Difference Between Apps and Widgets

Every mobile phone, tablet, laptop and desktop come loaded with a lot of features, applications and widgets and each of these has a different purpose and task to perform. These features of an electronic device make it run and function efficiently.

Apps vs Widgets

The main difference between apps and widgets is that apps are full-fledged programs designed to serve multiple purposes, it may be a single program or a collection of several programs and they start working when a person open them by tapping on the app icon whereas widgets are small apps or self-contained mini-programs designed to perform single tasks, widgets can also be an extension of an application to make tasks easier.

Apps vs Widgests

The most important part of a device is its applications. An application is a software designed for electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, iPad, laptops, desktop, etc.

These are based on programming and are made to perform specific tasks. An application may be designed for a single task or for multiple tasks.

A widget is a short program designed for different types of electronic devices, these are programmed to perform specific tasks or make tasks easier. A widget may be a program in itself or an extension to an app.


Comparison Table Between Apps and Widgets

Parameter of ComparisonAppsWidgets
Basic functionApps are programs that run on a mobile phone or a desktop, designed specifically for a particular task or to serve a specific purpose.Widgets are small apps that are made for performing a particular function on the go. These are designed to make commonly used functions handy.
How to start working onIn order to start a task on an app, one has to click on the app icon and as the app opens, they can start working.Widgets are apps that are active by default on a mobile phone.
HibernationApps get in the hibernation mode when someone exits the currently running window.Widgets are always active in the background and they do not go in hibernation.
VisibilityApps are visible to a person as icons and if someone exits the app, they can still see the app running in the currently running apps window.Widgets are invisible as they are always active.
How to get them on a mobile phoneTo use an application one has to download them from a play store or any other app store.Widgets are generally inbuilt in mobile phones or other devices.


What are the Apps?

Application, usually abbreviated as app, are full length programs designed to perform various tasks. An application is designed such that it can run on different devices like mobiles, desktop, laptop, etc.

In order to get an application, one has to download it from the app store. Nowadays, many apps come in-built with the devices and many applications are available for free in the app store.

An application starts when a person clicks on the app icon, after clicking on the icon home window of the app pops up. When a person exits the app, it goes into the hibernation mode.

While in hibernation, the app is visible in the window of currently running apps. When the device exits the hibernation, the data gets reloaded.

Applications were initially made for simple tasks like emailing, contacts, calendars, etc but due to the demand, many apps were made and given extensions.

Some apps are free while some are not, there is a minimum amount to be paid to use them. With the devices being updated, applications also need an update from time to time.


What are Widgets?

Widgets are mini programs that are made for particular tasks. Widgets can function on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.

Widgets are designed mostly to make tasks easier, some widgets are the extensions of applications. They are sometimes the shortcut of apps.

Widgets are always active by default on the devices and due to always being active they do not go in hibernation mode. Widgets even while active are not visible on the screen.

The display information and data that may be of use frequently. The current data of a widget does not get reloaded until the device is switched off.

Widgets are mostly in-built applications in the devices, however, some third party applications provide access to other widgets that are not in-built. The device users can customize widgets as per their choices and requirements.


Main Differences Between Apps and Widgets

  1. Apps are programs designed for a specific purpose and perform a particular task while widgets are small apps designed to make tasks easier.
  2. To start an application, one needs to click on the app icon and the app window appears and the person can perform the desired task, that is, apps need to be clicked open whereas widgets always keep running in the background.
  3. When a person exits the app window, the app enters the international mode while widgets do not go in hibernation mode because they are always active.
  4. On opening the app after hibernation, the information is reloaded while the information of a widget does not get refreshed or reloaded.
  5. If the app is in hibernation mode, one can see it running in the window of the running apps while widgets don’t appear in any window, that is they are invisible.
  6. To work on any application, one has to download it from the app store while widgets are the built-in feature of the mobile phone or desktop.
  7. Applications have their widget for handy purposes while widgets do not necessarily have applications of their own.
  8. Apps may have multiple purposes to serve or multiple tasks to perform while widgets usually have a single task to do.
Difference Between Apps and Widgets



People usually confuse the two with one another however, they An application and a widget, both are designed for some particular tasks. Applications are complete programs while widgets are extensions of applications.

Both are task specific programs. However, they are different from one another.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6530464/
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