Google’s long-awaited iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets have finally arrived. Along with the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 16, the search giant hinted last month that it will support the iPhone’s newest feature, which allows users to display widgets right on their phone’s lock screen, providing information and fast access to preferred apps.
Google said that widgets for a number of its key programs, including Search, Maps, Gmail, and others, will be available shortly.
Google users may now add Lock Screen widgets to popular applications like Gmail and Google News with the newest wave of app upgrades. However, the two most anticipated widget releases — Search and Maps — are still on the horizon. Moreover, despite the fact that fast access to your daily schedule is one of the best use cases for iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets, Google has yet to announce plans to develop a Google Calendar widget.
The new Gmail widget is available in three different sizes: circular, rectangular, and inline. The first two are intended to show on the Lock Screen below the clock, while the inline widget appears above as a line of text.
On Gmail, the inline widget will show a shorter date (such as “Wed 7”) followed by the number of messages in your inbox. Meanwhile, the rectangle widget displays the number of new messages in each category — such as Social, Updates, or Promotions — to help you assess whether the emails you’ve received are genuinely essential. The smaller, circular widget just indicates the number of new messages you have.
As a rectangle widget, the newly integrated Google News widget offers brief headlines to the Lock Screen. When you tap it, you’ll be directed to the Google News mobile app, where you can read the complete story. This one may be difficult to see for persons with bad eyesight since it may attempt to compress up to four lines of text into the limited area available. While the blown-up image below shows that clearly, reading it on a phone screen is more challenging.
Drive and Chrome widgets were released a few days ago. The former includes a rectangle widget for easy access to Drive’s “recommended files,” as well as two circular widgets for searching your files or accessing your Starred files with a tap.
Chrome’s widget includes a circular widget that you can tap to launch Google Search within Chrome — a good workaround until the default Search widget arrives — as well as three others for launching the incognito search, voice search, and even Chrome’s “Dino Game,” which appears on the desktop when you’re offline.
The Search and Maps widgets will be available shortly. Search, like Chrome, will allow you to launch a Google search from the Lock Screen, including voice searches. But we’re looking forward to the Google Lens and Google Translate widgets that come with it. A lot of Google’s innovation today is focused on Lens, as the company prepares to extend its multi-search experiences that blend text and pictures for more complex searches.
Maps will, of course, be beneficial to frequent communicators who want to monitor real-time traffic updates and anticipated trip times to locations such as your workplace or home address.
Google hasn’t specified a timeline for the distribution of its other widgets, but considering the frequency of these upgrades, they should be available shortly.