Remember those sidebar gadgets Microsoft debuted in Windows Vista and then later reintroduced in Windows 7 as desktop gadgets? Unfortunately, the company had a change of mind and decided to remove them entirely from Windows 8, disappointing a lot of users. Although the Redmond conglomerate hasn’t given any clear explanation regarding their removal, it is safe to assume that the desktop gadgets were removed because they weren’t going to sit nicely with the Modern UI. Today, we found a handsome Windows 8 / RT Modern UI app that (kind of) brings back those missing gadgets. Labeled SnapGadgets, this light, miniscule Windows Store app comes packed with calendar, calculator, sticky notes and time gadgets that can be viewed alongside your desktop by snapping the app to the right or left of the screen.
SnapGadgets can be downloaded for free from the Windows Store. When you launched the app, it opens up in full-screen mode, but you can easily snap it to the left or right of the screen by hitting Win + Shift + -> or Win + >, respectively. The hotkeys make it easier to switch the app’s position on the fly. You can always use the default method if you find that more convenient.
In case you’re wondering what that is, move your mouse or finger to the top edge of the app, tap/click and drag the app down slightly and then to the left or right edge of the screen. The app should snap to the side when you let go.
The app contains customizable gadgets for calendar, calculator, sticky note and a digital clock. It also lets you configure a few related options by clicking or tapping Settings followed by Settings again in the Charms Bar.
While the app has an overall minimal look and feel, it does come with quite a few customization options. It lets you enable or disable the available gadgets, personalize its color scheme among a few other options (has eight different color schemes), such as the size of the widgets as well as the current time zone and time zone identifier. You can also toggle between 12-hour and 24-hour time format.
When snapped to the side, you can use the app along with any other Windows 8 or RT app, but it is best used snapped to the side of the desktop, as shown in the screenshot below.
SnapGadgets works on both Windows 8 and Windows RT. Testing was carried out on Windows 8 Pro, 64-bit.