According to recent reports, Android may be bringing back lock screen widgets in its upcoming release, Android 14. The discovery was made by Mishaal Rahman on X, who found a reference to a new SystemUI flag named “widget_on_keyguard” in the latest Android 14 beta build. While this feature seems to be exclusive to Pixel phones for now, it could potentially make a comeback on all Android devices.
One of the reasons why Google may be considering reintroducing lock screen widgets is the success of a similar feature on iOS. Apple introduced lock screen widgets last year, and it has been well-received by users. It is possible that Google is responding to this positive feedback and wants to offer a similar experience to Android users.
In addition to the potential return of lock screen widgets, the latest Android 14 beta build also includes the ability to customize shortcuts on the lock screen. Previously, Android users were limited to default shortcuts in the lower left and right corners of the lock screen. However, with the new beta build, users can choose from a wide range of apps and actions to display as shortcuts. This feature is currently only available on Pixel phones, and it remains to be seen if other Android 14 devices will receive it as well.
To change the shortcuts on the lock screen, users can go to the Wallpapers & style menu in the Settings app. From there, they can select Lock screen and find the Shortcuts submenu. Here, they will have the option to choose from various apps and actions, including the Camera app, Do Not Disturb mode toggle, Flashlight, Google Home app, Mute toggle, QR code scanner, Wallet, or instant video recording.
While there is no official confirmation from Google regarding the return of lock screen widgets in Android 14, the discovery of the “widget_on_keyguard” flag in the beta build suggests that the feature is currently being worked on. If the feature proves to be popular among users, it could become a permanent addition to the Android operating system.
In conclusion, Android 14 may see the revival of lock screen widgets, a feature that was previously available but later removed. The potential comeback of lock screen widgets could be a response to Apple’s implementation of similar widgets on iOS. Additionally, the latest beta build of Android 14 also introduces the ability to customize shortcuts on the lock screen, providing users with more flexibility and personalization options. While the feature is currently only available on Pixel phones, it remains to be seen if it will be expanded to other Android 14 devices.