Google almost made a smarter, more contextual lock screen for Android


Sometimes it feels like despite our devices being labeled as smartphones, it doesn’t really feel that “smart” since we’re the ones that typically have to do all the work. That was something that Google was looking to address, at least according to a report from Android Authority.

The publication has received information and screenshots from a trusted source that has revealed that during the development of Android 11, Google was actually working on a smarter and more contextual lock screen that would have greatly changed the way we used and interacted with our smartphones.

Basically, this lock screen would display contextual menus depending on the time of the day and also your location. So for example, if it detects that it is night time, the menu will change to show controls that might be more relevant, such as controlling your smart lights, activating your outdoor home security camera, setting your alarms for the next day, and more.

It could also work with locations, where if it detects that you’re at a bus or train station, the menu might change to let users quickly access apps like Google Maps, pull up a train or bus schedule, ETA, and more. It can also detect when you connect your headphones to it where it could even suggest music or podcasts to listen to.

If you’re out and about shopping, the contextual menus could change, so if you’re at a grocery store, it might display your loyalty card, shopping list, and also mobile wallet payment options.

It is unclear why this smart lock screen was never made, but Android Authority speculates that it might be difficult to try and get third-party developers to agree to take advantage of it. Also, there might be privacy issues where sometimes, users might not want to have this information shown on their lock screen in front of everyone.

That being said, it is a pretty clever idea and hopefully Google hasn’t given up on it completely and we might see some kind of variation of it in future Android builds.

Source: Android Authority

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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