iOS 16: Google is bringing these widgets to your iPhone's new lock screen

Google abandoned lock screen widgets in Android years ago, but now has new widgets for Apple's iOS 16 lock screen.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Getty/MoMo Productions

Google has unveiled a new set of widgets for all its most popular apps that iPhone owners can soon put on their lock screen. 

Google has a set of widgets in the works for its most popular apps that utilize Apple's overhauled dynamic lock screen – arguably the headline feature of iOS 16, which is rolling out today to iPhone owners everywhere. 

There's multiple widgets for each Google app, including Gmail, Chrome, Search, Google Maps, Drive, and Google News.

SEE: iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Is the newest iPhone worth the upgrade?

The iOS 16 lock screen can be customized by pressing and holding down the lock screen and then tapping "Customize". It becomes the new entry point for interacting with the iPhone and its apps, offers multiple lock screens, and integrates with Apple's Focus filters that align certain apps with a particular Focus. 

Apple introduced lock screen widgets in iOS 14. The new iOS 16 lock screen widgets have a few influences. As ZDNet's Jason Cipriani points out, customizing the iPhone lock screen is similar to how Apple Watch users customize watch faces. Google introduced Android lock screen widgets years before Apple did, but as Android Police notes, it killed them off in Android 5 Lollipop in 2014. 

Google clearly sees a benefit in the way Apple implemented lock screen widgets in iOS. The company says its new iOS lock screen widgets will be available in "the coming weeks". The apps need to be installed on the device, but once the widgets are available, the lock screen can be set up with them. 

The Gmail widget automatically shows a count of new messages. It can be customized to display new message counts in Primary, Social and Updates categories.

Google Maps has a 'Maps Frequent Trips' widget displaying the latest traffic updates and estimated travel times to frequently visited place. The Maps Search widget offers shortcuts to searching for restaurants, shops, cafes and accommodation. 

The Google Search widget let users search from the iOS lock screen. Users can customize it by adding options to search with voice or a camera, and use the Translate, shopping, and scholar buttons. 

The Chrome lock screen widgets let users start a search with voice or incognito mode. There's also a button to play Google's semi-hidden dino game in Chrome. Finally, the Drive widget offers a shortcut to suggested Drive files or starred files and folders.  

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