I am an extremely unhappy customer right now. I only got a smart phone (and signed a contract) last year because I fell in love with the functionality of the Note III. I yelled the praises of my phone to all who would listen up until the recent update to Android 5.0 Lollipop OS. Now, my phone is a frustrating disaster. The root of my issues: no more widgets.
I had a beautiful round transparent weather widget on the main home screen, using an app. No swipes or clicks, daily forecast with high, low, rain, etc.
To the left home screen I had a Google Calendar widget that listed my upcoming events, including today or later. This was invaluable. Now I have to open the calendar app and navigate to the individual days and check each for events. From one swipe and glance to a solid minute.
To the right home screen I had my stack of post-it notes (Action Memo). Samsung has mysteriously merged this with S Note in addition to eliminating the widget. I use these two apps for completely different things. Meeting notes versus shopping list. Lab protocol versus dimensions for buying stuff. Now the app is gone and it takes many swipes and clicks to get to the notes, then they display in this annoying tiny page view and all grouped together. I can't write and save them very easily. Why the heck did they do this!? I used Action Memo's all day, every day, and now they are practically useless. I literally bought this phone because of the built in stylus and Action Memo capabilities; what's the point of a Note that can't take notes of two+ different types!?
On a far right home screen, I had a list of Alarms in a widget from the Samsung Clock app. I used these for reminders when my husband is traveling. For example, alarm titled "bring trash bins to the curb" at 5 pm on every Sunday. I could easily enable/disable with a tap, no navigation necessary. Now I have to find the app, navigate to Alarm, find it in the list, and enable/disable. Huge pain. Meaning I'm not doing it, and not getting the reminders I need.
On my primary screen I had a Google Search bar widget (right under the weather). I used it all the time. Now I have to navigate.
Not widget related: I turn on and off location tracking as needed. I don't like every app knowing where I am all the time, so I only use it when necessary. Now, there is an annoying "Agree" notification that pops up every single time I do this.
The cosmetic changes in Lollipop are great; fun fonts and colors. However, I would certainly never trade cosmetics for functionality. However, the new comma in the keyboard is certainly handy.
Is there a way to go back to Android 4.0? If not, is there some grand solution to bring back widgets I missed in searching online? I put off looking into this hoping they would send out a patch, but clearly nothing is happening.