Apple has introduced a brand new version of the iPhone lock screen for the next version of iOS. The OS now lets you customize the lock screen with favorite fonts and colors, and there’s even a parallax effect where the clock can be partially hidden behind a subject in the picture. We were hoping Google would take a cue from its competitor for Android, and while that’s still a possibility for Android 14, it looks like Android users in the US might be in for a whole different lock screen experience. A Google-backed advertising company called Glance is looking to launch in the US and is bringing media, news and casual games to Android lock screens.
If you’re unfamiliar with Glance, you can count yourself lucky. The lock screen platform is part of the pre-installed software on many, if not most, Android phones sold in India and other Asian markets, and it’s also made its way to the EU on a few brands. selected. Glance says that since its launch in 2019, it’s been among more than 400 million smartphones sold. The service has taken it upon itself to monetize the lock screen, pushing news and ad feeds directly into people’s faces before they even unlock their phone. It is a subsidiary of Indian advertising giant InMobi, which focuses on mobile advertisements.
Glance thinks its approach to lock screens is better than Apple’s
According to a TechCrunch report, the service plans to launch in the United States within the next two months. The company is negotiating with US carriers to seek partnerships and be part of the out-of-the-box experience of “several smartphone models by next month.” Unlike Asia, where the company works directly with smartphone makers, Glance appears to be focused on carriers in the United States. That makes sense, given the iron grip mobile operators have on the smartphone market.
In my experience with Glance on a few Vivo review units (like the Vivo X80 Pro), the lock screen stream strives to be part of your routine. Occasional notifications and swipe suggestions on the lock screen prompt you to interact with it. Once you give in and open the stream, it will replace your lock screen wallpaper with its content, manually switching you back to your preferred wallpaper.
For me in Germany, the stream does not seem very valuable at all. It only shows a few curated images, some of which are possibly sponsored (although this is undisclosed). There are vehicle images from Mercedes or electric car manufacturer NIO, all sorts of athletes and celebrities, a few movie and series promos, generic still lifes, and more, but that’s nothing too wild or even anything you would like to use on a regular.
In India, the situation seems to be different, with more obvious ads, lots of news and even live videos dominating the platform. As Glance proudly proclaims on its blog, over 200 million people interact with its service in India, consuming content like movie trailers, music videos, sports updates, travel tips, recipes food, casual games and automotive news right on their lock screens. It’s basically Google Discover on steroids, right on your lock screen that you can swipe from left to right for an endless stream of content. All of that content is then personalized for users based on how they interact with it, much like TikTok. The service is widely available on handsets from Samsung, Motorola, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and Realme.
As for the US launch, it’s unclear what exactly the stream will look like. We’d expect a healthy middle ground between the Indian version and the European version at first so as not to put people off, although it wouldn’t be surprising if the company quickly changed things up given that consumer protection is lower in the United States than in the United States. EU. One thing is certain: entering the US market will give Glance the opportunity to access users with more money to spend than many in Asian countries. This should allow Glance to charge advertisers higher prices, allowing the company to grow even faster.