Historically, the term “widget” was used to denote a part or piece of machine that was unidentified (or did not, for the purposes, need to be identified). In modern computer-slanted usage, a widget is a small interface display designed to clearly convey information to the user.
Examples of widgets include simple toggles on smartphone and tablet interfaces such as a widget to enable the LED flashlight on a smartphone. The widget in question then isn’t a static icon, but an interactive icon that changes from a dim light bulb when the flashlight is off to a lit bulb when the flashlight is on. More advanced widgets display weather, social media updates, and other more complex information.
While widgets are most popular on the mobile interfaces of phones and tablets, they are also found desktop computers, usually in a side bar, displaying similar information (such as resource usage stats, weather, and other information relevant to the user).
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 03/22/13