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Friday, February 7, 2020

Easy Way for Using Widgets to Create a Useful Homescreen

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Last updated: (August, Monday 06, 2018)

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How can you manage your Homescreen to fit your needs?

Today I'm gonna share with you something different; something in between Design and Technology.

Because I like always to put a touch of Design in everything related to me, including my daily-use devices, here's how I managed my Tablet's home screen:

First of all, and for better results, the following instructions should be applied on an 8.0 inches screen display and up, no matter which network is used (Wi-Fi or mobile).

Good to note, that the process described below was applied on an Android device, supporting the KitKat Version no (4.2.0). Other versions should work properly regardless of the applications used.
Suggested Homescreen for Android

The Concept

The concept consists of the usage of apps that require daily or frequent use and to categorize them as much as possible in your device...
This means, that every task/tool can be in a different/same category than the other; for example, if your device contains a radio and a music player, both can be classified in the same category: Entertainment, and so on...

Our first mission of defining the concept is to find the right categories that fit our frequent uses of the tools and apps available in our device and to classify them.
I made a self-approach to this specific matter and find it genial somehow: let's point to each individual home screen created [we can create many of them] as the category.

Great then, here we go!

Let's put the main home screen that contains the daily communications tools, which means the frequently used apps in our daily communications: that will include the phone itself (if your device supports a SIM card), otherwise your preferred messenger app. (Whatsapp or else...)

As related applications that can fit onto this home screen-category page, we always have those current-time-weather-news updater apps, available in various themed interfaces on the Google Play Store.

Essential Apps To Use

1- Chronus Dashclock Widget

You can download the latest updated version of the Android App. at the Google Play Store, search for Chronus Information Widgetsand then click on the Install button, which leads you to the waiting page to start the installation process onto your device once connected.

You can also download the .apk file directly from any site that provides this kind of service over the internet.
  • Note: Be careful when reaching those sites; some of those can be harmful to your device!
I highly suggest using a dashclock app. (like Chronus or else) because of its elegant look and its customization capabilities of all its components even the type and size of the fonts.

But the dashclock is not only a clock display widget but you can also associate many extensions to the widget to be shown on the go; such as breaking news, events on your calendar, weather, and your device info, etc...

Here are some of the Chronus Widget features:

• Fully functional Flex, Flex (Analog), Clock+, Clock+ (Dash), Dash, Pixel+, Pixel2+, News, Tasks, and Weather Widgets
• Highly customizable look and feel of almost all its components
• Weather panel with Yahoo!, OpenWeatherMap, Weather Underground, Dark Sky, and yr.no weather providers. You can choose your favorite one.
• Weather, Calendar and Tasks notifications
• News Feed panel with built-in RSS sources and "Read it later" using Pocket
• Tasks widget supports Google Tasks
• Calendar panel showing a scrollable list of upcoming events
• Highlight upcoming calendar events with custom colors and font bolding
• Backup and restore widget settings
• Add any two (2) DashClock Extensions in the Flex and 'Dash' widgets
• Built-in Gmail, Missed Calls, Calendar, and Text Messages extensions
• Android Wear support and a basic Chronus Wear watch face
• Can be used as a weather provider for CyanogenMod, LineageOS, and derived ROMs

Yes, and that was said, it is only a small task of what a dashclock can do here...
Not to mention the very fashionable way the data is displayed thru! it's your way! yes! your own way and personal way too! because all is customizable, till the very small detail such as the color of your preferred next event you want it to be shown directly on your home screen...
Visit the Chronus Community on Reddit at http://bit.ly/2S6Pjhv for more tips and tracks to professionally guide you to set your personal dashclock widget or if you need more info concerning the Chronus App; you will find professionals ready to assist you!

It's amazing the number of extensions apps you can find on the Google Store: hundreds of extensions in a variety of categories (some also are free to install) that you can associate with the Chronus Dashclock Widget.

For the travelers and explorers, or tourists' fans, you might like to display your destination city climate before reaching it, separately from your default one; with the Dashclock Widget, you can do it easily!

From weather to to-do lists, this is what you can do with this widget, once it is installed on your homepage.

You can even choose to display your favorite news or daily horoscope provider by RSS feeder platform or simply set up the tweeter parameter of the desired tweets and you are done!... This is how your lock or home screen will look like after the new widget is added:
Chronus Widget in different configurations


2- Nova Launcher

You can download the latest version of the Android App. at the Google Play Store, search for Nova Launcherand then click on the Install button, which leads you to the waiting page to start the installation process onto your device once connected.

You can install also the Nova Launcher Prime version as well, which is the paid version, to activate all the features.

You can also download the .apk file directly from any site that provides this kind of service over the internet. 
  • Note: Be careful when reaching those; some of them might be harmful to your device!

Okay! now let's get back to our own design after having this intro of one of our principal and must-having components. The second principal component and the holder of all of it must be a launcher of course.
To assure the good linkage between all those elements and the smooth functioning of them, we must use a good launcher: Nova Launcher for Android.

Available for free and another paid version as Pro, Nova Launcher is one of the best in the market today (rated 4.6+ by Google users). It's because of its highly customizable feature, Nova can give you almost the design you want to apply to your homepage (...)

From setting the number of the virtual grids, to the font type to the widget size adjustment even if it isn't originally supported.

The Design

So, now as we have all the necessary tools to begin our mission, still we have to learn how to bring a widget to the home screen: (for those who don't know yet)
Designing_Your_Homescreen

  • Step #1: Long press on the empty area of your launcher home screen. A menu similar to the one in the figure should appear.
  • Step #2: Now click on the ‘Widget’ button at the bottom center. You will be presented with all the available widgets on your phone.
  • Step #3: Scroll till you see your desired widget. Long press on the widget which you want to add to the home screen.

You will be taken to your home screen. Now place it where you want it and voila! You are done! You can use the same procedure to add any widget on your homescreen!

After we did install the Nova Launcher, and after we do all the necessary settings, we start to add the widgets... so the main homepage should look similar to this:



Another variable can be viewed at the top of this article as well.

As we can see in this example, we did group all the apps relative to our daily tasks in one main home screen (with category: communication or daily tasks). Other categories can be chosen by a matter of importance for each individual depending on his necessity and needs:

Suggested categories: Entertainment, Communication, Daily News, System Info, and so on, related to your priority. Here are some examples that you can give a try as well:


That's all guys, hope I did highlight some of the wide world's of new technology in my own way because there is much and much you can DIY too! (...)

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