Nowhere is home screen customization more important than widgets.
A good widget can improve both the usefulness and the beauty of a home screen. A stylish weather widget can give you a heads-up before you roll out into a rainy day. A calendar widget can help keep you focused and productive throughout your day. A whimsical music widget can help you control your music and your mood, day or night. But what if the widget that came with your favorite apps are trash? What if you want widgets that look as good as they perform?
Well, that’s when you bust out customized widgets. And now that Zooper is dead, if you want truly customizable widgets, you bust out KWGT.
What is KWGT?
KWGT — short for Kustom Widget — is a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get widget maker. What does that mean? It’s basically Photoshop for widgets: you build a widget layer by layer, piece by piece. With this level of control over a widget, users can craft widgets that fit their tastes, their needs, and their home screen.
Kustom widgets consist of a variety of items, from simple pieces like text and images, to more complex Kustom Komponents and FontIcons. Komponents are customized KWGT blocks, like say a pre-fabricated music widget where all you have to do is change the colors and resize it to fit your widget box, or a series of customized weather icons to match a particular theme. Komponents can be packaged and distributed on Google Play, so you can find Komponents, as well as assembled Kustom widget Presets on the store for you to buy and download, both simplifying and broadening the experience for the average Kustom user.
Presets are essentially finished widgets that are ready to be loaded and tweaked as desired. You can also export Kustom widgets you’ve already customized and liked as Presets for you to load again at a later date. We use Presets to export color-customized widgets for our themes for user convenience.
Why should I bother with KWGT?
KWGT can do amazing things, blending seamlessly into countless themes while standing out as a bold accent on others. You can use it to showcase useful data without distracting from or covering up a beautiful wallpaper. You can use KWGT’s touch shortcuts to hide shortcuts to your favorite apps — and to private apps — inside an innocuous-looking widget. We’ve used KWGT and Material Music Komponent in several themes to create music widgets that blend seamlessly into their themes, as seen in our Frozen Fever and Beauty and the Beast themes.
If your preferred weather app doesn’t have a weather widget that looks good — or doesn’t have a widget at all — you can build a weather widget in KWGT that will look exactly the way you want it to while pulling in data from one of four sources: Open Weather Map, Yahoo, Yr.no, and Weather.com AKA The Weather Channel. You can even pull in Material weather icons to make your weather forecast just a little more fun.
Want the Samsung Galaxy S8′s iconic and awesome home screen widgets without being stuck with the TouchWiz Home launcher? Try S8 for KWGT and get that Samsung goodness on any custom launcher — or any other phone, for that matter!
Where do I start with KWGT?
KWGT, like Photoshop, can be a bit overwhelming when you first use it, but there are a few ways to help acclimate yourself to Kustom widgets and both their UI and their uses. When you add a KWGT to your home screen, the first menu you’re greeted with is Kustom’s Preset menu, where you can select a pre-made widget to play with. By playing with a simple Base Pack Preset, you can acclimate yourself to KWGT’s controls and see just what the app can and can’t do. Another way to ease your way into KWGT is to download Kustom packs like Trident for KWGT, which will give you a wide variety of widget to color and resize for your home screen.
Kustom’s help site is robust and easy to follow along with, and you can find plenty of help and widget ideas on their official forum. You can also look forward to seeing more KWGT Presets and widgets in awesome Android Central themes for you to play with and build your KWGT experience with!
Want us to explore any particular projects with KWGT together? Were you a Zooper Widget user looking for something to fill the void that app leaves behind? Hit me up in the comments and on Twitter with your requests!
Updated December 2017: Zooper Widget is dead. Long live KWGT. This article has also bee updated in regards to KWGT’s pricing and examples.