The Android lock screen could be much improved, especially after iOS has done the same with its own. However, this is not exactly what we had in mind. According to TechCrunch, ad company Glance is planning to launch its lock screen ad platform in two months in the US. According to the report, Glance has been in talks with different carriers in the country and plans to launch on various smartphones as early as next month. The source to which TechCrunch has had access has preferred to remain anonymous because the conversations are behind closed doors. Glance has not yet responded to Gizmodo’s requests for more information.
Glance is a subsidiary of InMobi, an online marketing platform based in India. It is being talked about as the country’s first unicorn case (a fast-growing start-up) due to its successful funding rounds. He even managed to get Google to finance it for a few years. Glance comes pre-installed on quite a few Android terminals in some countries, including the most affordable Samsung phones. It is not a typical Android application in the sense that you will not find it on Google Play. It is housed in a separate layer of Android as if it were an interface layer and, is part of the Pragati OS, a version of Android developed by Google and the manufacturer Jio for cheap phones like the Jio Phone Next.
The main function of Glance is to serve as a dynamic lock screen. Once installed, it modifies the appearance of the phone’s lock screen, showing new wallpapers, videos and news according to our preferences, but it also shows advertising. They are not as invasive ads as browser pop-ups, but they are annoying enough that many people are looking for how to uninstall them. Reading about this news, I even found an official Realme forum in India in which the company apologized for the inability to uninstall Glance.
Although it allows you to unlock the terminal normally, Glance also allows you to scroll the locked screen to see different content panels. The app has the potential to keep you hooked on the screen for a while longer, and it recently landed on Android TV devices in India as part of a pilot program.
Although its success is notable in countries like India, its arrival in the United States is worrying because it will surely hit an already battered segment, which is that of affordable mobiles. It’s bad enough having to buy a mobile phone with less raw power and that manufacturers usually forget in their updates, not to mention having to put up with a Bloatware application that floods our lock screen with unwanted content, and on top of that it can’t be uninstalled.
Unwanted advertising on mobile phones (or on televisions) is beginning to be a cause for concern. Manufacturers like Samsung or OnePlus already send promotions from time to time through notifications. Android 13 will come with a new feature that will allow more control over intrusive notifications, but the problem is still there. If more companies discover this vein and users tolerate it, Android’s reputation as an operating system could be called into question. Google lives on advertising, and Android is a great tool for collecting market data. Everything is that, due to excessive ambition, the company ends up driving away users towards other operating systems. iOS is an obvious option, but not the only one. Harmony OS is getting stronger every day.