A widget is a small UI object on a desktop or home screen that provides quick access to information and functionality from an application without launching the app itself. An operating system's widget framework works with apps to allow them to display data in widgets even while the app isn't running. Widget support is part of most desktop and mobile operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Each widget is tailored to a single purpose in order to keep the information it presents concise and glanceable. A single app can often provide several widget options to allow you to decide exactly what information you want to see. For example, a weather app might provide one widget that displays current weather conditions and another that shows a 3-day forecast. Other common examples include a calendar that displays your upcoming appointments, a clock that displays an analog clock face with the current time, and a flight tracker that shows when a designated flight departs and lands.

Each operating system that supports widgets treats them differently. Windows 11 keeps them on a widgets board you can bring up using a taskbar button, keyboard shortcut, or touchscreen gesture. macOS can display widgets in the notification center and, as of macOS 14 Sonoma, on the desktop itself. Widgets on Android and iOS are added directly to the home screen and don't require any extra steps to see.

Updated October 27, 2023 by Brian P.

quizTest Your Knowledge

Which statement about block-based coding is true?

It requires knowledge of a low-level programming language.
It uses visual drag-and-drop interface instead of a source code editor.
It does not support conditional clauses, such as if-then statements.
It was designed for creating mobile apps.
Correct! Incorrect!     View the Block-Based Coding definition.
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