Google’s iOS 16 lock screen widgets are officially available. As outlined in September, the widgets give you at-a-glance info and shortcuts for some of the company’s core apps. Gmail can show your new message counts, while Maps can either provide a link to favorite trips (like the commute home) or searches for destinations like restaurants. Widgets for Chrome and the Google app, meanwhile, can help you start web searches, issue voice commands or launch features like Lens translation and Chrome’s Dino game.
Other widgets are more specialized, but still helpful. Google News can show the latest headlines. Drive provides quicker access to suggested and starred cloud files. It’s also much easier to listen to YouTube Music, as you can quickly start a playlist when you’re heading out for a walk.
YouTube and YouTube Music also have home screen widgets. You can quickly browse your YouTube video subscriptions, or search for a YouTube Music tune.
The widgets should automatically surface when you’re customizing your lock screen. As usual, they make the most sense for the always-on display of the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max. Regardless of the device you use, they could make Google’s apps more compelling. In some cases, they’ll even provide an edge over those Android phones that only show a limited amount of info before you unlock the device.