Android users could get ads on Lock Screens because they haven't suffered enough

Glance Lock Screen Examples
Glance Lock Screen Examples (Image credit: Glance)

What you need to know

  • A company is going to begin pushing content including news and games to Android Lock Screens next month.
  • The technology could be used to surface ads, just like ad-supported Kindles.
  • Apple is adding new capabilities to its iPhones, but nothing like this.

Android phone users could be faced with ads on their Lock Screens soon enough, with one company already working with wireless carriers with plans to launch personalized content on a number of devices starting next month.

The tech, created by Glance which is a company owned by ad outfit InMobi, is already pushing content to 400 million Lock Screens across Asia according to a TechCrunch report — and now it's setting sights on the United States. But don't worry, iPhone users. This is only going to affect Android phones.

Three-year-old Glance is largely credited for identifying an opportunity to serve content on the lockscreen, prized real-estate which monetization has enabled smartphone vendors to boost their revenue in recent years. The startup personalizes content feed on the lockscreen based on users' interests, prompting them to engage deeply with content.

Content will include "media and current affairs content" as well as casual games right to Android Lock Screens, according to the report. It seems like a small jump from a news article to an ad, though.

The report doesn't go on to explain which carriers are on board with Glance's plans nor which devices will see the tech rolled out. But we can only assume that this could open the door to ad-supported devices and service plans. Some of the best Kindle deals are available because Amazon puts ads on the screen when the e-readers aren't being used. Could we see something similar here?

Apple is also making changes to the Lock Screen with iOS 16, with Apple Watch complication-like widgets and new customization options being added. The update is available in beta right now, with a final release expected to take place in or around September.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.