Information widgets display a few elements of importance to a user and track how that information changes over time, such as weather or sports scores. Tapping the widget launches the associated app into a detail view.
Collection widgets display multiple elements of the same type, such as a collection of articles from a news app. They focus on two interactions:
Browsing a collection
Opening an element’s detail view
Collection widgets can scroll vertically.
Control widgets display frequently used functions. These functions may be triggered from the home screen without opening the app. For example, music app widgets allow the user to play, pause, or skip music tracks from outside the music app.
Control widgets may or may not progress to a detail view.
Many widgets are hybrids that combine elements of the different types above. Center your widget around one of these types and add elements of others as needed.
For example, a music player widget combines a control widget with elements of an information widget. The result keeps the user informed about which track is currently playing.
Your widgets should provide navigation links to frequently used areas of your app, including:
Functions that allow the user to create new content, such as a new document or message
Access to the top level of your app
Resizing allows users to adjust the height or width of a widget. This allows users to influence the layout of widgets on home panels.
Your app may be completely resizable or constrained to horizontal or vertical size changes.
List or grid-based collection widgets usually expand or contract the vertical scrolling area. Regardless of the widget's size, the user can still scroll all elements into view.
Determine how much of your app's information should surface. For smaller sizes concentrate on the essential and then add more contextual information as the widget grows.
Information widgets are not scrollable. All content and layout must dynamically fit as sized by the user.
Widgets should accommodate different spacing requirements across devices, including cell number, size, and spacing variations.
Android widgets display their configuration choices once placed on a home panel.
Configuration best practices:
Keep configuration light and don't present more than 2-3 configuration elements
Present configuration choices using dialogs, rather than full-screen, to retain the user's context
Once setup, widgets do not typically show a "Setup" or "Configuration" button.