June 16, 2024

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Get ready, big changes are coming to your phone lock screen

What is happening

Between the launch of iOS 16, Glance’s upcoming expansion of lock screen content in the US and updates to Google’s Pixel phone gadgets, it’s clear that the lock screen is about to change.

why does it matter

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

What’s Next

Apple’s iOS 16 update officially launched in the fall and just arrived in public beta on Monday. Glance has not offered a timeline for its US debut.

How many times have you checked your phone every day? No matter if it’s only once or too many to count, you are always greeted first with our lock screen wallpaper. Maybe it’s a picture of your pet, a picture of a beautiful sunset from a recent vacation or just a great piece of art. All this could change very soon.

The lock screen has always been an intimate space for personal photos, important notifications, and gadgets like a flashlight. But companies are increasingly looking to do more with that valuable real estate, as evidenced by iOS 16 update from Apple And other changes reported that Android phones.

iOS 16 update from Apple, which Released in public beta On Monday, it will bring more customization options and new widgets to the iPhone lock screen when it arrives this fall. You’ll be able to quickly see more information and apply stylistic photo lock screen effects similar to the photography feature in Portrait Mode on iPhone.

Hintsa Google-backed subsidiary of the mobile ad technology company InMobiIt also reiterated its plans to bring the lock screen platform to the United States. Google is reportedly planning to integrate more information into the Pixel phones’ lock screen widget.

Taken together, changes like these suggest that we may not want to bypass lock screens very quickly in the future.

iOS 16 Lock Screen Widget Gallery

Widget gallery for iPhone lock screen in iOS 16.

Apple / screenshot by CNET

The iPhone lock screen is undergoing a major revamp

One of the biggest features available in iOS 16 is New lock screen. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, called it “the biggest update ever” when he introduced the update in Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. You’ll be able to customize font styles and colors for the date and time as well as give your background image a magazine cover-like aesthetic.

as such I wrote beforeIt’s really the new tools that will bring more benefits to your iPhone lock screen. The iPhone already lets you place widgets on the secondary Today View screen of the lock screen, which you can access by swiping right.

But iOS 16 adds widgets to the Home Lock screen to display bits of information at a glance, such as temperature, activity episodes from your Apple Watch and upcoming appointments in Calendar. Android phones have been offering this kind of functionality for years, and it’s good to see Iphone follow suit. You can also create and navigate through multiple lock screens, like Apple Watch faces.

Since you can add widgets from apps like Spotify, Google Maps, and Outlook to Today’s View on iPhone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see third-party tools available for the new lock screen as well. If you watch Apple’s WWDC demo closely, you can even see an option for a Nike widget. This means that developers may soon have another way to reach iPhone owners and prevent their apps from getting sucked into the depths of a user’s app library.

It’s impossible to tell how useful this new lock screen will be without spending a lot of time with iOS 16. But as I wrote before, it looks like the new iOS 16 widgets will make your iPhone more like yours Apple Watch, which looks like an upgrade. Like the Apple Watch, the new lock screen should make it easier to see important pieces of information without having to dig into apps or even unlock your phone.

Screenshot of the Glance website showing lock screens on a number of phones

Screenshot from the Glance website showing what their lock screen platform looks like.

Profile/Screenshot of CNET

Android phone owners may have new lock screen options soon

Glance, which offers entertainment and other digital content on the lock screens of some Android devices in India and Southeast Asia, is in talks with wireless carriers to launch it in the United States over the next two months, according to Take Crunch. While the company hasn’t revealed when it will launch in the US or other details, it did provide a glimpse of the lock screen in the US on Monday.

Glance’s lock screen will appear as what it calls “spaces,” which are lock screens designed primarily to fit specific themes. A dedicated fitness lock screen, for example, will display stats like calories burned and exercise goals along with a music player. The news “space” will feature headlines and the weather, while the music version can feature live concerts. It reminds me of how the new iPhone lock screen in iOS 16 is linked to different “focus points,” such as work or personal mode.

The Take Crunch The report on Glance’s arrival in the US has raised concerns that ads will reach the lock screen as well. Business page appears at a glance Examples of advertisers which used its platform to reach potential customers on the first screen they see when they pick up their phone. Among the case studies included are Intel, Zomato and Garnier.

But Rohan Chowdhury, vice president and general manager of Glance Feed, told CNET that the US version will be ad-free.

“We are very clear that in the United States, we will have no ads on the lock screen at all,” he said.

The company also published Monday press release By saying, “It has no intention of displaying ads on the lock screen surface.” However, Glance will have to prove that its lock screen offerings offer more value than many other tools and options already available to Android users. It will also have to strike the right balance to show useful information without being distracting.

The company says it plans to monetize its service with news subscriptions and trade links from shopping platforms that appear through Glance. But these choices must be useful and relevant, or they may end up feeling intrusive like ads. The company says it has a 60% retention rate and can be found on 400 million phones in the markets it currently operates in.

Screenshot showing Glance fitness themed lock screen

When Glance launches in the US, it will focus its lock screen options around specific topics it calls “Spaces”. The screenshots above are an example of the fitness space.

Profile/screenshots from CNET

In the meantime, Google has its own means to make the lock screen more useful. Company overview feature for Pixel phones It displays relevant information on the lock screen when applicable, just as the name suggests. recent report from 9to5Google It is suggested that new tidbits may be visible in this tool soon. Ride-sharing updates from apps like Lyft and Uber could be among the new alerts available in At a Glance, which could make it easier to see urgent notifications from the lock screen.

Regardless of implementation, these expected changes prove that the lock screen needs an update. As our phones have evolved into hubs for accessing information, controlling home appliances, and ordering everything from a cab to complete grocery orders, the lock screen has taken on an important new role. It is not enough just to display alerts at the right time.

Whether it’s the new widgets in iOS 16, updates to Pixel’s At a Glance feature or Glance’s “Spaces” lock screen, the goal seems to be the same: to make lock screens better at organizing the stream of notifications and updates that bombard phones every day. What remains to be seen is how successful these attempts will be.

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