Google’s “At a Glance” widget was at one time an interesting concept for its Pixel phones and their main home screen, because it connected to the weather, your calendar, daily commute, and a couple of other items. It has since expanded its feature set to try and remind you if you left your flashlight on, show some fitness info from other services, and let you know the status of your ride from ridesharing services. While that stuff sounds like it might be useful, it has morphed into a nuisance in my opinion, as I rarely use any of its features and it takes up a large chunk of my home screen that I’d rather customize myself.
I’ve written about this in the past, that I’d love to be able to flip a switch to turn off “At a Glance” within Pixel home screen settings. It seems like such an obvious option to give folks who would rather reclaim the home screen space taken up by this “widget” and who don’t find it to be a useful tool. Android was always built as this open and customizable platform, yet Google has forced “At a Glance” on us for many, many years.
In the latest Android 14 QPR2 Beta 1 update that dropped today, a switch has been found, buried somewhere within the system that will let you turn off “At a Glance.” Mishaal Rahman found it and showed what the home screen settings page will look like with this option in there. It should say “Add At a Glance to home screen,” where leaving it off would presumably make the entire thing disappear.
The Pixel Launcher is FINALLY preparing to add a toggle that lets you HIDE the At a Glance widget from the home screen. After the widget is hidden, the space underneath it is open to other apps/widgets!
This toggle is not visible yet, so I had to manually activate it! pic.twitter.com/JQ3qIVJAMm
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) November 15, 2023
Since this is apparently a hidden setting that needed to be enabled, we have no idea if this is a feature Google will soon push out to Pixel phones, if it’ll show up when QPR2 goes stable in March, or if Google is simply testing the idea with the option to remove it as we approach release.
I can’t begin to describe my level of excitement. Give me back my 4×1 top row, Google, because I want that space to look as I want it to look. The forcing of “At a Glance” has always been such a limiting item when it comes to turning our home screens into our own home screens. Please tell me the time is here for true Pixel Launcher home screen freedom.