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Quick tip: Listen to the Google Sound Search history playlist

When you hear a song on the radio, or during a TV show, movie, or anywhere else, using the Google Sound Search widget is a quick way to identify it. Just tap the widget and it will start listening to the music. Once identified, you can find out more information.

The Sound Search widget also keeps a convenient history list of any tracks you've identified. To access it, just tap icon on the widget.

With the current Web version of Google Play Music, you would need to look up each track and add it to a playlist, since there'… Read more

Display your agenda on Android lock screens with Neat Calendar

Lock screen widgets on Android can be time-savers, giving you quick access to information and apps. Some of the default lock screen widgets that are available include clocks, message lists, music players, and calendars.

The Neat Calendar Widget is a lock screen widget that displays your Google Calendar's agenda. Neat Calendar is more configurable than the default Google Calendar widget and arguably more attractive.

After installing Neat Calendar on your Android 4.2+ device, go to your lock screen and add it from the list of available lock screen widgets. The config screen will appear first, allowing you to … Read more

Enable lock screen widgets in Android 4.4 KitKat

When Google first launched Android 4.2 Jelly Bean one of the features included in the update was lock screen widgets. With the launch of Android 4.4 KitKat last week, there's a change to lock screen widgets you need to know about.

Users of Android 4.2 and 4.3 know that lock screen widgets were enabled by default on any compatible device. The option to have lock screen widgets was there whether you wanted them or not; that's not the case with KitKat.

When you first go to access or add a lock screen widget on … Read more

Add a location widget for Google+ contacts

The recent update of Google+ to version 4.2 came with a handful of new features. The primary focus of the update was on photos -- both editing and sharing them -- but the update also added a location widget.

This Google+ Location widget gives you quick access to the whereabouts of friends or family from your Android Home screen. It's also a lot faster than navigating through the Google+ app, which involves: opening the app, going to Locations, opening the list of friends sharing their locations, and then finding the person whose location you want to see.

Here'… Read more

Review: WidgetRunner for Mac lets you run installed widgets on your desktop area

WidgetRunner for Mac provides a quick way for you to move Dashboard widgets to the desktop area. If you find that using Mac widgets on the Dashboard takes too many clicks, you will appreciate the convenience of this app. While it includes only a handful of options, the application runs smoothly and effectively.

Even though WidgetRunner has no real interface, it's still really easy to operate. All you need to do is launch the application and import widgets into the app from your Mac Library by selecting "New Widget" from the application menu bar. Once imported and … Read more

Review: iBooks Widget lets you preview free and paid books from your Mac dashboard

iBooks Widget allows you to quickly preview in your dashboard both paid and free books available in the iBookstore. This widget's well-designed interface and legible typography make it a good choice for any digital bookworm, though the graphics and the buttons could do with a redesign. Still, if you love books you'll love this app.

iBooks Widget installs to your Mac dashboard, giving you a nice display of current titles in the iBookstore, along with detailed book information and short plot synopsis. You can browse through interesting titles quickly and filter displayed results by categories such as fiction, … Read more

Pinterest creates exclusive Android widget for Telefonica

Pinterest has inked a deal with Telefonica, one of the world's largest cellular companies, to feature an exclusive widget on the carrier's Android smartphones and tablets.

The widget will appear by default on the home screen of Android devices on Telefonica -- letting users see new pins and notifications without having to open the app. If users aren't signed into Pinterest, they'll still be able to see popular pins on the social network.

Telefonica is based in Spain and provides access throughout Europe and Latin America. It has 316 million customers, which is most likely one … Read more

Review: Place dashboard programs on your desktop with DesktopWidgets for Mac

For those who are not able to use the dashboard or any of its widgets due to the extra steps involved to access them, DesktopWidgets for Mac provides a quick way to use those from the main computer screen. While there are a number of steps required to set up widgets, once activated they add functionality to most Macs without any glitches.

The program's first window after installing quickly gives the user the option to open the program, itself, or view an HTML instruction. The instructions are helpful since there is little to the program's operation. A drop-down … Read more

Review: TranslateIt Deluxe Widget for Mac makes translating single words fast

TranslateIt Deluxe Widget for Mac's clean interface makes translating words from English, German, French, Spanish, and Russian fast and easy, although it stumbled with blocks of text. The widget doesn't come with any dictionaries but the user can download all they need from the developer's Web site.

TranslateIt Deluxe Widget for Mac unzips and installs to the user's dashboard, where it functions as a useable widget that may be positioned according to the user's preference. The application is basic and the interface reflects that. Users add dictionaries by clicking the information icon located on the … Read more

Review: MailWidget for Mac runs in the dashboard and alerts users to new mail

MailWidget for Mac alerts users with a customizable sound notification whenever they receive new mail messages, and it works for multiple accounts. Despite a minor setup issue, this handy widget worked well.

We downloaded the widget and installed it easily, a matter of double-clicking the icon and agreeing to install it into our Dashboard. MailWidget for Mac operates like any other widget but it lacks any user guidance. We did find the link to the user manual on the developer's Web site. When we activated the widget we were able to press and hold the Shift key to adjust … Read more