Android phone users in the US may have a new lock screen option to choose from in the near future — and it won’t include ads.
Glance, a company that provides lock screen content and entertainment for phones in India and Southeast Asia, just showed its concept lock screen for Android phones in the US. Crucially, the version of Glance that launches in the US will be ad-free, Rohan Choudhary, vice president and general manager of the Glance feed, told CNET.
The announcement comes after TechCrunch reported July 5 that Glance is planning to launch in the US within two months. The report also sparked concerns about advertisements arriving on the lock screens of Android phones. But Choudhary told CNET that Glance won’t be implementing ads in the US version of its product and is instead exploring other monetization options, such as subscriptions and commerce links.
“We are very clear that in the US, we will not have ads on the lock screen at all,” Choudhary said in an interview with CNET.
He couldn’t share details on when Glance will launch in the US, which phones it will be available on or which carriers the company will be working with. The platform will continue to be Android-only when it arrives in the US.
The company also showed CNET what its lock screen platform will look like in the US. Glance will be taking an approach it calls “spaces,” which essentially displays content on the lock screen that’s tied to a theme or interest.
A sports space, for example, could show highlights from a recent game or live updates in real time. A workout space might show your step counter and a recommended playlist, while a cab space could display the estimated time until you arrive at your destination or recommend a mini-game. These so-called spaces would live on top of the user’s lock screen wallpaper photo. Users will also be able to disable the Glance lock screen on phones that support it, according to Choudhary.
“We are trying to convert the phone to provide you more utility during what zone you are in during that day,” Choudhary said.
Glance posted a press release after this article was published further detailing its “spaces” approach and monetization strategy.
Glance’s expansion into the US is another sign that the lock screen is evolving into more than just a shield for protecting our personal information and a destination for checking the time. The iPhone’s revamped lock screen is a major area of focus in iOS 16, Apple’s new mobile software update arriving this fall. When the update debuts, iPhone owners will be able to add Apple Watch-like widgets to their lock screen and customize font styles and colors.