Google’s anticipated iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets have now begun to arrive. Alongside the launch of Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 16, Google teased its plans last month to support the iPhone’s newest feature that allows users to place widgets directly on their phone’s lock screen and offer information about favorite apps – Search, Maps, Gmail and more.
Google started to roll out widgets for its iOS 16 app, with several updates this week. The widgets will stay up-to-date, following the release of Google Chrome and Drive updates last week.
iOS 16 lockscreen widgets give iPhone users even more options for customization, which is great! One thing that isn’t so great: Google has yet to add a Google Calendar widget to the mix. And even though the two most popular widgets—Search and Maps—are almost ready to go, Google hasn’t announced plans to launch them.
It’s easy to use the new Gmail widget with the circular or rectangular layout in the lock screen, or to place it inline on any of your devices. You’ll see this text when you open the app, with important email notifications and messages organized by type.
In the example of Gmail, the inline widget will display a shortened date like “Wed 7” followed by the number of messages in your inbox. Meanwhile, the rectangular widget breaks down how many new messages are in each category — like Social, Updates or Promotions — which helps you to determine if emails you’ve received are actually important. The smaller circular widget just displays how many new messages you have.
Google News has added a new widget which can be placed on the Lock Screen. When tapped, you’ll be taken directly to the Google News mobile app to read the full story. This new widget is great for those with poor eyesight as it will fit up to four lines of text within the available space. The issue is that viewing this isn’t as easy on a small screen (such as when using Google News on your phone).
We’ve noticed that a lot of people use a few different apps when they’re working on their computers. For example, Drive and Chrome both offer widgets. The rectangular Drive widget allows you to quickly find files with suggestions, while the two circular buttons will let you search for what you need or go straight to your Starred items.
Google offers a variety of widgets you can use with Chrome, including a circular widget that you can tap to launch Google Search inside Chrome. You can also use the other three options, which are designed to launch incognito search, voice search or even the Dino Game, which usually appears on the desktop when you’re offline.
Soon, we anticipate the release of the Search and Maps widgets. With the search widget, you’ll be able to begin exploring the web from your Lock Screen–plus it features voice search. Once Google Lens and Google Translate widgets are released, we’re excited for all the possibilities: with Lens in particular, there is a lot of innovation at play as Google prepares to introduce improved site searches that combine text with images.
When you’re traveling somewhere for business or personal reasons, Maps will provide helpful location-based information like real-time traffic updates and estimated travel times to places like your office or home address.
Google hasn’t shared a release date for their other widgets yet, but given the speed of these updates, they should be launching soon.