Google May Open “At a Glance” Widget to Other Apps, Embracing Lock Screen Widgets

What you should know


  • Google may be reconsidering the reintroduction of lock screen widgets in a future Android update, potentially offering a workaround for tablets in Android 15 by allowing widgets to be accessed by swiping from the right edge.
  • The “At a Glance” feature on Pixel phones, which displays information like calendar events and weather on the home and lock screens, could serve as a base for integrating widgets from other applications, following a reported API change.
  • Before this integration can become a reality, Google faces challenges such as making widgets resizable for the limited lock screen space, ensuring stability, and convincing other smartphone manufacturers to adopt the “At a Glance” feature.
  • Google’s support for customized lock screens, demonstrated by the Glance widget on some Android devices, shows an openness to lock screen widgets, offering hope for their return in a future Android version beyond Android 15.


Full Story

Oh, the days of yore when Android users had their lock screen widgets. A simpler time, really. But, alas, those widgets vanished, leaving many to yearn for their return. And guess what? Rumor has it, Google’s got a plan brewing.

Now, don’t get too excited yet. Android 15 isn’t exactly rolling out the red carpet for these widgets to make a grand entrance back onto our phones. But, and it’s a big but, there’s chatter about a sneaky workaround. Apparently, for tablets, not phones, mind you, there’s talk of widgets making a comeback. Not directly on the lock screen, though. Nope. You’d swipe from the right edge to find them, kinda tucked away in their own little nook.

This whole scheme seems to be taking a leaf out of iOS’s book. They’ve got this thing called “Live Activities.” Sounds fancy, right? It’s a similar swipe-and-peek deal. But here’s the kicker: phone screens are just too darn small for this to work the same way. So, what’s a tech giant to do?

Enter “At a Glance.” If you’re rocking a Pixel phone, you’re probably nodding along. It’s this nifty feature that gives you the lowdown on your day – weather, calendar stuff, traffic jams, you name it. And here’s where it gets juicy: Google might just let “At a Glance” play host to widgets from other apps. Mishaal Rahman spilled the beans on this, hinting at an API change in the works.

But, oh, the hurdles Google has to jump over. Widgets on the lock screen will need a diet plan to fit. And they better play nice with “At a Glance” or, heaven forbid, not crash the whole lock screen. Plus, Google’s gotta sweet-talk other smartphone makers into adopting “At a Glance.”

Meanwhile, Google’s not putting all its eggs in one basket. They’re also flirting with customized lock screens via Glance (not to be confused with “At a Glance”). Some budget Android devices already sport this feature, showcasing news and, yes, ads right on your lock screen. It’s not quite the same as the Pixel’s “At a Glance,” but it shows Google’s warming up to the idea.

So, when’s all this wizardry happening? Hard to say. Could be the next major Android release after Android 15. But for those of us missing those lock screen widgets, or just itching for quicker app info access without unlocking our phones, there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Keep those fingers crossed, folks.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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