Android users in the US could soon start seeing content, applications and even advertisements on their lock screen in the next few months.
TechCrunch reports that several operators are in discussion with advertising startup Glance regarding partnerships that would push news headlines, videos, games, and photos every time an individual picks up their handset.
Glance is already pre-installed on many as 400 million Android devices in Asia, where it works with manufacturers to enhance the economics of cheaper but feature-packed low-end and mid-range devices.
Android lockscreen adverts
Any US-focused rollout would be a premium service to take into account the fact that users there are more willing to take out digital subscriptions. Glance would also have to deal with operators rather than manufacturers, because it is the former that sell more smartphones and command the customer relationship.
The logic behind additional lock screen features is fairly robust. Instead of having to actively interact with apps, users can conveniently see an array of information when they pick up their phone, something most people do multiple times each day.
It’s why Apple has made its new lock screen widgets (opens in new tab) and capabilities a focal point of its upcoming iOS 16 software update.
But while Apple has emphasised the privacy features of its platform for several years now, Glance would potentially look to monetize the lock screen by encouraging users to download certain apps or interact with certain content. Amazon applies the same principles with cheaper models of its Kindle e-reader, but it remains to be seen how Western consumers will respond to such a proposition on their phone.
Glance is valued at $2 billion and its investors include Google itself and Indian operator Jio. In addition to its mobile offering, the Indian startup is also looking at ways to bring its capabilities to smart TVs.