Google Is Prepping a Big Update to At a Glance That Should Have Launched with Android 12. In advertisements published before the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro was launched, Google teased that there are lot more to its redesigned At a Glance widget than the version from Android 11 has to offer.
It seems like Google wasn’t quite able to finish everything ahead of the Pixel 6 release, though, as the new At a Glance Widget turned out to be nothing more than a minor redesign. But as said by noted developer Kieron Quinn, the company is looking to change it sooner.
Google Is Prepping a Big Update to At a Glance That Should Have Launched with Android 12
An updated version of the Android System Intelligence service, also known as Device Personalization Services has revealed that Google is working on a revamped “smartspace”. This is what the Google app internally calls the next generation At a Glance widget.
Strings in the new app release further reveal the the widget is supposed to gain quite some new options, all of them apparently toggleable in settings:
At a store: Shopping lists and Google Pay rewards cards when you’re in supported stores
Bedtime: Your upcoming bedtime from the Clock app
Connected devices: Connection status and battery info for your Bluetooth devices
Doorbell: Show who’s at the door when your doorbell rings
Fitness: Activity info from your fitness app
Flashlight: Reminder when flashlight is on
Safety check: Safety check countdown from the Personal Safety app
Timer & stopwatch: Timer and stopwatch info from the Clock app
Kieron Quinn was able to activate this new design, and it is even more powerful than it was though to be based on the advertisements. With the smartspace option enabled, the widget works like the OS stack widget, allowing users to have a carousel of various intelligent suggestions available.
At a Glance Widget
The widget will become even more proactive just like Google Now used to be. It will not only automatically surface loyalty cars and shopping lists when users visit supported stores. But will also remind users of upcoming bedtime based on the settings in the clock app.
The settings will also display battery details of supported accessories, surface fitness and training data, and as well give heads up when the flashlight is turned on.
It’s likely that Google originally planned to launch these new capabilities right alongside Android 12 and the Pixel 6 series. But it seems like the company ran into issues making At a Glance harder to nail than anticipated.
The widget wasn’t fully functional until a Google app update fixed it in the last Android 12 beta. Before then, it didn’t display the weather and you couldn’t access its settings. With the underlying code now ready, it hopefully won’t take too long until the more powerful version of the widget finally launches.
While we don’t think there’s anything stopping these options from becoming available on all Pixels running Android 12, we won’t know for sure if they’re going to be Pixel 6-exclusive or not until Google actually launches the new capabilities.
UPDATE: 2021/11/22 18:30 EST BY WILL SATTELBERG
Kieron Quinn returned with some new information on how smartspace works and what categories it’ll cover. In addition to the strings above, he discovered several “templates” that display data based on specific context.
Here’s the complete list of what he discovered and tested with mockups:
- Weather (the default display)
- Commute time
- Weather “alerts” (which actually displays a four-day forecast)
- Shopping lists
- Loyalty cards
In addition to these, he discovered a bunch of additional generic templates showing content like stocks, bedtime routines, fitness tracking, and upcoming alarms.
Smartspace could make the Pixel home screen a whole lot more powerful than it already is, especially if Google can nail some of the predictive elements to make it truly smart. Imagine your phone suggesting it starts fitness tracking the second you walk into your gym or automatically pulling up your shopping list around the time of the week you usually run to the grocery store.
We’ll have to keep waiting to see finished versions in action, but for now, it’s worth heading over to Kieron’s Twitter feed to check out all of his various mockups.