Beta 2 code lets you change what to open
Customization has always been one of Android’s main strengths – you can customize the look of the software to your liking. With Android 12, Google introduced its Material You design language with a wallpaper-based theme engine to increase styling possibilities. Despite all these improvements, Android’s lock screen customization options are quite limited, even pale in comparison to iOS. Worse, you can’t even change lock screen shortcuts on Pixel phones. Fortunately, Google is dropping some signs of change with the latest Android 13 beta.
Internal code for the first quarterly platform release of Android 13 revealed that the company was working on custom lock screen timers for additional customization. With QPR2 Beta 2, Google continues its work on this front and plans to add the ability to change lock screen shortcuts.
Mishaal Rahman hints that the new “Shortcuts” option will be hidden under Settings > Display > Lock screen. 9to5Google was able to show code and UI related to customizing pixel shortcuts.
However, Google won’t let users go completely wild by assigning custom lock screen shortcuts. There will be specified options to trigger flashlight, launch camera, open QR code scanner and some others. To ensure that lock screen shortcuts are not accidentally triggered, users will need to press and hold the icons.
Other Android manufacturers may choose to add their own shortcut editing paradigm with guidance from the Keyguard Quick Affordances framework.
Currently on Android 13, the bottom left shortcut on the lock screen shows smart home controls while the bottom right shortcut opens either the Google Wallet app on the Pixel 7 series or a carousel of your maps stored on old Pixels. Samsung already lets Galaxy device owners customize lock screen shortcuts for any app or action they want. Following the release of iOS 16, the leading Android maker has also made additional improvements to the lock screen for One UI 5. If Google is looking to catch up, it will have to make some big strides.