Android 15 Could Reintroduce Lock Screen Widgets With a Tweak to At a Glance: Report

As per the report, Google could reposition the At a Glance widget to the bottom to allow third-party widgets to it.

Android 15 Could Reintroduce Lock Screen Widgets With a Tweak to At a Glance: Report

Photo Credit: Google

Reportedly, widgets could be added by allowing RemoteViews API to At a Glance’s Smartspace API

  • Lock screen widgets were earlier part of Android OS
  • Google removed lock screen widgets with Android 5.0 update
  • Reportedly, Android 15 will introduce lock screen widgets in tablets

Android 15 has been long rumoured to reintroduce lock screen widgets to smartphones. Google used to allow widgets on the lock screen in the early days of Android. However, due to security reasons, the feature was removed with the Android 5.0 update. This year, some reports suggested that lock screen widgets could make a return, but only for tablets. However, a new report now suggests Google might be testing a tweak that could allow them even on phones.

According to a report by Android Authority (via Mishaal Rahman), Android 15 will support lock screen widgets for tablets, but they won't work like they used to. These widgets will not directly show up on the lock screen, instead, they can be added to a separate space, which can be swiped on top of the lock screen. Rahman believes this feature is not planned for smartphones due to space constraints. But the tipster found a few flags in the Android 15 Beta 1.2, which hint at Google's plans to add lock screen widget support. Well, sort of.

at a glance tweak android authority At a Glance reposition

Repositioned At a Glance widget on Pixel smartphone
Photo Credit: Android Authority/Mishaal Rahman


Google is reportedly testing moving its At a Glance widget to the bottom of the screen. At a Glance, for the unversed, is a widget-like element for Pixel smartphones. The feature, minus the widget designs, is also available for other smartphones running Android, however, most brands have not made use of this feature. Instead, companies rely on app makers to include Persistent Notifications (for example Uber's ride-tracking notification on the lock screen) to create such experiences.

Rahman was able to enable the above mentioned flags to move the At a Glance widget to the bottom of the screen. He highlights that the positioning is reminiscent of Live Activities on iOS and can also open a way for Google to add third-party app support. As the tipster explains, widgets are built on RemoteViews API and At a Glance is built on Smartspace API. If the tech giant creates support for RemoteViews API within Smartspace API, it could effectively allow third-party apps to display their widget on the lock screen.

This is a crude workaround to the problem but it can work. However, there will be multiple challenges to deal with. Android developers will have to work with app developers to ensure that the widgets are made to the specification restrictions of Smartspace API. Further, they will also have to monitor that these widgets do not add any elements that could crash At a Glance. Based on these reasons, it is unlikely Google will take such a path. Instead, an easier alternative could be making changes to Persistent Notifications and adding user controls to it to make them the makeshift lock screen widgets.

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Akash Dutta
Akash Dutta is a Senior Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He is particularly interested in the social impact of technological developments and loves reading about emerging fields such as AI, metaverse, and fediverse. In his free time, he can be seen supporting his favourite football club - Chelsea, watching movies and anime, and sharing passionate opinions on food. More
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