What is happening
Between the launch of iOS 16, the expected U.S. expansion of lock screen content company Glance, and updates to Google’s Pixel phone widgets, it’s clear that the lock screen is about to change.
Why is it important?
The lock screen is the first thing most people see when they pick up their phone. These updates show that companies are trying to make better use of this space.
Apple’s iOS 16 update was officially launched in the fall and arrived in public beta on Monday. Glance has not provided a timetable for its US debut.
Think about how many times you check yourselfevery day. Now consider the first thing you see when you pick up your device: your lock screen wallpaper. Maybe it’s a photo of your pet, a beautiful sunset photo from a recent vacation, or just a beautiful piece of art. Everything can change very soon.
The lock screen has long been considered an intimate space reserved for personal photos, important notifications, and tools like flashlights. But companies increasingly want to do more with this valuable real estateand other changes are reported .
Which is Apple’s iOS 16 updateMonday will bring more customization options and new widgets to the iPhone’s lock screen when it arrives this fall. You’ll be able to quickly see more information and apply stylistic effects to lock screen images, similar to the iPhone’s Portrait Mode photography feature.
Glance, the Google-backed subsidiary of mobile ad tech company InMobi, also reiterated plans to bring its lock screen platform to the US. Google is reportedly planning to include more information in its lock screen widget for Pixel phones.
Taken together, changes like these are indicative of how quickly we’ll want to move past our lock screens in the future.
The iPhone’s lock screen is getting a major update
This is one of the biggest features coming in iOS 16. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, called it “the biggest update ever” when introducing the update. . You’ll be able to customize font styles and colors for the date and time, while giving your background image a magazine cover-like aesthetic.
As I wrote before, it’s the new widgets that will really bring more benefits to the iPhone’s lock screen. iPhone now lets you place widgets on the second Day View screen on your lock screen, which you can access by swiping right.
But iOS 16 adds widgets to the main lock screen to show at-a-glance information like temperature, activity rings from your Apple Watch, and upcoming calendar appointments. Android phones have been offering these kinds of features for years, and it’s nice to seeto imitate You can even create multiple lock screens and cycle through them just like Apple Watch faces.
Since you can add widgets from apps like Spotify, Google Maps, and Outlook to your iPhone’s Today View, I wouldn’t be surprised to see third-party widgets for the new lock screen as well. If you watch Apple’s WWDC demo closely, you might even see an option for a Nike widget. This means that developers may soon have another way to reach out to iPhone owners and prevent their apps from being buried deep in the user’s app library.
Without spending considerable time with iOS 16, it’s impossible to know how useful this new lock screen will be. But as I wrote before, iOS 16’s new widgets will make your iPhone feel more like it., appears to be an improvement. Like the Apple Watch, the new lock screen should make it easier to see important pieces of information without going into apps or even unlocking your phone.
Android phone owners may soon have new lock screen options
Glance, which offers entertainment and other digital content on the lock screens of select Android devices in India and Southeast Asia, is in talks with wireless carriers to launch in the U.S. within the next two months, according to TechCrunch. While the company didn’t reveal a US release time or other details, it did give a glimpse of the US lock screen offering on Monday.
Glance’s lock screen will appear in what it calls “spaces,” which are essentially lock screens tailored to specific themes. A fitness-oriented lock screen will display stats like calories burned and workout goals, for example, next to a music player. News will show “space” headlines and weather, while the music version can show live concerts. It’s reminiscent of how the iPhone’s new lock screen in iOS 16 can be locked into different “focuses,” such as work or personal mode.
A TechCrunch report on Glance’s arrival in the US has sparked concerns that ads will also come to the lock screen. Glance’s business page shows examples of advertisers using its platform to reach potential customers on the first screen they see when they pick up their phone. Intel, Zomato and Garnier are among the examples listed.
But Glance vice president and general manager Rohan Choudhary told CNET that the US version will be ad-free.
“We are very clear that we will not have any ads on the lock screen in the US at all,” he said.
The company also released a press release on Monday saying it “does not intend to display ads on the surface of the lock screen.” However, Glance will have to prove that its lock screen offerings are worth more than the many widgets and other options already available to Android users. It will also need to strike the right balance between displaying useful information without being too distracting.
The company said it plans to monetize its service through news subscriptions and trade links from shopping platforms exposed through Glance. But these options must be useful and relevant, otherwise they can feel intrusive, like ads. The company said it has a 60% retention rate and can be found on 400 million phones in its current markets.
Meanwhile, Google has its own tools to make the lock screen more useful. Features of the company at a glanceas the name suggests, it displays relevant information on the lock screen. A recent report from 9to5Google suggests that new news may appear in this widget soon. Sharing updates from apps like Lyft and Uber could be among the new alerts available in At a Glance, making it even easier to see emergency notifications from the lock screen.
Regardless of the app, these pending changes prove that the lock screen needs an update. The lock screen has taken on an important new role as our phones have become a hub for accessing information, controlling appliances, and ordering everything from taxis to grocery orders. It is not enough to give a timely warning.
Whether it’s the new widgets in iOS 16, updates to the Pixel’s One Glance feature, or Glance-to-lock screen “gaps,” the goal seems to be the same: to better organize our lock screens, to organize the notifications and updates that bombard our notifications. phones every day. What remains to be seen is how successful these efforts will be.