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uccw widget tutorial

One of Android’s greatest strength is how customizable it is. Even without rooting your device How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick Read More or installing a custom ROM How To Find & Install a Custom ROM For Your Android Device How To Find & Install a Custom ROM For Your Android Device One of the great things about Android is that the operating system isn't stuck on just one device - you can find it on all sorts of gadgets from multiple manufacturers. Another beautiful feature about... Read More , you can do some incredible things to shape your phone to be just the way you want it. Installing a third-party launcher like Nova Nova Launcher - Even Better Than The Default Android 4.0 Launcher Nova Launcher - Even Better Than The Default Android 4.0 Launcher Up until Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) came along, Android’s interface felt somewhat less polished than iOS’s. But with Android 4.0, Google made a clean break with the previous visual style for Android, introducing Holo... Read More goes a long way, but you can do so much more: UCCW, or Ultimate Custom Widget, is a widget that lets you place custom clocks, battery meters, weather meters, and just about anything else right on your homescreen. Its claim to fame is the sheer number of skins offered for it on Google Play, and more skins are being added all the time.

Customization is often a painful (or at least painstaking) process, but what’s cool about UCCW is that it makes it incredibly simple: Just install the skin, and tell UCCW to show it. But before you go through that, let me share a couple of screenshots to motivate you.

What UCCW Can Do

Here’s an image from the Google Play page for the Evangelion NERV UCCW skin:

uccw widget tutorial

That’s not some crazy piece of concept art, or a static wallpaper. The numbers actually change, and it’s a real configuration you can install on your own device.

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Or here’s another example, if your tastes are a bit more minimalistic:

uccw widget android

This piece of drop-dead gorgeous design is called Klok, and it does cost money (about $2 at the time of this writing). These are just two examples, but I’ll show you a few more as I step you through the process of installing and configuring UCCW. Excited yet?

Step 1: Install UCCW

This is simple enough. Go to Google Play and install UCCW:

uccw widget android

It’s free.

Step 2: Find Skins You Like

On its own, UCCW doesn’t do so much. It only serves as a host for skins, so that’s step two. The simplest way to do this step is to just search Google Play for UCCW; you will see pages upon pages of results, many of which are quite beautiful.

Another way to find skins you like is on sites like MyColorScreen and deviantArt (here’s a search for UCCW on deviantArt). Just browse through the results until you find something cool, and install it.

Step 3: Put It On Your Screen

Putting a UCCW widget on your screen starts like putting any other widget: with a long-press that should yield the following menu:

uccw widget android

Next, tap Widgets, scroll down to UCCW, and tap that. You should get a menu with way too many options:

uccw widgets

At this point, it doesn’t really matter what widget size you’ll pick, since widgets can be resized in most modern launchers anyway. Once you pick a size, you’ll find yourself in a menu showing all of the UCCW skins you’ve installed so far:

uccw widgets

When I took this screenshot, I had just one skin installed, called Holler!. As you can see above, a skin can come packed with several different presets. Holler! comes in both black and white, with and without a battery indicator. The Evangelion skin comes with even more:

I tapped one of Holler’s variants and got this:

This isn’t Holler yet, but it’s quite clear. I did what it said (touched the widget area) and presto:

uccw widgets

The screen looked nice at this point, but I decided to go ahead and add a battery meter skin and a weather skin:

Now we’re getting somewhere. The battery skin is called Soft Battery Bar, while the weather skin goes by Clear Conditions. Definitely slick, but what makes it even cooler is how easy the whole thing was to set up.

Options (Or Lack Thereof)

Widgets can trigger certain actions using hotspots (such as launch Gmail or another app). If no hotspot is defined, UCCW will display a generic Options screen:

uccw widget tutorial

For some skins, like Clear Conditions, this screen does nothing. Changing the colors had no effect on the skin’s appearance, and most other operations triggered the error you see in the screenshot (“Feature not available for this skin”). Other skins do have options you can tweak, and their creators will usually tell you about them in the Google Play description for the skin.

Bottom Line

If you have any sort of interest in customizing your homescreen, you need to try UCCW right now. It’s simple and fun to use, and the selection of available skins is rich and constantly growing. It’s quite a phenomenon, really. Since there are so many skins, I would be curious to hear about your favorites in the comments: Feel free to share links to skins on Google Play, or to screenshots of your own homescreen.

  1. patrick
    August 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    The problem I am having with this stupid thing is that when ever I tap the so called "hotspot" to take me to chorme or what ever else it is supposed to do. It just launches the UCCW app for editing.

    • TommyD
      September 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      When you edit the widget to include the hot spot app of your choice you have to save the new widget.. Then you have to remove the old widget from the screen and put the new saved widget on your screen.... It does take a bit of trial and error with this app.

    • Rachel S.
      September 7, 2013 at 3:09 am

      Patrick, go into the settings for UCCW and "lock widgets". this will allow the hotspots to work instead of opening the editor.

  2. Justin Klyczek
    April 22, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Erez - awesome! Thanks brother

  3. Ivan Vucic
    April 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Haven't seen this one, i will have to pimp out my one x :)

  4. Abhishek Indoria
    April 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I have no idea how to put icons like that in the dock. Launcher? Help, anyone?

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 20, 2013 at 9:58 am

      this changes from launcher to launcher, but with Nova, you just long-press an icon and pick Edit, then tap the image to change it.

  5. Kelly B
    April 19, 2013 at 4:57 am

    How timely this was. I had just downloaded UCCW and was starting to mess around with it when I saw your write up! As always MUO has the info I need!

  6. Matt
    April 19, 2013 at 3:00 am

    I wonder if this will work on a Nook Color. Yeah, it is an Android device, buried somewhere under all the other stuff...

  7. Darren Shipp
    April 19, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Oh yeah gotta love the Holler skin..

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