Google could be reintroducing “Lock Screen Widgets” in Android 15. However, these “widgets” may resemble the Live Actions feature in Apple’s iOS for iPhone.

Is Google playing favorites with lock screen widgets in Android 15?

Android widgets are one of the most useful additions to any Android device. From weather to stocks, and calendar to battery life, these widgets offer a lot of tactile information quickly.

Android devices, including smartphones and tablets, have supported home screen widgets for over a decade. However, presumably for security reasons, Google paused actively supporting widgets that users could place on a lock screen.

There have been multiple reports suggesting Google is bringing back lock screen widgets. Support for lock screen widgets seems to have made a comeback, but only for tablets. Even in the case of tablets, users will have to pull inwards from the right side for these widgets to appear. In other words, widgets won’t appear directly or live on the lock screen. Google seems to be restricting lock screen widgets to a separate space.

Android smartphone users to make do with “At A Glance”?

The lock screens on smartphones running the latest stable version of Android are quite bare. Users do have the ability to control music, glance at notifications, place an emergency call, switch on the device’s flashlight, and take a photo. However, widgets are accessible only after unlocking the device.

Google may not offer lock screen widgets in their true sense. However, the company seems to be working to improve the “At a Glance” feature. According to Mishaal Rahman, over at Android Authority, Google is tweaking the At a Glance backend, perhaps to play nice with widgets.

The content available via the At a Glance feature is built on the Smartspace API. Android widgets are built on the RemoteViews API. If Google adds RemoteViews support to the Smartspace API, the company could unlock the path for actual widgets.

Needless to say, there are a lot of security concerns and space constraints on an Android smartphone. Not to mention, very few smartphone manufacturers actively deploy the At a Glance feature to begin with.

Mishaal enabled a few experimental flags in the recently released Android 15 Beta 1.2 to activate At a Glance. These flags made the feature visible at the bottom of the lock screen on a smartphone running the latest beta version of Android 15. This is exactly where and how Apple positions the “Live Activities” in iOS.

Repositioning the At a Glance feature could be the first step towards reintroducing widgets on the lock screen. However, several Android smartphone makers could simply choose to ignore this, and instead, offer their customized version of At a Glance.

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