A sensible new approach to stack Android widgets

Joyful Google I/O week, my fellow Android-appreciating animal! Whereas we await El Googlenheim to drop all types of attention-grabbing new goodies on our suspiciously greasy domes, I’ve obtained a trio of necessary truths so that you can chew over:

Among the finest elements about Android is how simple the working system makes it to take whole management of your expertise and make your telephone work any means you need. Among the finest methods to harness that energy is by benefiting from a customized Android launcher — an app that replaces your customary dwelling display setup with a extra environment friendly and customizable atmosphere. And probably the greatest Android launchers on the market simply obtained an impressed new replace that provides much more oomph into that chance.

It is my private favourite Android launcher of the second, in reality, and an app that is considered one of my high secrets and techniques to a extra productivity-minded Android interface association. And Goog almighty, lemme inform ya: This newest addition inside its digital partitions will actually ship your effectivity hovering.

Better of all? You may get it up and operating on any system this second — no new Android variations or fancy-schmancy Google-I/O-announced goodness required.

Let me present you the way.

[Get Googley tips in your inbox every Friday with my Android Intelligence newsletter. Three time-saving tips as soon as you sign up!]

Your new Android widget wonders

First issues first: The launcher itself is a stunning little ditty known as Niagara Launcher.

Should you’ve adopted my musings for lengthy, you’ve got in all probability heard me wax poetic about it earlier than. (It is a frequent matter of dialog and adulation in my Android Intelligence Platinum useful resource group, the place it is also now turn into a built-in perk of membership.) I’ve fallen onerous for the intelligent and unconventional strategy Niagara brings to the Android dwelling display, and regardless of what number of instances I toy round with different setups, I all the time appear to finish up again in its loving embrace.

At its core, Niagara replaces the usual Android dwelling display atmosphere with a easy listing of your mostly accessed apps. Every thing else lives inside a scrolling alphabetical menu that you simply pull up by swiping alongside both facet of the display.


The launcher is all about simplicity, by design, and eliminating all of the efficiency-harming muddle most dwelling screens are weighed down by. To that finish, the system helps only a single on-screen widget at its uppermost edge — a part of its mission to encourage considerate configuration and maintain solely the stuff you truly work together with usually entrance and heart.

Now, although, Niagara is providing up a brand new approach to put much more pertinent data at your fingertips — with out abandoning its minimalist, focus-centric philosophy.

It is an choice to stack a number of widgets on high of one another in that one single area, thus supplying you with on-demand entry to extra helpful data whereas nonetheless sustaining the launcher’s clutter-free atmosphere.



Now, if that appears acquainted, it ought to: An analogous type of widget-stacking setup confirmed up throughout the mobile-tech divide on the iOS facet some time in the past. However simple as it might be to write down one thing off as “an iPhone factor,” keep in mind: That form of inspiration-borrowing is not all the time a foul factor. Heck, Apple’s very adoption of widgets within the first place was a blatant Android-copying transfer. However by bringing widgets to the iPhone-totin’ lots, Apple not directly pressured Google to begin treating widgets on Android as a precedence once more — after years of agonizing neglect. And that, in flip, has empowered builders to provide you with stuff like this. On the finish of the day, competitors is an efficient factor for us all.

And that is very evident within the delight of utilizing stacked widgets inside Niagara Launcher, particularly should you go about it in a deliberate means and actually take the time to contemplate which particular widgets would most successfully improve your effectivity in that association.

For me — for the second, at the very least — I’ve added two new widgets into my rotation to enhance my color-changing, Materials-You-enabled clock:

First, with a single swipe to the left on the Niagara widget space, I can now see a listing of my newest duties from Todoist — a top-notch Android organizational app and probably the greatest process managers round. After years of sticking to a streamlined Google Calendar setup for all of my duties and reminders, I have been enjoying round with utilizing it to trace sure kinds of private and work duties. And having these gadgets a single swipe away makes it blissfully simple to check out what random chores I must be fascinated by at any given second.

Second, with single swipe to the precise on that space (or two swipes to the left; it is a round rotation), I can now see the native Android 13 battery standing widget. I’ve by no means actually used that widget earlier than, however I’ve discovered it is a useful approach to rapidly look and see how a lot battery life is left on my telephone itself in addition to every other linked devices — each the exact % and an estimate of my remaining real-world use time.

Getting began with the brand new Niagara Launcher widget stack setup could not be a lot easier, both. Simply obtain Niagara from the Play Retailer should you do not have already got it, then open it up and comply with the prompts to set it up and set it as your default system launcher. (Should you ever need to change that, you possibly can all the time simply uninstall it — or search your system settings for the phrase “dwelling” to discover a swap.)

When you’re looking at your shiny new dwelling display setup, press and maintain your finger onto the generic default clock on the high of the display and choose the “Add customized widget” choice. (You can too flip the toggle subsequent to “Present clock,” if you wish to flip that default clock off.) Choose no matter widget you need, then comply with the steps so as to add it onto your property display.

All that is left is to press and maintain your finger onto that freshly added widget and faucet the “Add customized widget” choice as soon as extra to create your swipeable stack. When you choose a second widget, Niagara will ask if you wish to create a stack. Faucet the button to verify, and increase: Your first official Android widget stack is alive and properly, and all you’ve got gotta do is swipe your finger horizontally on that space of the display to discover it.

If you wish to add one other widget into the combo, comply with those self same steps once more and choose whichever widget your Android-adoring coronary heart wishes. I would recommend two or three widgets because the optimum quantity, as that retains all the pieces not more than a single swipe away and avoids creating any counterproductive muddle.

Fairly nifty, would not ya say? Niagara Launcher is free to make use of, too, although it does require a $10-a-year (or $30 lifetime) improve to its Professional model if you wish to keep entry to the stackable widgets and different superior choices. If all that stuff enhances your effectivity as a lot because it does mine, it is fairly simple to justify that as cash properly spent.

And, notably, it does not require any method of maddening ready or I/O-announcement lusting in any respect.

Be taught all types of off-the-beaten-path Android time-savers with my Android Intelligence publication. Three new issues to attempt each Friday!

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