There is a plethora of apps out there that allow you to customize just about every single thing on your android smartphone without even rooting. That is why we have started the weekly series “Monday Makeover.” Each week we will take one of these customization apps and talk about setting it up, discuss the features of it, and show you how you can make your android device truly one of a kind. Last week we talked about Go Launcher EX. This week we are taking a look at UCCW, the Ultimate Custom Widget.
UCCW gives you access to more widgets than you could ever imagine, and there are many ways to get them. UCCW has no setup procedure, so once you install it, you are ready to go. One of the biggest draws to UCCW is the ability for the user to create their own widgets that do exactly what you want them to do. If you are a creative person, this is fantastic and you can create and customize to your heart’s content. However, if you are not a super creative person, UCCW is still just as useful to you. By simply searching “UCCW” in the Google Play Store, you can find countless beautiful widgets created by other people for you to download and use. There are also other websites where creators will put their widgets up for download that you can find. We will take a look at both ways to get widgets in today’s Monday Makeover, starting with creating widgets on your own.
Creating Widgets with UCCW
To start creating your own widget, tap the pink plus sign in the bottom right corner of the app and the tap the smaller plus sign right above it.
This will bring you to the templates page and show you all the built in options you have for widgets. There are several clock widgets, a weather widget, and a battery widget, but we will be taking a look at the blank template to start from scratch. You will be prompted to name you widget, and you can also choose the size of your widget and the size of the grid inside your widget from this screen. Tap the “Done” button to continue. You will be brought to the widget creator and from here you are given every option possible to customize your widget.
Under the “Background” tab, you will find every option for changing the background of your widget. “Mode” lets you change between having a color or an image as your background. This means you could design a background in another program and use it as a background for you phone. Or, you know, a picture of your dog. If you stay in Color mode, tapping “Background” will bring up the color picker so that you can make the background any color you want. “Alpha/Transparency” changes how transparent your background is from completely opaque to clear. Changing “Fill background on homescreen” to Yes will fill the entire widget space with the background even if the does not take up the entire space. Changing it to No will only place the background behind the widget. Dimensions change the height and width of your background. If you change to Image mode, tapping “Background” will let you choose what image you want to use. “Image scale type” lets you choose how you want to fit the image to your widget. “Alpha/Transparency” changes the transparency of your image. Fill background on homescreen will make your image fill the entire grid you place your widget in, even if the widget does not take up the entire grid.
Under the “Object” tab, you will find all the options you have for adding content to your widget. You can add as many objects as you want by pressing the pink plus sign in the bottom right corner. This will bring up the list of objects to choose from. You can add text, clocks, shapes, graphics, weather, images, and more. We could spend hours on each object, but to spare you time from reading 10,000 words I will just be doing an overview. When you select an object, you are given the option to name it and then it is added to your widget and its name is added to the list below. Tapping on the object will then bring up a set of options for that object in particular. Each object can have dozens of customization options for it so you can see why we are not diving into each one. Once you are in an objects menu, you can move it by dragging your finger around the widget preview at the top of the screen. You are also given more precise movement controls in the options. You can copy and delete objects by tapping the three dots to the right of their name and selecting the desired action.
Under the “Hotspots” tab, you will find the options for adding hotspots that will perform a certain action when tapped. You can add as many hotspots as you want by tapping the pink plus sign in the bottom right corner. This will add a hotspot to the list. Selecting a hotspot from the list will bring up options for that hotspot. You can rename it using “Label” and also change it’s position. “Width” and “Height” change the size of the widget to fit where you want it to. “Hotspot” will bring up three options to choose from. Application will let you choose a specific app to launch when the hotspot is pressed. UCCW brings up specific UCCW settings that will occur when the hotspot is pressed. Shortcut will cause the hotspot to perform a specific action from the long list of shortcuts available. “Shape” changes the shape of the hotspot to fit your needs. You can place hotspots behind objects to make the object complete an action when pressed and hotspots are not visible when the widget is on the homescreen.
The “Offset objects” tab allows you to move all the contents of the widget at one time. This way you can shift the whole widget without having to move each piece individually.
Under the “Editor background” tab, you can choose what background is displayed behind the widget preview in the UCCW app. You can either have you wallpaper, a specific color, or just the default white and grey tiles.
Downloading Widgets for UCCW
Going to the Google Play Store and searching for “UCCW” will bring up numerous widgets created by others specifically for UCCW. Many are free although some of the fancier ones may be paid downloads. As an example, I am downloading the “Minimal UCCW” widgets which showed up first in my search. After downloading it, you can open up the UCCW app and see that it has been added to your list of widgets. You can go ahead and add the widget to your homescreen as it is, but you also have the ability to edit downloaded widgets as if they were your own. All the options that were discussed above about creating your own widgets are available to use with downloaded ones, as well. You can customize the widgets you download to make them fit the way you want. If a widget has a hotspot that is meant to open a certain app, I would go into that widget’s hotspot settings and see what app is going to open. Many times, widget creators use different apps from you and the hotspots will not change even if you do not have that app installed. You can also find widgets created by others online by searching something like “UCCW skin.” These can be used and edited just like every other widget in UCCW.
Adding UCCW Widgets to Your Homescreen
Adding widgets created in UCCW to your homescreen is different than normal. Instead of searching for the name of your widget in the widgets list, you need to scroll until you find widgets called “UCCW” with a dimension after. These are blank widgets and you add the widget you want afterwards. Add the correctly sized widget to your homescreen and it will open the UCCW app. From here, you select what widget you would like on your homescreen and it will replace the blank widget with that one.
Another Monday Makeover comes to an end. We have discovered the endless customization possibilities offered by UCCW and how to use each one. This app is fantastic since it gives users access to widgets that would not be available otherwise. UCCW is free and has no paid version so you get all the features for free. I would definitely recommend giving this app a try and seeing all of the amazing possibilities it has to offer. If you are trying out UCCW or have used it in the past, tell us about your experience in the comments. While you are down there, leave a suggestion for an app that you would like to see featured in a future Monday Makeover. Have a great week!
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