Android 15 lock screen widgets may be exclusive to Pixel Tablet

Google Event
(Image credit: Google via YouTube)

One of the most exciting Android 15 rumors is that we may see lock screen widgets make a comeback — almost 10 years after they were removed. Unfortunately, Android may not be getting the kind of lock screen widget support we’d hoped for. That's because it may be exclusive to tablets like Google’s Pixel Tablet.

According to Mishaal Rahman at Android Authority, code in the newly-released Android 15 beta ties lock screen widgets to the Pixel Tablet’s Hub Mode. This is the feature that turns the Pixel Tablet into a smart home hub whenever you place it on the charging stand. 

You don't get this mode on phones. So that means, for now at least, it looks as though Android 15’s lock screen widgets may be exclusive to the Pixel Tablet, and any future Android tablets that support Hub Mode.

This restriction has been hinted at before, with Rahman previously finding hints of the relationship between lock screen widgets and hub mode in older versions of Android. The Android 15 beta seemingly confirms that this will be the case, at least for the immediate future.

It’s good news for Pixel Tablet owners, since it adds extra functionality to your device when it’s docked and charging. It looks as though a variety of Google apps will offer Lock Screen Widgets, including Chrome, Contacts, Google TV, Google Keep, Google translate and YouTube Music. No doubt there will be support from third pirates arriving in the coming months.

But it’s sad news for Android phone owners like myself, who have been eagerly awaiting the return of lock screen widgets after they were removed in Android 5 (Lollipop). It’s especially disappointing considering Apple added lock screen widgets to iPhones with the launch of iOS 16 back in 2022. 

Here’s hoping that Google is using the Pixel Tablet as a way to test the viability of lock screen widgets, with the goal of adding them to phones in the near future. Heck, I’d even take a limited release on Pixel slabs ahead of a wider rollout in a future version of Android, if that’s what it takes.

Android 15 will be arriving at an unspecified point later this year. You can check out all the best new Android 15 beta features and upgrades that are available, and keep on top of the latest news and rumors in our official Android 15 hub.

More from Tom's Guide

Back to Mobile Cell Phones
Storage Size
Any Price
Showing 10 of 150 deals
Load more deals
Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.