There was a time when Android used to have widgets on the lock screen, and good news for fans, the feature might make a comeback with Android 14. Mishaal Rahman, the former Chief Editor at XDA Developers, stumbled upon an intriguing clue within the latest Android 14 beta build.
In this beta build, there’s a new SystemUI flag called “widget_on_keyguard,” strongly hinting that Google is actively working on reintroducing lock screen widgets. However, it’s worth noting that this discovery was made within the Android 14 beta build designed specifically for Pixel devices, which raises the possibility that this feature could be exclusive to Pixel smartphones.
Although concrete evidence is somewhat limited at this point, it aligns with the trend set by Apple, which introduced widgets to the iOS lock screen last year. It’s conceivable that Google is responding to this move by Apple, aiming to offer a similar functionality to Android users.
In addition to the anticipated new feature, the latest beta build introduces the ability to customize the shortcuts on the lock screen, specifically the ones located in the lower left and right corners. Once again, this feature has been observed on Pixel phones, leaving uncertainty regarding its availability on other Android 14 devices.
Now, instead of being limited to default shortcuts, users have the flexibility to select from a diverse range of apps and actions. Options include the Camera app, a toggle for activating Do Not Disturb mode, the Flashlight, the Google Home app, a Mute toggle, a QR code scanner, Wallet access, or instant video recording.
To make these customizations, you simply need to navigate to the Wallpapers & Style menu in your device’s Settings, choose the Lock screen option, and locate the Shortcuts sub-menu.
Android 14 is expected to launch alongside the Pixel 8 series in October.