Making “a smartphone” into “your smartphone” begins with tailoring the device to your specific usage by adding applications and widgets to enhance its functionality. These tools give your smartphone the features you’ll use most, including games, tools and content, and it’s important to understand the different roles an app and a widget play in making your life a little easier. You can pick up a sim only phone plan at iiNet, for those of you who already have their own handset.
More commonly known as “apps,” these computer programs are specifically designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Apps are used for almost any purpose from functionality to entertainment, and can be free to download or paid, They are most readily available through a marketplace like Google Play or the App Store, depending on the type of device.
In the most technical terms, the word “application” refers to the full set of functions for a given program, including data entry, storage, settings, and search. Activating an app by tapping the icon usually takes the user to a new screen and establishes the content of the app as the primary function of the device for as long as the app is active.
Widgets are somewhat similar to apps, appearing as icons placed on the desktop screen of a smartphone, but they are more accurately characterized as an extension of an app. Where an app is a complete unit of software that can be run on a mobile device, a widget is a simple mechanism that gives a user easy access to the core functions of the app, such as setting an alarm within a clock app, turning Bluetooth on and off, or controlling a music player from outside the app.
Widgets provide added convenience, allowing quick control of the app during other tasks or serving as a minimized display for information, like the current date on a monthly calendar or a short-term forecast from a weather app. Widgets make it unnecessary to open a full app for a minor operation, making the home screen of a device into a kind of remote control for the most frequently used functions of a device.
Widgets and apps are similar in some ways, but only an app is a standalone program while a widget makes the program more accessible. These two types of smartphone utility work closely together to increase the intelligence of devices by ensuring they are as easy to use as possible.