Google is rolling out its handy iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets, which will offer iPhone users fast access to Search, Maps, Chrome and snapshots of information from other apps.
The widgets, which were previewed by the company last month, are also available for Google Drive, Gmail, and Google News and are starting to show up in the most recent app updates for iOS 16 (via 9to5Google).
As with other Lock Screen widgets in iOS 16, they give uses the opportunity to customise their home base from 3-4 key apps. The widget icons are either rectangular or circular and you can either tap to open the host app, or simply consume the information within.
The Google News widget for example, will show a headline from a featured story, while the Gmail app will show you a snapshot of your inboxes. The Search-based widgets might be the most useful and most versatile. It features a text search box as well as widgets for translate, voice, shopping, and the Google Lens visual search.
Meanwhile, the Chrome browser widgets include a direct shortcut to Google’s cult classic Dino game, as well as the ability to launch an Incognito Mode tab. Drive lets you know when a file has been shared with you, while you can also get back into recent files and folders.
The Maps widgets are excellent for a snapshot of your frequent trips, letting you know how long it’ll take to get home, for example. There’s also widgets to help you find restaurants, shops, hotels, and more.
In order to access the widgets, you’ll need to ensure you have the latest versions of the Google apps in question and then follow our guide to adding widgets to the Lock Screen in iOS 16. Not all of the apps in all territories are being supported yet, so you may require a little patience.
Google has often been among the first major app developers to get on board with new initiatives from Apple, and that’s also the case here. Indeed, at times, it feels like Google places more stock in new features on iPhone than it does on its home turf for Android.