The Lock Screen of Your Smartphone is about to get even more useful

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What’s the latest?

The lock screen is changing with the launch of iOS 16 and Glance’s expansion in the US, as well as updates to Google Pixel phone widgets.

Why it matters

The lock screen is what most people see first when they pick up their phone. These updates indicate that companies are trying to make the most of this space.

Next steps

Apple’s iOS 16 update will officially launch in the fall. It just entered public beta on Monday. Glance does not have a timetable for its US debut.

Consider how many times you have checked your mailbox. Phone each day. Consider the wallpaper on your phone’s lock screen. It is probably the first thing that you see when you open it. It could be a photo of your pet or a photograph of a stunning sunset from a recent vacation, or even a piece of art. This could change in a matter of days.

Since long, the lock screen was considered an intimate space that could be used for personal photos, important notifications, and tools such as flashlights. As evidenced by the increasing use of lock screen real estate by companies, Apple’s iOS 16 Update and other changes reportedly coming to Android phones.

Apple’s iOS 16 update has been released Launched in Public BetaOn Monday, the iPhone’s new lock screen will feature more customization options and add new widgets. You can quickly access more information and add stylistic effects to lockscreen photos, similar to the iPhone’s Portrait Mode photography feature.

Take a lookGoogle-backed subsidiary of mobile advertising tech company, called. InMobiThe company also reiterated its intention to bring its lockscreen platform to the US. Google is also rumored to be planning to add more information to its lock screen widget for Pixel phones. 

Taken together these changes suggest that we may not be able to swipe past our lock screens quickly in future. 

The widget gallery to the iPhone’s lockscreen in iOS 16.


CNET Apple/Screenshot

The iPhone’s lock screen will be getting a major overhaul

iOS 16 will bring some of the most important features to iOS 16. The new lock screen. Craig Federighi (Apple’s senior vice president for software engineering) called it the “biggest update” when he presented the update. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, June. You will be able to change the font style and color for the date, time and background photo. 

As I’ve written beforeThe new widgets will be more useful for the iPhone’s lock screen. You can already place widgets on the iPhone’s secondary Today View screen. Access it by swiping right. 

iOS 16 introduces widgets to the main screen that allow you to see bits of information quickly, such as the temperature, Activity Rings and upcoming appointments. This functionality has been available on Android phones for many years. It’s great to see it again. iPhone follow suit. You can create multiple lock screen and cycle through them just like Apple Watch faces.

You can add widgets from apps such as Spotify, Google Maps, and Outlook to your iPhone’s Today View. I don’t think it would surprise me to see widgets by third parties on the new lock screen. You can see a Nike widget option in Apple’s WWDC demo. This means that developers might soon have another option to reach iPhone owners and stop their apps getting lost in the user’s app store. 

Without spending significant time using iOS 16, it’s impossible for you to predict how useful the new lock screen will prove to be. As I have said before, iOS 16’s new widgets are likely to make your iPhone feel closer to the original. Apple WatchIt seems like an upgrade. Similar to the Apple Watch, it should be easier to see key pieces of information on the new lock screen without having to dig through apps or unlock your device.   

A screenshot of Glance's website showing lock screens on a number of phones

Glance’s website shows a screenshot of its lock screen platform. 


CNET Glance/Screenshot

Soon, Android phone owners will have new options for their lock screen

Glance, which provides entertainment and other digital content to certain Android devices in India or Southeast Asia, is in discussions with wireless carriers to launch in America in the next two months. TechCrunch. The company has not yet revealed the US launch date or other details. However, it did reveal a glimpse at its US lock screen offering Monday. 

Glance’s lock screen will be in the form of “spaces,” which it refers to as curated lock screens tailored to specific themes. A fitness-oriented lockscreen, for instance, would include statistics such as calories burned, exercise goals, and a music player. A news space would display the latest headlines, weather and a music version could show live concerts. It reminds me of the new iOS 16 lock screen that can be tied to different “focuses”, such as work or personal. 

The TechCrunch report about Glance’s US arrival sparked concerns that advertisements would be coming to the lock screen, too. Glance’s page about business shows Examples of advertisers Its platform has been used by many companies to reach potential customers right from the first screen that they see when they pick up their phones. Garnier, Zomato and Intel are just a few of the examples. 

CNET spoke with Rohan Choudhary who is vice president and general manager for the Glance feed. He said that the US version will be ad-free. 

He said, “We are very clear that we will not have any ads on our lock screen in the US.” 

Also, the company published Press release Monday saying it, “has no intentions to show ads on the lock screen surface.” Glance must still prove that the lock screen offers it provides more value than other widgets available for Android users. It will have to find the right balance between showing useful information without being too distracting. 

The company claims it will monetize the service using news subscriptions as well as commerce links from shopping sites that are displayed through Glance. However, these picks need to be useful and relevant or they may feel just as intrusive than ads. According to the company, it boasts a 60% retention rate. It can also be found on 400,000,000 phones in all markets it currently operates. 

A screenshot showing a fitness-themed lock screen from Glance

Glance, which will launch in the US on April 1, 2019, will center its lock screen options around certain themes it calls “spaces”. These screenshots are an example for a fitness-oriented area. 


CNET – Glance/Screenshots

Google offers its own way to make the lock screen more useful. At a Glance is the company’s feature. Pixel phones shows relevant information on the lock screen when applicable, just as the name implies. A report from recently. 9to5Google This widget may soon have new information. At a Glance may soon include updates about ridesharing apps such as Lyft or Uber. This will make it easier for you to see urgent notifications directly from the lock screen. 

These expected changes, regardless of how they were implemented, prove that the lock screen needs to be updated. The lock screen is now an essential part of our smartphones’ lives. It can be used to access information, control home appliances, and order everything, from taxis to grocery orders. It’s no longer enough to display timely alerts. 

Whether it’s new widgets in iOS 16 or updates to Pixel’s At a Glance function, the goal seems to be the same: make our lock screens more efficient at organizing the flurry notifications and updates that flood our phones every day. We will see how successful these initiatives are.

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