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An Indian company would like to add ads to your smartphone’s lock screen!


Imagine waking up, looking at your phone to check the time and notifications, finding a live stream of a TikTok influencer doing a pasta eating challenge, or lock screen ads for a product that you definitely wouldn’t bother knowing about on your lock screen at all! This is exactly what Glance is planning in cooperation with Google, which is scheduled to launch in the United States within two months.

In fact, I am not shocked by this decision, which reflects the thought of tech companies and their interest in making profit even at the expense of sacrificing the user experience, but the idea of ​​adding ads in the lock screen can only be patents from Satan personally. But before we talk objectively about this idea, and how we find it may be a clear threat to the way we use our smartphones, let’s first show how it will be implemented, and who is Glance that threatens our comfort!

Glance is a company that specializes in providing content through lock screens

Glance defines itself as an Indian software company that relies on artificial intelligence to deliver customized content for smartphone lock screens. Founded in 2019 and now affiliated with InMobi, an Indian multinational company that allows brands, developers and publishers to deliver their ads to users via the smartphone platform.

In the beginning, the idea of ​​Glance was to serve the user by turning the lock screen interface into an entertainment platform. If we re-imagined the scenario of waking up and using your phone, you will find a beautiful image of a green apple with a sentence at the bottom asking if you know the reason behind the color of this apple with a button that takes you to answer. Or in another situation if you are bored in transportation, you can play directly from the lock screen, follow the news, find out information about travel or other integrated content dedicated only to the lock screen.

Glance lock screens

And the Indian company with the unusual idea was able to cooperate with many smart phone makers such as Xiaomi, Samsung, Realme, Vivo, Oppo and Motorola, while allowing them to name the feature as appropriate for them. If you are a Xiaomi user, for example, you will find that the Glance lock screen is called ” Wallpaper Carousel” and on Realme devices in Lock Screen “magazine” you will not find a mention of the company’s name explicitly, and fortunately it is only available in some Asian countries such as India and Indonesia, and soon the United States of America.

The Indian company was proud of its exceptional services until recently. We saw it making fun of Apple and its changes to the lock screen in the iOS 16 update and how the American company describes itself as “reimagining the lock screen”, and that – the Indian company – has done so since 2019 i.e. in the same The year of establishment of the company.

Glance Company

In this image, Glance prided itself on offering “unparalleled access” and “real interaction.” It was the beginning of exposing the Indian company’s fangs and making clear its true intent to attract advertisers and turn the lock screen into an annoying billboard; But when the news of its launch in the United States spread, the company faced a major attack, which prompted it to immediately change these two terms. And only a vague description that does not explain the reality of the platform stipulates “turning lock screens into smart surfaces” and how the company’s vision and philosophy will change lock screens in the United States of America.

Glance Services

Glance is not an advertising platform, our primary goal is to create the best and most secure lock screen experience, our commitment to consumers is that you will never pick up your phone to see an ad on the lock screen itself.

– The official blog of Glance

The Indian company was frank and direct in responding to criticism that it will turn the lock screens of residents of the United States of America into an advertising platform, and also confirmed that subscription to the platform will be completely optional and can be disabled at any time.

The content and illustrious experiences offered on the Glance platform do not come from consumers but rather are curated through partnerships with trusted developers or media companies. Glance is a smart surface, not an advertising platform. Monetization will be made via the content that the user decides to follow, for example, a subscription fee can be paid for premium news by a major publisher; Or products can be purchased from merchants when the product of the day appears on the lock screen.

– The official blog of Glance

So the company does not define itself as an advertising platform, but at the same time confirms that the content offered through it is from “premium media companies” and that the user can subscribe to certain services or purchase products. I guess this is just an embellishment of “we’ll put ads on your phones”, but do we need a lock screen that serves as an entertainment platform in the first place?

We don’t need lock screen ads and it serves as an entertainment platform!

Lock screens have emerged as a way to protect our personal data from intruders, and we don’t think we need to be more than that, especially for Android phones, which all now come with Always-On-Display mode, with built-in fingerprint sensors. The time we may not open the lock screen at all, and we just touch the sensor to immediately enter the home screen, and if we want to look at the lock screen, the reason is often to check notifications only.

We don't need more than a cute lock screen that shows the time and notifications!

What is the logical scenario that would make us want to enter the lock screen to see promotional content for a company? And how will Glance force us to do so? Will it work with Google to slow down the process of unlocking smartphones in future updates, forcing us to look at the lock screen first? Let’s hope the company isn’t that bad.

We also don’t think that these ads – or suggested content – will be completely random, but most likely your data will be collected and turned into recommendations, not only will Facebook listen to your conversations and show you ads for sneakers as soon as you mention it to a friend, but your lock screen will also join it, we don’t think That it would be fun at all and would increase the barrier between us and our phones.

Many users will also object to the idea of ​​ads appearing in the system interface on their phones that they paid to have, and therefore, their most basic right is to have an ad-free interface. Some companies have already been subjected to many outrage and criticism when they tried to add ads within system applications, such as Samsung, for example, when it started showing ads within the weather and themes application, which prompted it to reverse that decision later.

We hope that this decision of adding ads to the lock screen will not be implemented, which will be a big fall for Android systems, and another reason to go to the iPhone. No matter how Glance tries to justify.

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