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Quick Look at Lock Screen Widgets in Android 4.2


We got our first-hands on with the Nexus 4 device today, but one thing it did lack was an OTA update that brings a few Android 4.2 features that many are looking forward to, namely lockscreen widgets. The OTA update has since gone live, and of course, Kellex is not home. He was able to sneak away from his dinner table just long enough to go hands-on with the newest feature and put it on YouTube for us catch a glimpse of.


Cheers K!

  • Zechariah

    On My Samsung Galaxy s2 i9100
    My lock screen widget for the digital clock is cut off half way
    But I can pull it down and then I have to clock a lock button then it turns back to normal and then I’m able to unlock the phone again.
    Why is that?

  • How do I get the “What’s this song” widget?

  • Sqube

    It’s unfortunate that you can’t have a secure phone and widgets at the same time.

  • MikeSaver

    Can’t we use this as a replacement for Widgetlocker? I like having widget locker cause I got the weather and sunrise sunset on my lockscreen, as well as beautiful widgets clock. The only problem is that it runs in the background. If its built in, it would eliminate that problem and I wouldn’t need Widgetlocker anymore. Correct?

  • Detonation

    What’s with the ugly digital clock? Having a different font for the hour and minute digits looks terrible.

    At least they finally added functionality to it that third party apps and oem skins have been providing for a while (timer, stopwatch, world clock)

  • JoshGroff

    Still spamming refresh. :/

    Take my $ Google!!!

  • bogy25

    As long as I can save apps to SD I don’t care about anything else

  • Google give us 4.2 source code please!!!

  • panicswhenubered

    That’s cool. But at what point is it just less confusing to unlock your phone and do whatever you need to from your home screen widgets?

    • JoshGroff

      I think lockscreen widgets are pretty convenient, at least for music and maybe stocks.

  • Droid Burgundy

    this feature isn’t that impressive if you have tasted the power of the unicorn!

    • JoshGroff

      That being said, what is?

  • nsauce7

    Pyramid brewery?

  • Buckoman

    Nexus 7.

    Update already.

    Nexus 7.

    Come on, buddy.

    The amount of energy I’ve put into mashing the “check for updates” button could power China for 2 minutes.

  • Tyler Casilio

    A little to much I think. HTC’s lock screen I think has the best options because their all right there to drag

  • PLL

    I think these have a lot of promise in terms of being able to lock your phone but still get to information fast. I liked Apple’s argument that you should be able to hand your phone to someone and ask them to take a picture without having to unlock your phone and I’m glad Google adopted a way to do this.I wonder if there are limitations to what can be added, whether devs need to toggle a switch, etc. It’s interesting that the Google Now quick link seems to have been removed. Seems like it cuts down on the homogeneity (although it was always a little off since the lock screen circle was elevated from the home button). I guess all of these lock screen widgets are better off shown with a secured phone. I suppose if you keep your phone unsecured it does seem like the old way was easier.

  • What is with the unlock circle thing in the nav bar?

    • ^— Good eye, just noticed that & makes sense. A simple visual indicator is more user friendly then the current ‘invisible swipe’ on 4.1.2. Most average users probably wouldn’t even know that they can access Google Now w/o that new circle.

  • Brian Walker

    Kellex, you’re awesome for doing this while you’re out enjoying yourself.

    • BakerDude

      I concur! Actually, we should thank his wife for being so accepting.

  • blee

    i honestly dont get this lockscreen widgets thing… whats the point?.. how hard is it to unlock ur phone?.. just makes the lockscreen seem muddled and crowded.. bleg..

    feature for feature’s sake.. imho..

    cant wait to order my n4 tho 😉

    • Brent Cooper

      If you have a pattern or pin and want to know a song or something quickly i think…I think it still works with a password/pin lock. I would assume. Someone correct me if i’m wrong though

    • Trueblue711

      Honestly, even a lock screen on touchscreen phones are kinda pointless right now. In the off chance that a button gets pressed on your phone, objects can’t activate capacitive touchscreens, so nothing would happen anyway.

  • TheDrunkenClam

    I know this is a little off topic, but does anyone know where I can get the wallpaper seen in this image? Looks like a new jellybean pic that I didn’t see in the N4 system dump pics.

    • Jroc869, Cool story bro

      just scroll through till you get to that one http://simoncpage.co.uk/blog/2012/03/ipad-hd-retina-wallpaper/

      • TheDrunkenClam

        Wow these are iPad images? How’d you know? I was surprised because these wallpapers look jellybean-esque. Thanks though!

        • Jroc869, Cool story bro

          Lol someone asked the same question on the verge and there was a link posted so I cant take any credit for that. I was actually shocked that they were ipad images too.

          • TheDrunkenClam

            What’s the verge?

      • Trueblue711

        Nice find, thanks!

    • blee

      the verge always uses custom Verge wallpaper.. and they all look nice.

  • James

    They look pretty cool. too bad you cant put more than one 4×1 widget on a page.

  • Verizon

    This looks like a much more complicated way of being able to launch apps from the lock screen. I think I prefer what HTC and Moto are doing on the lock screen a little more.

    • Dain Laguna

      this isnt ‘launching apps’ like those devices, its direct shortcuts to live info …hence the term ‘widget’.

      • Verizon

        I’m completely aware of what a widget is and how they function. Let me ask you this, what are you going to do with the messaging widget, just stare at it? If you want to communicate it will launch the app. If you aren’t going to launch the app then the widget is redundant due to notifications. Need to enter a calender event or confirm an appointment, it will launch the app. The Gmail widget will launch the app to read or send an email. Once again becoming redundant if you are only interested in who sent you an email. Want to take a picture? The video shows that it launches the app. Which, again, is why I say that this is a more complicated way of launching apps.

        I’m not dogging Google for doing it the way they have done it. I’m just saying I prefer the move thumb and launch app as apposed to swipe left and then touch widget to launch app anyway.

        • Greyhame

          I was a bit surprised to see only the unlock button on the “default” lockscreen myself. Although maybe this was done to allow security to still be active, even with widgets? Just a guess. We’ll all know more tomorrow.

        • PuzzleShot

          scrolling widgets?

          • Verizon

            No idea.

        • JustTrollin69

          I don’t necessarily disagree, if you think it is more complicated, you probably won’t be the only one. But the beauty is, to those who think those widgets are more complicated ways to open up apps, no one is forcing them to throw any widgets on their lock screen.

          I could never understand why people disagree so strongly with options being available such as this, keyword being options.

          • Verizon

            Again, I’m not saying that anyone should burn in hell for liking them. If they work for people then good for them. I was just stating my preference for quick launch from the lock screen instead of widgets to meet the same goal. Will it be different when other widgets are brought in? Some could be useful on the lock screen. Either way, my preference is my preference and everyone else’s is theirs.

            I’m just happy Google keeps thinking.

          • JustTrollin69

            Completely understood. I wasn’t shooting you down, just conversing. Opinions can’t be false, I just figured I’d take your opinion and point out that others with the same view don’t need the widgets. Sorry if my comment was taken in the wrong way, considering my username.

            But yes, keep up the good work Google!

          • Verizon

            Ah, my apologies for taking it the wrong way. Rereading it I understand what you are saying.

            Options are never a bad thing. There will more than likely be a slew of lock screen intended widgets in the future. Like everything else, some will be utterly useless to some and priceless to others.

    • droidify

      @Verizon, please tell me that is not a real tattoo.

  • johnc7995

    I really don’t think this feature was necessary, does anyone else feel stock android is starting to become quite bloated?

    • Verizon

      Bloated? No. TouchWiz is bloated.

      There will always be features that people don’t need, want or use in any OS. This is a variation of what HTC and Moto (others?) are doing with their lock screens. It is similar to the quick settings introduced in this same update that Samsung, HTC and Moto have been doing for a bit (ok, Moto just started). I think it is good that Google is trying to incorporate some of the better features from the custom UI’s.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      I agree that this feature isn’t necessary but it is just one of the many options 4.2 gives the user. I can see why u feel android is getting bloated. It is just try to keep up with features the dev community and manufactures create.

    • Trueblue711

      If people expect stock Android to compete with iOS on any level, then these extra features are needed. The difference between Motoblur, Touchwiz, etc. and extra features in stock Android is that the OEM’s customizations are always running in the background, thus bloating up the phone and slowing it down. If Google’s features aren’t forced and running, there’s no harm.

      • johnc7995

        It’s not always about competing with apple.

        • QQpayne

          In some way, directly or indirectly, it always is. Thus is the nature of competing platforms.

        • Trueblue711

          Yes, it is. Every feature added to Android is meant to compete with Apple, whether directly or indirectly.

  • Not sure what use this could have. Although I’m not that creative. Any ideas, community?
    I guess if you want a different clock style. Or support for an ancient music player that hasn’t updated to accommodate ICS+ lockscreen functionality.

    Other than that (neither of which apply to me) I can’t think of anything.

  • thats pretty badass!

  • How does that work if you have a password on your lock screen?

    • Greyhame

      From the video TheVerge posted, it looks as though the widgets are displayed as is, but if you want to launch into them, you swipe up from the bottom to reveal the security screen. In other words, it’s still active.

      • Royal2000H

        Except the camera. I think the camera is exempt (no security needed).

  • Widgets on the lockscreen, just when everyone has started to minimize their homescreens to have less of them.

    • Kane Stapler

      The 10″ seems to have them as well. I wouldn’t mind them there. I’d like to see a video on how those work, because Engadget posted some weird looking screen shot

    • Greyhame

      Everyone? I’m sorry, but the community of Droid-Life does not consist of everyone.

      • That’s true. But I don’t care about those other people so I don’t consider them in my statements. Terrible, I know.

        • Greyhame

          Hah, I see.