Google May Reintroduce Lock Screen Widgets by Opening “At a Glance” Tool to Other Apps

Google May Reintroduce Lock Screen Widgets by Opening "At a Glance" Tool to Other Apps

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Android users have long wished for the return of lock screen widgets, which have been absent for years. However, it seems that Google is reconsidering this in a future Android update.

While Android 15 doesn’t seem to bring back actual lock screen widgets to phones, there are indications of a potential alternative solution being implemented.

It has been recently reported that Android 15 might introduce lock screen widgets to tablets, which won’t be directly on the lock screen but accessible through a separate space by swiping from the right edge.

As per the source, this idea might be inspired by iOS’s “widgets,” which use a similar method. Since phone screens are smaller than tablets, this lock screen approach might not work entirely with them.

However, Google already has something that could serve as a basis for this feature: At a Glance, an element already present on the home screen and lock screens, displaying information from calendar events, weather, and traffic alerts.

The possibility of hosting the current At a Glance UI element for other app UI elements stems from a recent change to the RemoteViews API, which is reportedly in the works, according to findings by Mishaal Rahman (via Android Authority).

In this change, Google is said to be making At a Glance compatible with RemoteViews, the underlying code for Android widgets.

Of course, Google must overcome some challenges before this change becomes a reality. Widgets will need to be resizable to fit the limited space of the lock screen.

Google will also need to ensure that these widgets don’t crash with a glance or, worse, crash the entire lock screen.

Additionally, Google must persuade other smartphone manufacturers to include the At a Glance feature on their phones.

This comes at a time when Google also supports the use of custom lock screens via Glance, a lock screen tool already available on some budget Android devices.

Glance adds a curated selection of news and ads to your standard lock screen. It’s not exactly an At a Glance widget, but it shows that Google is somewhat open to using tools on the lock screen.

It’s unclear when (or if) these changes will happen, and they may be as far off as the next major Android release after Android 15.


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