The screen that locks your phone is among the most popular new technology screens. Apple created its lock screen for the iPhone as an element in iOS 16. This gives users more control over how their screen looks and operates. However, while Apple spoke of beautiful clock fonts and colors-matched wallpapers, it revealed a new world where your lock screen can be more than only a security device.
It’s also a surface where companies can display information such as apps, websites, and even advertisements. Apple’s not the only company to be thinking about this. TechCrunch has reported that Glance, the company behind lock screen content (which seems to be a real thing!), is talking to US carriers and is planning to launch on certain Android handsets in the US within the next couple of months.
The battle for your attention or attention is already shifted from apps and then on to your home screen through notifications and widgets. It appears that it’s heading another step: to your first screen, you will see when you switch on your phone before you even take it out or open it. It could be one step further than you want to go.
If you’ve not seen an app that runs on a Glance platform previously, you can imagine that it is similar to a Snapchat Discover feed that you can see on your phone’s lock screen. The company offers an ever-changing set of stories, news articles, video games, quizzes, and pictures that show up every time the phone’s screen comes on. Glance calls these cards “glances” naturally and claims that users read the glances about 65 times per day.
In certain circumstances, Glance or something like it’s a very sensible idea.It’s not necessary to go through apps to find news or information. You don’t even have to lock your phone. Instead, you can believe your phone will bring you something fascinating whenever you switch it on. A few non-intrusive ads aren’t bad. Since I bought a Kindle that had ads displayed on its lock screen to save some money, it’s not bothering me. (Though I would never purchase one of the Prime Exclusive Phones that came with lock screen ads, and it appears that nobody else.)
Apple has confirmed this notion, discussing its desire for the possibility of a more feature-rich lock screen to make it easier for you to make use of your phone more effectively. Apple’s Software chief Craig Federighi referred to the lock screen as “the face of your phone” and suggested that features such as Live Activities could make it simpler to access information quickly without the need to unlock your phone and let yourself be exposed to the possibilities within. “If you can get the answer at a glance, then you don’t unlock,” Federighi stated, “and once you’ve unlocked your phone, you almost forget why you’re there in the first place!”
In general, most users do not alter their settings, and you can bet that developers will utilize this in their favor. “Consumers will move from seeking content to consuming what is shown to them,” InMobi CEO Naveen Tewari stated to Forbes at the time Glance was launched. It’s a bit bleak! It’s probably it is!
The most important thing is that the future of a Glance can be used to transform phones into more of a consumption device. Is “easier access to endless feeds of medium-interesting content” is it an achievable goal? In the quest to re-set our relationship to technology, I’d suggest that we find ways to increase friction to provide you with the content you need to glance at your smartphone…
however, it should assist you in recognizing that you don’t have to glance at your phone all the time. Suppose Federighi’s words are valid that the function of the lock screen is to prevent distractions. In that case, it’s hard to think of any better idea than to put an interactive video feed similar to TikTok’s between your phone and the home screen.
Glance is bound to face some competition. However, it’s an excellent example of where it’s going. In June, the company held Glance Live Fest, a virtual 3-day event that was exclusively on users’ lock screens. It broadcast live music, interactive challenges, tutorials, interviews, demonstrations, and a plethora of shopping videos live to over 70 million people. It’s like an opt-out to a music festival, in which you’re taken every when someone sends you a message. It’s distracting, annoying, and, frankly, exhausting.
There’s no doubt that our lock screens could be improved. The entire “running list of notifications” idea isn’t very appealing, and a desire to make it more personalized can make a lot of users feel happy. However, that space should be a gift to users and only users, not become another venue for ads and distraction. We must take control of our phones and not give more of them to others.