Opinion: Why Google Pixel Won’t Let You Delete At a Glance
Following the Android 12 redesign, calls from Pixel owners for the ability to remove At a Glance have only increased. That’s unlikely to happen any time soon, as Google is in the process of justifying At a Glance’s existence and making it a mainstay of the useful Pixel experience.
The very first iteration of the Pixel Launcher featured a search pill in the top left corner and the weather, along with the day/date, across from it. A year later, when first leaked at I/O 2017, Google moved search to the very bottom of the screen to improve accessibility and made it a full-width bar that appears on every home screen. . This expanded access reflected the rise of phones and the importance of a quick Android search for the to look for business.
This change also allowed the Pixel Launcher to remove what was previously squashed in the top right corner and expand it across the top of the screen. Along with the date and temperature becoming much more readable, Google used At a Glance to display upcoming calendar events during the Pixel 2’s first launch, while promising “traffic, flights, and more.
For the Pixel team, At a Glance is a shining example of the utility they want Google phones to exude. This help should be both contextual and prominent.
For many years, this upper space remained mostly unchanged – although there were some visual tweaks during the betas we widely chronic.
Overhaul in progress
Towards the end of the Android 12 beta period, At a Glance was redesigned to be left-aligned instead of centered. The day was truncated as the weather was placed below, while there was integration with Google Clock’s stopwatch/timer and the ability to swipe for different panes.
Along with the launch of the Pixel 6, Google has revealed that this new At a Glance – being developed as “Live Space” – can display your flight boarding pass (QR code) and integrates with fitness apps, as well than showing “your upcoming bedtime”. from the Clock application. »
In March, Google announced the ability to see the battery level of connected Bluetooth devices, a personal safety check countdown, reminders to turn off your alarm if the next day is a holiday, and shake alerts. land – joining weather advisories.
Looking ahead, Nest Doorbell alerts have yet to be made official, while we previously spotted a helpful reminder when your flashlight is on. However, the most promising ability that has yet to be announced is “In a Store”.
Once activated, it will show “Google Pay Shopping Lists and Rewards Cards when you are in supported stores”. The design was previewed by the Material You pinwheel at I/O 2021. It gives the Pixel an environmental awareness that could get even more powerful and will no doubt be a tech trend in the future. For example, imagine a Google Maps pane that shows nearby restaurants to visit, stores to pay for, and landmarks to see based on your interests/past histories. Add a shortcut to launch Live View and directions will be almost instantaneous.
This iteration of At a Glance has so much potential as evidenced by its integrations. On the front of the first part, there is already Google Clock, Calendar, Gmail, Pay and Personal Safety, while it is directly connected to the hardware as evidenced by Bluetooth recognition. What could be even more promising is if Google opens up At a Glance to third parties and one pane becomes an app’s priority extension.
However, for some, Google moved too slowly to justify the immediate visual changes (lots of empty space), reduced usefulness (missing Calendar shortcut up to 12L), and continued lack of choice. That said, there’s a reason the new At a Glance rollout is going piecemeal.
What Google is striving for is largely hand-coded for the foreseeable future rather than automated like an AI. This manual curation is key to ensuring that a Pixel doesn’t overload you with alerts that can be turned off if they’re too spammy or just not accurate/helpful, harming user trust and the Google’s ability to roll out more At a Glance features.
This feature, if implemented in the right way, can seem very proactive and helpful to end users. Since it’s right on the lock screen and the first home screen, you won’t miss it. In terms of layout, At a Glance technically outperforms the notification stream and (the silo of) app icons.
This is extremely important real estate, and Google Pixel, as a priority-setting OEM, arguably has a right to define that experience under the guise of its utility pole. Google isn’t going to drop At a Glance’s default status before it’s even finished, or let people disable what the company considers basic capabilities.
The importance of telling users what can help them immediately and what is important in the moment cannot be overstated. This useful prioritization, especially if it’s labeled as assistance – if it’s not built into one of the core aspects of the Google Assistant, will only grow in value as the information overload increases.
At a glance is key to Pixel’s goal of creating a useful phone and Google may one day tout this proactiveness and home/lock screen smarts as a real differentiator.
FTC: We use revenue-generating automatic affiliate links. Continued.
Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more info: