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Video: Android 4.2 Features – Widgets on Lock Screens and Multi-users on Tablets


The newest Android 4.2 update JOP40C went live last night on my Nexus 4, but since I was out and about at a Blazers game, my quick lock screen widgets video wasn’t of the highest quality. So after returning home, I was able to snap this new video, which shows not only the lock screen widgets and how they work, but multi-user support on tablets, as well.

I’ve got to admit that I’m a bit confused by lock screen widgets. Not only do they bring security into question, but all it takes is a simple swipe to unlock and then you are sitting at your home screens which already have all of your widgets. It’s like Google is turning your lock screen into your new home screen, which sort of defeats the purpose of it being a “lock” screen, right?

But not only that, they are slightly confusing and will certainly take some getting used to.


  • Guys please anybody know how i can change the lock screen widget of android 4.2 so that the camera goes back to where it was in 4.1 beside the padlock sign.

  • Klaine

    Not liking so far, esp since its so limited to gmail, calendar, texts which many easily access from any screen due to dock placement. Can u have more than 4 widget screens? I got the plus sign but it won’t add more..also how many clocks do android users need. Hope well be able to use other widgets. I guess developers will have to decide if theyll create them & Google will allow them. But why couldn’t we start off with widgets for photos, built in Google stuff from the news/weather app, you tube, maps directions navigation…but basically these only will save a half second ifbu get used to it. Its not very useful..

  • Michael S

    I’m waiting for one awesome widget to display pending notifications, and I’ll place that on my lockscreen. That’s it!

    I just emailed the developer of MissedIt!, and he said he just put up an update to his app on the Play Store which allows his widget to be used on the lockscreen. That’s a great place to start!

  • I can’t wait to see the awesome things devs are going to do with the new lockscreen.

  • br_hermon

    The lockscreen (for phones)… I hate it. It straight up sucks. That’s all there is to it. It’s more confusing for the average user. The lock icon changes locations. There’s no more three way unlock motion. Basically by getting rid of the 3 way lock screen, they’ve just killed what good they had going. It just makes sense, I can unlock, get to GNow or the camera just from one centrally located place. And all those criticisms apply even if I chose not to make use of the widgets. Google really screwed up on this one. Disappointing….

  • joejoe5709

    Hhhmmm. Weird. Not as cool/useful as I had thought it would be. Can’t wait to mess around with it though. I’m think the devs will have fun exploring its capability more than the average user will.

  • Matt Hanes

    Anything in the new SDK for making new widgets to add to the lockscreen? Seems kind of pointless to only have the 4 or 5 that it has.

  • Bill Anderson

    Multi-user will be huge. Think of all the people out there who can’t justify a tablet, even at $199 for themselves. Now, it’s $199 for an entire household.

    • jmsbwmn

      I agree with you completely! Now the only thing holding me back is the lack of tablet apps. I had a Nexus 7 and loved it for what it was, but we need killer 3rd party apps to really up the ante. I really want to get a Nexus 10 for my wife and I to share, but there’s no way I’ll do that until all of the apps we use are formatted to take advantage of the larger screen.

      • LanceMiller

        We are bound to deal with some app issues while google goes through the normal “growing pains” that occur when a completely new device is released. I’m sure that they are offering incentives to developers to release apps that are designed for the new 10″ tablet. Even “you know who” went through the same issues when their first tablet was released.

        • jmsbwmn

          I love Apple products, and was one of the first people to get the original iPad. There were plenty of great apps to choose from, and there are even more now. Remember, this is not the first 10″ Android tablet. I don’t see why developers are suddenly going to kick it into high gear because there is a Nexus 10 now, even though, as a tech fan, I hope they do!

          Really thinking hard about another Nexus 7 though. I sure hope Asus figured out what was up with their screens. I feel like getting another N7 is like playing Russian roulette. I’ll probably get a good one, but then again,I might not. :p

  • Hawk888

    I wish there was a way I could share my Play Store account with my wife. Especially now that we can each have our own account on the tablet.

    • Hawk888

      I’m sure this is not new, but I looked into play store settings and I was able to add account. I just chose to sync play books, music, and mags and this is exactly what I was looking for.

  • boogie_monster

    @droid_life, @Kellex, to answer your question about why would you want to have a fullscreen widget for clock on the lockscreen, it’s because if you add another cities to your clock app, then when you swipe down on the clock widget, you’ll be able to see all of those clocks at one screen.

  • triumphtriple

    I remember seeing a video that showed these features with the pattern lock. Does anybody know how that works?
    This whole thing seems to defeat the purpose of the slide to unlock. If my screen comes on in my pocket, I will likely pull out my phone later to find that I’ve had the camera on for hours or sent an email without knowing. It seems too easy to swipe and access the widgets.

    “Not only do they bring secure into question”

    I assume you mean “security into question”

  • ArrTooDeeToo

    I really don’t like some of the changes in 4.2. I think they’re trying too hard on some of this stuff.

    1. Small issue that can easily be fixed, but still…The clock is BUTT UGLY!

    2. I’ve already complained extensively about this one (as have many other), I will sorely miss the tablet UI. I really hope someone in the ROM dev community can fix it.

    3. The lock screen widgets are a great idea in theory, but they have a few problems. First, it will be easier than ever for my screen to accidentally get turned on in my pocket and the camera to slide over, taking who knows how many pictures of the inside of my jeans before I’m aware. Another issue I see is that the lock ring with 3 points was much more accessible. Everything you needed was under your thumb. Now, the Google Now button is in a separate place, as well as the camera and other widgets. They all require you to move your thumb to different places in order to swipe to them. It’s not as efficient, and I can see how it would be confusing. Not to mention, now we are back in the dangerous territory of Apple’s “slide to unlock” whereas we were safely in the innovative “select to unlock” realm with 4.1.

    I think Google is doing a great job at trying to be innovative, but at what cost? It’s the same feeling I get when Facebook forces a change, like the timeline, which I still absolutely hate. I’m REALLY hoping the dev community can bring back some of the features that users are used to/like better and give us a choice.

  • HotRodJohnson

    Please let the XOOM Wifi get 4.2

    • ArrTooDeeToo

      I think I’ll stick to 4.1.2 until a ROM dev brings back the original UI. I don’t want my XOOM gimped and to lose more screen real estate to another black bar.

      • boogie_monster

        THANK YOU! finally someone understand what a horrible move it was to go back to phone UI.

  • MikeSaver

    I guess I’ll just stick with WidgetLocker. I was hoping they were just making WidgetLocker the stock lockscreen basically. Turns out that’s not the case. At least I don’t have an iPhone so I can choose something different than what comes with my phone.

  • urandom

    Touching the lock screen widget will bring you to the app. Thus, you get a highlighted unlock mechanism (the one where you said you had no idea what its for)

  • Keith0606

    can you have a pattern lock and show your google calendar on the same screen? that’s really the ideal situation for me, as long as the calendar is only viewable and not editable from the lock screen, without first performing your pattern unlock to be able to open the app to edit it.

    • firethorn

      Yes, but the screen with the pattern lock only has room for a “small” widget. It’s perfect for the digital clock that comes as default but mail, calendar or messaging are better served with their own lock screen to the left IMO.

  • Sara Rosensteel

    Really, the main useful feature I can see for lockscreen widgets is an emergency app. (There are tons in the play store already that have been doing this for ages.) EMTs find your phone, can’t unlock it? All your emergency contacts and allergy information is right there.

  • I love the ability to add widgets to lock screens without using third-party application. However, I still think Android is missing a nice, stock UI for incoming text messages with the ability to read them and answer straight from the lock screen. One of the reasons I choose to go away from stock SMS. That and the ability to customize chat bubbles, etc..

  • Verizon

    I really want 4.1 on my Razr Maxx, but I’m not too sure I care about 4.2.

  • muffnman

    Loving DayDream tied into Currents.

  • sirmeili

    Kinda of related, but off topic. Did they get rid of the Tablet UI? I actually liked the way the bottom bar worked in ICS. I’m hoping there is a way to get it back (clock in the bottom right with the notifications there as well). I don’t really want my tablet to look like a big phone. I also liked that the back, home and other buttons were on the left and not the center. On a 10″ tablet, it would be nice to not have to stretch to get to those functions.

    • DroidzFX

      I agree. I like notifications in bottom right for larger tablets. But for the sake of unity I can see why they made the decision. They don’t want to confuse the simple minded folk.

    • ArrTooDeeToo

      This is the worst change of all. Screw over the rest of us for the sake of old grannies who don’t know how to read the instructions.

  • MrMLK

    I love lock screen widgets. Leaving aside the security considerations for the moment, imagine the following three scenarios:

    Your phone buzzes because of a new notification. You can:

    1) Hit the power button and see what the email/text/whatever is and decide if you want to act on it.

    2) Hit the power button, drag down to bring up the notification window, scroll down past the ongoing section and the quick widgets to the notification area and decide if you want to act on it.

    2) Hit the power button, do a simple swipe to bring up your home screen, do a second swipe to get to the page with the notification on it and decide if you want to act on it.

    I find option 1 to be most convenient. As a recent switcher from an iPhone to a Galaxy Note 2, the one thing I miss is the ability to see my new notifications just by turning the screen on.

  • Twilightlicious

    “which sort of defeats the purpose of it being a “lock” screen, right?”
    Optional Features should never be viewed negatively.

    • ArrTooDeeToo

      It’s not an option. It’s a replacement of what worked quite well in 4.1. It sucks.

      • MrMLK

        Interesting. I didn’t realize that you were required to put widgets on the screen. I thought it was just something you could do it you wanted to. What does the phone do to you if you refuse to put any widgets there?

        • ArrTooDeeToo

          The camera widget looks to be there to stay. There’s no option to add it, so it apparently can’t be removed.

          • Dain Laguna

            still waiting for you to answer his ‘what will your phone do?’ question

          • firethorn

            If you delete the digital clock widget that comes as default for the main lockscreen it will simply display an ugly grey rectangle sporting a “+” that is supposed to encourage you to add a widget there. Also, try as I might I was unable to remove the camera screen.
            New features are cool, but only when they are optional. Being force-fed what I am not interested in using just isn’t cool.

          • MrMLK

            Are you just assuming its there to stay, or do you know something that isn’t stated in the video. Because Kellex didn’t say anything about not being able to remove it.

          • flyingace

            I HATE the look of the digital clock widget on my home screen. I have looked everywhere online for instructions on how to remove lock screen widgets but have found nothing. Has anyone found a way to disable these (without root)?

  • sc0rch3d

    lockscreen widgets are great for enterprise users that lock down security. i’m anxious to try these feature on mine to see if the security policy allows it.

  • DroidzFX

    People love widget locker but now we question the usefulness of widgets on lockscreen?

  • rk

    if you are worried about security, don’t use the lockscreen, enter the PIN instead… I can see why you are confused.

  • jnt

    I’m having a heck of a time getting multiple users to work right on my N7. I’m completely stock, but rooted, and SuperSU FC’d the first couple of times I tried it. I’m wondering if that’s causing slowness / hangups on this “alternate” system. Going to try running completely stock and see if that helps…

    • jnt

      I’m also not a huge fan of the lockscreen widgets – or the clock for that matter – two bolded numbers and two normal? I know, that’s simply a personal preference thing…