How to turn any website into a custom Android widget

Android widgets are great. That much is clear, right?

But as is the case with many tech-scented treasures, it sometimes takes a little digging to find the prettiest widget options of them all.

This week I came across a very clever and practical Android widget feature that I had never considered before. It’s a super easy setup that lets you create your own Android widgets from almost any website on this wide wild internet site of ours. And it will take you two minutes to get everything up and running the way you want.

Ready to expand the horizons of your Android widget?

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The wonderful world of custom web widgets

So first things first: why on earth would you do that want to to create a custom web widget in the first place?

Well, I’ll tell you, you wandering, wondered widget warrior:

  1. It’s a great way to keep a site you look at often at your fingertips – whether it’s your own company website, a forum you visit often, or perhaps a favorite news source.
  2. When such a website is turned into a widget, you can easily keep an eye on its status without ever having to open it or go a step further than unlocking your phone and looking at your home screen.
  3. When you Doing wants to open the website, it’s there and done.
Custom Android Widget: Websites Jr

Pretty sensible in the right situation, wouldn’t you say?

And all you need to get it done is a nifty little off-the-beaten-path app called widgetify — which, as an added bonus, is a incredible fun name to say out loud. Go ahead. Try it. I will wait.

Back? Cool. The whole point of Widgetify is to help you create your own custom web widgets, and it makes it exceptionally easy to do.

Let me walk you through the specific steps.

The custom web widget process

Okay, crack those fabulous phalanges, and let’s get started – shall we? I promise this is easy:

  1. Once you’ve installed the Widgetify app, open it and tap the red circular plus icon in the bottom right corner of the app. a widget from there, then find and select “Widgetify” from the list that appears.
  2. Tap or hold and drag the desired Widgetify widget size to an open space on your home screen, depending on your specific device and Android version.
  3. Widgetify will drop a placeholder widget for you to configure. To see?
Custom Android Widget: Placeholder Jr

Now here comes the fun part: tap that placeholder and you can then select exactly which website and what specifically area from that website you want to be visible in your beautiful new widget.

Custom Android Widget: Configure Jr

And if you Real want to go wild, tap the gear-shaped icon in the top-right corner of that same control panel. This lets you change all sorts of things about how the widget behaves, including, most importantly, how often your website widget works.

wrong, refreshed. Sorry. I got a little carried away with the alliteration there.

By default, Widgetify only updates a widget-based website once every 24 hours. But you can change that to any interval you want, with updates as frequent as every five minutes or as infrequent as once every few days. Keep in mind that the more a widget is updated, the more resources Widgetify needs. So play around with the options to make sure you find an interval that works for you and doesn’t drain too much battery.

Custom Android Widget: Update Interval Jr

On the same screen you can also set a specific update scheme and configure the widget to update at 9am and 1pm every day, for example. This can be useful if you know that the site in question tends to publish new information at certain times or if you want it to be updated regularly without creating a regular pattern.

And while you’re there, take a moment to browse the rest of those options in that area as well. You can change a lot of things about exactly how your widget looks and works. For example, I personally prefer the look of these widgets without the title bar – a quick little check in that setup area.

Once you’ve got things the way you want, just tap the purple Save button in the widget’s main control panel, and bam: you’ve got your widget live and ready for action.

Custom Android Widget: Home Screen Jr

If you ever want to adjust a widget’s settings afterwards, you can always go back to that settings screen by tapping a Widgetify widget and then selecting “Settings.” That same pop-up menu includes a handy command to instantly update your widget on demand, in case you ever need a quick refresh on the spot.

Another thing worth mentioning on that note: if you really want to make sure you never miss an update from a particular website, Widgetify’s widget settings also have a handy option to proactively report when a change of a certain caliber is detected. You can set a threshold from zero to 100, depending on how sensitive you want the system to be.

Custom Android Widget: Update Threshold Jr

Widgetify is free to use and requires no unusual permissions or data access. The app will inevitably contain some ads, but they will only appear in the app’s menus and settings screens – not the actual widgets you place on your home screen.

All in all, it’s a smart and thoughtful way to make Android widgets even more useful and to turn your phone’s home screen into a valuable starting point for personal productivity.

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