Android 15 may bring back a long-lost lock screen feature

The Google Pixel 8 Pro's new lockscreen styles
(Image credit: Shruti Shekar / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Android 15 could bring support for lock screen widgets, based on code found in Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3.
  • Android did support lock screen widgets back in the day, but support ended with Android 5.
  • Mishaal Rahman, an Android expert and developer, managed to activate the feature in Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3. 

There are a bunch of rumored new features that could appear in Android 15, but old might become new again in the next version of Android. Lock screen widgets might be set for a comeback in Android 15, according to Mishaal Rahman at Android Authority.

The Android expert and developer found code references in Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3 that relate to widget support on the lock screen. There are two possible ways that Google could build widgets into the Android 15 lock screen: through the At a Glance feature or through a new "communal space," Rahman says. 

This new space might not be accessible on the lock screen all the time. Instead, you may need to swipe from right to left in order to access the communal space. There, you'd be able to add and arrange multiple widgets as you see fit. If this is the way lock screen widgets work, it would be nearly identical to the Today View on the iOS lock and home screens, which is accessible by swiping from left to right. 

The move to re-incorporate lock screen widgets to Android 15 makes sense, as it has been part of iOS for two versions. The Today View has been available for even longer, going as far back as iPadOS 13. 

Lock Screen widget selection in Android.

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority)

Rahman managed to activate the communal space in Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3, though the feature is clearly unfinished. Google Calendar, Google Clock, and the Google app all had widgets available that could be added to this space, but support for other apps was not possible natively. 

Rahman pointed out that the KEYGUARD category needs to be present for an app to show up as a widget, and most apps haven't needed to use KEYGUARD since lock screen widgets were available on Android. That brief period only existed between Android 4.2 and Android 5.0.

You'll notice that the above screenshot is using the Pixel Tablet's aspect ratio, and that's because Rahman speculates the communal space may be limited to larger devices. This tracks with what Apple did with the Today View, first releasing it on iPadOS and later bringing it to iOS. This could be the case since the communal space is available via "hub mode," a new group of settings for larger devices added in Android 14 QPR2.

A more limited version of lock screen widgets might work through At a Glance, which you might already consider a widget. 

Google is clearly exploring the possibility of adding widgets to future versions of the Android lock screen. However, we don't know for sure what it will end up looking like or if it will actually become part of Android 15. 

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.