Brace yourselves, ads could be coming to your phone’s lock screen (in the US) ‘within two months’

With phone lock screens arguably generating more attention than ever before as Apple is finally ready to follow the competition’s customization examples, you might not be surprised to see the exact same Android-related topic make headlines today.

But it’s (technically) not Google that’s looking to revise the Android lock screen experience here as some sort of an answer to iOS 16, and you’re probably not going to like what an artificial intelligence company called Glance is reportedly planning to bring to the table in the US soon.
We’re talking about ads (among others), which might be served right on the lock screen of “several smartphone models by next month”, according to an anonymous source on the inside cited by the always reliable publication TechCrunch. While no actual models or brands are named in this exclusive new report, Glance has already managed to rack up a stellar list of hardware partners in various Asian markets despite only being founded around three years ago.
Said list includes huge global names like Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Motorola, and Realme, of which just two companies are currently actively involved in selling Android handsets stateside. But instead of simply expanding those partnerships from India to the US, Glance is apparently “engaging” with unspecified carriers in the latter region to try to reach mutually beneficial agreements.

That’s because mobile operators hold the lion’s share of smartphone sales in North America, which probably means the first devices loaded with lock screen ads around those parts are likely to be offered by the top US wireless service providers directly to their subscribers “within two months.”

Financially backed by none other than Google en route to a late 2020 billion-dollar-plus valuation, Glance reached no less than 150 million active users in March 2022. Apart from advertisements, the platform, which is not technically an app you can download from the Play Store or easily uninstall, delivers news, entertainment, “fun facts”, travel information, and even games tailored to your own personal interests and preferences directly on your lock screen.

That’s… pretty much as intrusive and outright annoying as it sounds, or as the company puts it, “unparalleled reach” with “authentic engagement” in a “reimagined” lock screen experience created three years before Apple. It remains to be seen exactly how US carriers will execute their Glance integration, but knowing US carriers, we have no real reason to expect a more discreet and less intrusive experience than what so many users are complaining about elsewhere.


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