What Are Smartphone Widgets?

smartphone-widgets Credit: Justin Sullivan / Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Widgets are elements in the smartphone's home screen that offer a quick preview of an installed app's contents. Widgets can also act as a shortcut to an app or one of the smartphone's settings or features.

Through smartphone widgets, a user can customize the appearance of his gadget's home screen. Widgets themselves may also have their own settings, such as size and color. The number of home screens can be increased to accommodate more widgets. Information contained in widgets can be dynamic, such as the current weather, unread emails and the latest news. Though several smartphones offer widgets right out of the box, several more are available for download in app stores.