Android 15 will let you add widgets to the lock screen, but only on tablets

Android 15 will let you add widgets to the lock screen, but only on tablets


  • We can now report that lock screen widgets are coming back, but will only be available on tablets running Android 15.
  • Earlier this year, we broke the news that Google is working on bringing back Android’s long-lost lock screen widget feature.
  • At the time, it wasn’t clear if the feature was intended for all devices or only tablets.

One of the best ways you can customize your Android phone or tablet is by adding a widget to the home screen. Android widgets have been around for a very long time, but in most flavors of the OS, you’re only able to place them on your home screen. Android used to let you add widgets to the lock screen, but it’s been nearly a decade since the operating system let you do that. The upcoming Android 15 update, however, will let you add widgets to the lock screen, but there’s a significant catch.

Earlier this year, I revealed that Google is working on bringing back lock screen widget support in Android 15. I made this assertion based on the existence of a new “communal space” — an area that’s accessed by swiping inward from the right side of the lock screen. This communal space let me add widgets from select apps that still utilized an old API made for Android’s older lock screen widget feature. That, plus the fact that the communal space was accessible from the lock screen, led me to believe that this work was indeed related to a revived lock screen widget feature.

However, I cautioned towards the end of my previous article that Google might limit lock screen widgets to tablet devices like the Pixel Tablet. That’s because there was code tying the new lock screen widget support to Android’s hub mode, which is a set of settings specific to tablets that can be docked. With the release of Android 15 beta 1 earlier today, I can now confirm that Android 15’s lock screen widget feature is intended for tablets.

While digging through the first Android 15 beta, I discovered strings pertaining to new toggles that will appear under Settings > Hub mode on devices like the Pixel Tablet. One toggle will allow the user to “show widgets on lock screen” even “without unlocking your tablet.” Meanwhile, another toggle gives the user the option to “allow any widget on lock screen.” The latter is interesting because previously, the aforementioned communal space only supported adding widgets with the old KEYGUARD category enabled. With a bit of tinkering, I was able to surface these new toggles in Android’s hub mode settings, as shown below.

Under the hood, this feature is known as “glanceable hub,” which makes a lot of sense since you aren’t actually placing widgets directly on the lock screen. Rather, you’re swiping to open a new page where the widgets can be added. Unfortunately, I’m unable to properly show off the new lock screen widget feature as I wasn’t able to get it fully working. I was, however, able to manually launch the page where you can add lock screen widgets, which let me see how the “allow any widget on lock screen” toggle affected widget availability.

When “allow any widget on lock screen” was disabled, I was able to add the following widgets:

  • Battery
  • Calendar
  • Clock
  • Drive
  • Fitbit
  • Gmail
  • Google
  • Google News
  • Photos
  • Pixel Weather

When “allow any widget on lock screen” was enabled, I was able to add these widgets in addition to the previous ones:

  • Chrome
  • Contacts
  • Digital Wellbeing
  • Google TV
  • Google Keep
  • Translate
  • YouTube Music

While it’s a shame that lock screen widgets in Android 15 will likely be limited to tablets, there’s a silver lining. I previously reported that Google might leverage its At a Glance view on the lock screen to surface widgets on smartphones. Although I don’t have any new details on that effort, I’m hoping that it will make an appearance soon in an upcoming Android 15 beta.

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