance, we might choose a unique laptop bag or a cover, and put stickers on its outer edge, we may use specific wallpapers. It is these little things which tend to personalize an object according to our own taste and specifications. Our PCs are personalized not only due to the unique nature of personal data which is stored within it but by using other personalization techniques. One of such options that the Windows operating system provides, is that of widgets.
What are Widgets?
Widgets are bite- sized versions of applications and help to customize our home screens. They can be arranged as we like, anywhere across our home screen, resized and even recolored according to our preference.They provide a bird’s eye view of an application’s most essential data without having to open them separately, and the users can know the status of the applications from their home screen at a glance.
What Can We Do With Widgets?
Widgets help the users to keep track of what is happening in a particular application at a glance, without having to go through the hassle of opening it. It is a useful measure which saves time and increases efficiency. They are also useful as teasers or advertisers for the app since they can display the new content available for consumption.
We can customize our home screen by using widgets and resizing them. The resizing option allows the users to adjust the length or the breadth of the widget according to their specifications, within the bounds of the set limits. It also allows users to control how much information they want to keep track of.
Types of Widgets
There are many different types of widgets which are available nowadays:
- Information Widgets: These widgets display important information which the user can use to monitor the status of applications. For example: clock widgets, news widgets and weather widgets.
- Collection Widgets: These widgets display a collection of similar types of information. For instance: a news app widget would display a collection of news items, a photos widget would display a collection of photos and an email app widget would display a collection of emails.
- Control Widgets: These widgets allow the user to control some of the most important functions of the application right from their home screen, without having to go through the hassle of finding the app and opening it. For instance, a music app widget would allow the user to play, pause and change the song from the comfort of their home screen.
- Hybrid Widgets: In reality, most widgets are a combination of information, collection and control widgets. Such widgets are known as hybrid widgets. A messaging app widget for instance, is a combination of a collection as well as control widget since it both displays a collection of messages as well as allows the user to reply to them from the home screen itself.
Different Types of Windows 10 Desktop Widgets To Explore
Windows 10 provides its own new and improved set of desktop widgets which are highly functional and customizable. Windows 10 desktop widgets, states the official site, were developed by Allen Chan and were released on 9th October, 2013. Desktop Widgets for Windows 10 can be accessed by Widget Launcher which was formerly known as Widgets HD. One can search for Best Windows 10 desktop Widgets and arrive at the Microsoft store.
From there, one can install the launcher and choose from a wide range of available widgets as per our requirement. A list of widgets for Windows 10 desktop (non exhaustive) is as follows: calendar, clock, weather, news headlines, currency and unit converter, PC information, calculator and sticky notes. These are free widgets, one can also pay to access additional widgets and organize them on the home screen according to their taste.
More Information about Windows Widgets
Widget Launcher is a free app and is a new and improved version of the previous WidgetsHD version. In this version, there is support for extensions so that users can download other widgets from the microsoft store. There are innumerable options for customization and personalization which were hitherto unavailable. Users can now personalize widgets in their favourite color schemes and tech developers can further use built in tools like beta to debug new extensions.
Improvements in Widgets for Windows 10 Desktop
- Version 4.0/4.5: it has addressed the issue of date while showing the weather forecast and the issue of data not loading after rebooting the PC. It has a new feature of a fixed notification service.
- Version 4.0.3: it has an enhanced version of the weather widget which is more accurate and stable. Resolves the issue of refreshing data after the PC is bought back from the sleep mode. It has also fixed issues which arise regarding extensions after updates.
- Version 4.0.2: It has a renamed extension system and resolved the issue of default widgets display after system update.
- Version 4.0.1: This version has addressed the issue of recovery of sticky notes after sudden shutdown and the issue where v3 type of widgets were not automatically loaded after system update. It has also changed the world clock resizing option and digital clock includes in this version, both 12 and 24- hour formats. It automatically addresses the issues which arise when widgets don’t refresh their data after update or sign in. Moreover, there is an increased accuracy in the CPU monitor and the feature page to launch right URLs.
- Version 4.0.0: It has reworked Widgets HD to replace it with Widget launcher with added skin and extension support. It has also provided scope for downloading paid Pro versions of widgets. It has a modern launcher host to additionally customize widgets and skins and has extension support for third party widgets along with 5 day weather forecasts in advance.
Additional features of the Desktop Widgets
The size of the widgets is approximately 234.52 MB. Its age rating is 3 years and above. The Widgets Launcher app can access all the user files, applications, running programmes, registry, peripheral devices, internet connection as well as the location. It can be downloaded only when the user is signed into their Microsoft account and a single user can download it on ten Windows devices. It also supports various languages such as English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Greek and more.
A List of Best Desktop Widgets in Windows 10
- World Clock: displays clock times from countries all over the world
- Sticky Notes: allows users to quickly jot down points, do do lists and reminders
- Slideshow: displays powerpoint slides from the home screen itself
- CPU Meter: displays the status of working of the central processing unit, memory and speed.
- Digital Clock: displays time in a digital format and additionally in both 12 and 24 hours format as per the user’s specifications.
- Unit Converter: converts various units of measurement
- Currency Converter: converts one currency to the other and displays the value
- Calculator: used for quick mathematical calculations
- Calendar: can be used to mark schedule, display dates and reminders
- Weather: displays the temperature and gives a description of the weather conditions.