Customize Your Android Home Screen With Widgets and Themes

The Android home screen is like your desk: It’s where you use and organize your applications in a way that’s most effective for you.

Because you go to the home screen after pressing the convenient Home button, you should dedicate it to shortcuts for your most frequently used applications. Out of the box, Google puts several of the most commonly used applications (Maps, Gallery, YouTube, Market, Phone, Gmail, Browser, and Voice) on the home, along with two widgets: the sleek Google search box across the top and the new News & Weather widget at the bottom.

Customize Your Android Home Screen With Widgets and Themes

The best feature of the home display is that it’s completely customizable.

Long-press a shortcut, widget, or whatever, and a slight vibration (known as haptic feedback) tells you that you that you can move that item. Longpress an empty space on the home, and you’ll be prompted to add a shortcut, widget, folder, or wallpaper to that screen.

In addition to apps, the Nexus One’s home screen can display widgets, which are little apps that display dynamic information on the home. Power Control is another useful widget which allows you to toggle various Nexus One settings; many other widgets display everything from clocks to the weather to your Twitter timeline.

Another great feature of Android’s home display is that there are five of them, so when your primary home screen fills up (as it inevitably will), you can easily add apps and widgets to any of the Nexus One’s four additional home screens. Just swipe your finger left or right to navigate to the additional screens.

When you fill all five home display, you’re maxed out. Android 2.1 currently has only five home screens that you can customize with shortcuts, but the only limit to the number of apps that you can store on your phone is the amount of memory in it.

If you forget which home screen a particular app is in, you can invoke a cool thumbnail view by touching the left/right dots at the bottom of the screen. When you do, you see five miniature home display, complete with miniature app icons and widgets.

When you spot your app, touch its thumbnail to be whisked directly to that particular home screen. Good stuff.

Managing apps and widgets

When you want to remove an app or widget from the home (and this will happen), simply long-press its icon. You’ll notice that the gray Launcher icon turns into a trash can. Simply drag the item’s icon to the trash can to remove it from your home. The icon and the trash can glow red when they touch, confirming the deletion.

This procedure doesn’t delete the application itself from your phone-just the shortcut or alias to the app. To permanently remove (or uninstall, in Android parlance) an application that you’ve downloaded, simply follow these steps:

1. Launch Android Market.

2. Press the Menu button.

3. Touch Downloads.

4. Scroll to the app that you want to uninstall.

5. Press the Uninstall button.

You can also manage certain applications by touching Settings >Applications > Manage Applications and then touching the app’s name to open the Application Info screen. In this screen, you can press the Manage Space button to manage the amount of space that the application is using or press the Uninstall button to uninstall an app update that’s causing problems..

Using the Launcher

The home display is where you store frequently used apps, shortcuts, and widgets. Touching the gridlike icon in the bottom center of the home screen opens the Launcher, which displays a scrolling list of all the apps installed on your Nexus One.

Applications are sorted alphabetically. You can scroll through them vertically by flicking upward or downward anywhere inside the Launcher screen. You can launch an app from this screen either by touching its icon or by pressing the trackball when the app’s icon is highlighted.

Starting a Home Business? 7 Steps to Ensure Success for Web Enrepreneurs-To-Be

Whether you want to start a Home Business to make a part-time income or to replace your
full time job, there are some steps you will need to take to make the process easier. Of course,
you can leave these steps out, but you will find it much harder to focus and will be easily distracted
from your goals.

The Internet is now a huge marketplace for any business. More and more people use the Internet everyday
to purchase anything from clothes to cars, and you CAN cash in on this phenomenon. Even if you have virtually
no experience of Internet Marketing you can literally start up an Online Home Business overnight.

Here are 7 simple steps you should take to ensure that you start the best home business to suit your lifestyle:

1. Set your Home Business Goals.

It is essential to set goals and objectives and then design strategies for attaining them. This will be your Business Plan.

  • Some questions you should ask yourself:
  • Why do I want to start up an Online Home Business?
  • What product or service can I provide?
  • Do I have the expertise to provide this service?
  • Do I know enough about the competetion?
  • Where will my customers come from?
  • What do I have that people are searching for?
  • Take the time to write down your questions and answers and thoroughly research your chosen market.

    2. Identify your Internet Business Market.

    Use search engines such as Google and Overture to find out where you customers will come from. Look for sites selling
    similar items and forums related to your product or service.

    3. Choose a Domain Name that reflects your Internet Business.

    This is an important step as your Domain Name will be used to identify the type of business you run. Try to come up with a name
    that reflects your business – e.g.if your business is selling widgets you should try to include the term “widget” in your domain name.
    The ideal name for this example would be “widget.com” but you could also use names like “best-widgets.com” or “wholesalewidgets.com”.

    4. Find a good Web Host and build a simple but professional website.

    You can use free hosting if you are really strapped for cash, but this is not a good idea. There are a number of Webhosting Companies
    that offer very good services for only a few dollars a month.

    5. Create your Unique Selling Point (UPS).

    Make your customers think you are an expert on the product or service you are providing. If you offer expert opinion, your customers
    will feel more secure buying from yur website.

    6. Market your new website on the Internet.

    Here are some ways you can market your Internet Business. These are not the only ways to get traffic to your site, but they are the most
    popular. When it comes to advertising your website, get creative!

  • Search Engines
  • E-mail Marketing
  • Forum Postings
  • Viral Marketing
  • Affiliate Programs
  • 7. Track your sales and visitors.

    Tracking your sales and visitors allows you to analyse your promotion methods. You can decide which methods are working well for you and
    which you need to improve on.

    If you follow these smple steps you will have the basis for a Home Business on the Internet that could provide you with extra income if you
    just want to work part time – or with full-time income if you want to quit your job and work at home. One last word of advice…..donĀ“t give up
    your job until you are sure your Home Business can provide for you and your family!

    Widget Marketing-Can Widgets Benefit B2B Sites

    There has been a lot of “buzz” about widgets and widget marketing recently as creative online marketers have discovered the use of widgets. Widgets are simply pieces of embeddable code that can be found on one site, and embedded in another that can be used to promote your own site or blog. Widgets have become popular with users of online communities as a result the business of marketing via widgets is a great way for site owners (including B2B sites) to promote their content and business.

    Widget marketing is starting to catch on in the online marketing world. Today there was a great post by Nick Wilson over at Search Engine Land on link baiting for 2007. According to Nick, a major component of link baiting in 2007 will be “widget baiting”. Widget marketing has been discussed in a number of blogs over recent months. In fact, back in November, Top Rank Blog had posted a great interview with Lawrence Coburn on Marketing with Widgets. Coburn is one of the pioneers in widget marketing

    How Can Widgets Help B2B Sites?

    Simply put, widgets are all about providing your users with the tools to promote your B2B business or any business/online property for that matter. For B2B marketers, widgets offer the potential to be a means of acquiring new customers at a minimal cost, promotion of your site’s presence out to the rest of the Web, and can provide a traffic source to help build your external link inventory.

    Widgets are a great way for promoting your site and your content. For B2B sites, which are looking to create streaming media channels (combining audio, video, photos, text, and RSS feeds etc) and broadcast them live across their site’s pages or blog, widgets can help accomplish this. Sites like splashcast specialize in just that.

    As I result we have compiled a list of our favorite widgets and widget related sites:

    Top 10 Favorite Widget Sites for B2B Search Marketing

    My Blog Log

    Mashable.com

    Widgetoko

    Snipperoo

    Reuters Widget

    Spring Widgets

    Word Press Widgets

    Poll Daddy

    Business Week Widget

    My Blog Log is currently my personal favorite as it is very user friendly and is home to a number of interesting and diverse blogs

    Honorable Mentions

    Sphere.com

    I Like.com

    Google Gadget Tryouts

    Rollyo

    Looking for more information on Widgets? Check out the following resources:

    While widget baiting can be time consuming, the results can be tremendous. Can widgets benefit B2B sites? Most definitely providing that you have a strategy for widget marketing, widgets can help B2B site owners promote their sites, their solutions and their brand.