Regardless of the implementation, these expected changes prove the lock screen is in need of an update. As our phones have evolved into hubs for accessing information, controlling home appliances and ordering everything from a taxi to full grocery orders, the lock screen has taken on an important new role. Just showing timely alerts isn’t enough.
Why it matters
Taken together, changes like these suggest we might not want to swipe past our lock screens so quickly in the future.
One of the biggest features coming in iOS 16 is
Apple’s iOS 16 update, which on Monday, will bring more customization options and new widgets to the iPhone’s lock screen when it arrives this fall. You’ll be able to see more information quickly and apply stylistic effects to lock screen photos similar to the iPhone’s Portrait Mode photography feature.
“We are very clear that in the US, we will not have ads on the lock screen at all,” he said.
Since you can add widgets from apps like Spotify, Google Maps and Outlook to the iPhone’s Today View, I wouldn’t be surprised to see widgets from third parties available for the new lock screen too. If you watch Apple’s WWDC demo closely, you can even see an option for a Nike widget. That means developers may soon have another way to reach iPhone owners and prevent their apps from getting buried deep within a user’s app library.
The iPhone’s lock screen is getting a big revamp
As I wrote previously, it’s really the new widgets that will bring more utility to the iPhone’s lock screen. The iPhone already lets you place widgets on your lock screen’s secondary Today View screen, which you can access by swiping to the right.
The lock screen is the first thing most people see when they pick up their phones. These updates suggest companies are trying to make better use of that space.
The company says it plans to monetize its service through news subscriptions and commerce links from shopping platforms that are surfaced through Glance. But those picks will have to be useful and relevant, or they might end up feeling just as intrusive as ads. The company says it has a 60% retention rate and can be found on 400 million phones in the markets where it currently operates.
Android phone owners may have new lock screen options soon
It’s impossible to know how useful this new lock screen will be without spending a significant amount of time with iOS 16. But as I’ve written before, it sounds like iOS 16’s new widgets will make your iPhone feel more similar to the
Think about how often you check your each day. Now consider the first thing you see when you pick up your device: your lock screen’s wallpaper. Maybe it’s a photo of your pet, a picture of a beautiful sunset from a recent vacation or just a cool piece of artwork. That could all change very soon.
Between the launch of iOS 16, lock screen content company Glance’s upcoming expansion in the US and updates to Google’s Pixel phone widgets, it’s clear the lock screen is about to change.
Glance, which offers entertainment and other digital content on the lock screens of certain Android devices in India and Southeast Asia, is in talks with wireless carriers to launch in the US over the next two months, according to TechCrunch. While the company hasn’t revealed its US launch timing or other details, it did provide a glimpse at its US lock screen offering on Monday.
The company also published a press release on Monday saying it, “has no intentions to show ads on the lock screen surface.” Still, Glance will have to prove that its lock screen offerings provide more value than the many widgets and other options that are already available to Android users. It will also have to strike the right balance of showing information that’s useful without being too distracting.
Glance, a Google-backed subsidiary of mobile ad tech company InMobi, also reiterated its plans to bring its lock screen platform to the US. And Google is reportedly planning to incorporate more bits of information into its own lock screen widget for Pixel phones.
But Rohan Choudhary, vice president and general manager of the Glance feed, told CNET the US version would be ad-free.
Glance’s lock screen will appear in the form of what it calls “spaces,” which are essentially curated lock screens designed to fit specific themes. A fitness-oriented lock screen, for example, would show statistics such as calories burned and exercise goals alongside a music player. A news “space” would show headlines and the weather, while a music version could surface live concerts. It reminds me of how the iPhone’s new lock screen in iOS 16 can be tied to different “focuses,” like work or personal mode.
Google, meanwhile, has its own means of making the lock screen more helpful. The company’s At a Glance feature for shows relevant information on the lock screen when applicable, just as the name implies. A recent report from 9to5Google suggests new tidbits may be visible in this widget soon. Ride sharing updates from apps like Lyft and Uber could be among the new alerts available in At a Glance, possibly making it even easier to see urgent notifications from the lock screen.