Google just gave Android's most frustrating widget an AI facelift, and it's such a relief

The latest Android feature rollout includes a redesigned Assistant At a Glance widget that's better than the old one in virtually every way.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
The home screen of the Google Pixel 7a.
June Wan/ZDNET

No matter what Android phone you use, you've likely experienced what is arguably the most frustrating home screen widget there is. I'm talking about the "At a Glance" widget, that calendar and weather element that's fixed to the left side of the screen, and is permanently there if you're on a Pixel device.

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The text scaling is always too small compared to the other elements on the home screen, missed taps that trigger the weather app when you meant to open the calendar are frequent, and you simply can't resize the widget so that it doesn't leave 2-3 squares of dead space to the right of it. 

A redesign is long overdue for Android's At a Glance widget, and it's finally coming, according to Google's September Android feature rollout.

In what will be a feature distribution across most, if not all, devices operating on Android 12 or above, the new At a Glance widget leverages AI to offer more tailored and event-specific information as you go about your day. That includes boarding information for upcoming flights, weather alerts, general reminders, and more. 


In an example video embedded in the press release, the new widget is demoed on a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, cycling between reminders for commuting to the airport, boarding the plane, baggage claim after landing, and what the weather is like upon arrival.

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Notably, the redesigned widget now gives you the option to apply a white or black background, offering more contrast to your wallpaper. The weather also has its own visual on the right side of the widget, and descriptions take up two lines instead of one. 

Altogether, the new At a Glance is much easier to understand when you want essential information without having to open dedicated apps on your phone. That's how it should've been all along. Now let me customize the sizing and text scale of the widget, Google!

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