Switching from iPhone to Android: What Are Toggles and Widgets?

February 13, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

It’s a fact that Android has a lot of features that iOS doesn’t have, and may never have. Some of those include Toggles and Widgets. Although if you jailbreak your iPhone you can get widgets. Toggles are one of my favorite parts of Android. Prior to Android 4.2, only manufacturer skins had them. So you didn’t have them by default on your Nexus device. But now in Android 4.2, we have what are called Quick settings which you can get too by swiping down the notification bar with two fingers, or hitting the setting icon in the right corner. Today we are going to talk a bit about toggles and widgets, and give you better understanding of them.


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Wouldn’t you like to be able to turn on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi without having too go into settings? Well you can. In Android 4.2, it’s one of the quick settings. Tapping it will take you straight to the Wi-Fi portion of the system settings. As you can see in the image above, in quick settings you’ve got your Google+ profile picture, Brightness, Settings, Wi-Fi, mobile data, battery, airplane mode and Bluetooth. The NFC and GPS tiles I added using a custom ROM, which we’ll be talking about those a bit later.


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Who doesn’t love widgets? They certainly make your home screen prettier. But some times widgets can have a bad effect on your battery life and even your data usage. Having a Google+, Twitter or Facebook widget on your home screen can use quite a bit of data since it’s constantly updating every 10 minutes or so. I recommend only putting a clock widget, or weather widget on your home screen. Unless you have the Droid Razr Maxx HD, then put as many widgets on your home screens as you want. The image above is my home screen. Just a bunch of app shortcuts and a simple clock widget, which doesn’t take a toll on battery or your data usage.

So we’ve covered toggles and widgets. There are also some apps out there that will put toggles into your notification screen. Battery Widget? Reborn! Is a good one. It shows you the percentage of battery left, and gives you some widgets. That’s actually the app you see in the left corner in my notification bar on these screenshots. There are a few others on the Play Store as well.