A common question we’re getting with the new HD Widgets is “Why do my widgets look so…?” The last word of that question varies: “small”, “bloated”, “cut-off” and so on.
Depending on which device and OS you’re running our Glass Gem widgets will look either squished or bloated:
- Google, Asus, & Motorola widgets on their native ICS launcher will be squished
- All other ICS and pre-ICS widgets will be bloated
This contrast is due to a design decision made by the Android UI team. They felt that widget sizes should be left up to the home screen designers and not widget designers like us. As a result, some launchers will leave them alone, some will stretch widgets all the way across the screen, and others will shrink them down.
Here’s some examples:
Android 2.3 vs. Android 4.0
Samsung ICS Tablet vs. Asus ICS Tablet
(click to see full size)
Galaxy Nexus Launcher vs. Third-party Launcher
The main problem for us is we can’t accurately predict which size you’re going to get. Widgets are extremely limited: we can’t do dynamic layouts so all layouts have to be done in advance and are static.
When people talk about fragmentation it’s usually between devices and operating systems (on top of the general problem of screen sizes and resolutions). It gets ridiculous trying to cover every possible configuration.
Widgets are extra-extra-tricky because on top of the massive fragmentation they’re also subject to device’s UI layer (TouchWiz, Sense), 3rd-party launchers (Apex, ADW), and ROMs!
Unfortunately this means the Glass Gems theme will never look perfect. We’re working on the next theme, Colourform, which will use less detail and hopefully allow for more flexibility in a grid layout.
So now if you wondered why the widget look so… you know. It’s because they’re supposed to =)