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Lock screen, the new gold mine of Apple and Google

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Lock screen, the new gold mine of Apple and Google

The lock screen it’s a new battleground that big techs and advertisers want to control. Apple has transformed the lock screen into a centerpiece of the new version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 16, showing the development potential on this mobile phone feature. Glance, an Indian start-up backed by Google, plans to launch a platform for content and advertisements on the lock screens of Android smartphones.

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The variable and customizable iPhone lock screen

With the arrival of iOS 16, Apple has focused on a new life for the lock screen, which Craig Federighisenior vice president of the software engineering division of the Cupertino house, defined the face of the iPhone.

The lock screen is customizable in ever new ways and you can create your own many variations having so many options available. The lock screen changes and is modified by being able to vary the compositions thanks to different backgrounds, filters and styles and with widgets that allow the user to have real time updates of apps such as weather, calendar, time zone, or battery status. With the Live Activities feature you can also have information in real time on sporting events that you follow or check the delivery of an ordered pizza without having to unlock your smartphone.

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The contents are on the lock screen

For Glance the ambitions are greater and the lock screen becomes an area on which to build a specific and distinctive business activity. The start-up, born in 2019 with headquarters in Bangalore, owned by the Indian tech multinational inMobi, specialized in mobile advertisingis proposed as a platform of contents to be inserted and spread on the lock screen.

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Glance, last May, launched its first Lock Screen Trends Report to monitor the behavior of people before unlocking the phone. According to the survey results, 9 out of 10 users watch the content spread on the lock screen before unlocking the smartphone. The numbers of researchbased on the analysis of the attitudes of 200 million people residing in India and in the countries of Southeast Asia, confirm the market opportunities in this sector.

When the subject of a dedicated activity, the lock screen becomes a stable part of the content consumption habits of smartphone users. The increase in this area is significant. The users, according to what the Glance researchers report, appreciate the contents on the lock screen, they tend to consume more (with an increase of 35 percent in the period December 2020-December 2021) and to share them more frequently (+ 55 percent between December 2020 and December 2021). This background pushes Glance to broaden its sphere of action by projecting itself into the US market thanks to agreements, not yet officially confirmed, however, with new smartphone manufacturers and mobile network operators. Currently, the start-up which is headed by the CEO Naveen Tewari boasts collaborations with large companies such as Samsung, Oppo, Motorola Vivo and Xiaomi while its software is integrated in over 400 million mobile phones in Asia.

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Initiatives to make the lock screen more dynamic and interactive include game content, news, shopping, sports and, of course, advertising. In June, Glance moreover, it has promoted a live festival in India, with streaming concerts, live interviews and also involving stars of Bollywoodwhich took place for three consecutive days entirely on the lock screen.

However, what could annoy users is excessive and too invasive advertising, and the difficulty of uninstalling the software from the mobile phone with the risk of crapware. This is evidenced by the critical comments of users who report problems with the Glance app pre-installed on the devices.

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