Google’s At a Glance widget is great. It helps you plan your day ahead by displaying events from your calendar, keeps track of your connected devices, shows the date and weather information for the day, displays alerts for natural disasters and package deliveries, and much more. And while a general user might already consider it feature-rich, At a Glance is actually quite limited. Limited in the number of things it can display, in the number of third-party apps you can connect, and generally in customizations and the number of complications you can have at once. That’s where Smartspacer comes into the picture. It’s an app that extends the standard At a Glance and makes it more customizable.
What is Smartspacer?
Smart spacer is Google’s At a Glance on steroids. It’s an open-source app developed by Kieron Quinn that allows numerous customizations to Google’s At a Glance widget on Pixels and regular Android devices. This is done by using an option in Google’s Smartspace service, where it overrides the Smartspacer service instead of the default At a Glance, right after restarting the system UI. The best part is that it doesn’t require root.
In layman’s terms, users can get extensive customizations, widgets, and alerts at a glance, without any limitations. The app also has a plugin section to send the data to Smartspace, including data from Amazon, Uber, Tasker and many more.
In Smartspacer there are numerous goals and complications. The first is the most important information at the top, such as the main At a Glance widget that shows all the information, while complications are additional information, such as the battery of a particular connected device or steps information from Health Connect. If you don’t understand, the image above should make it clear.
The default implementation of At a Glance is quite limited, at least across the range of apps and in my region. The customization option of the standard version of At a Glance has a lot of options, but I was only able to use or see a few options appear, such as Flashlight, Connected Devices, and Bedtime. Features like package delivery, fitness, food, and household orders never worked, at least for me, for whatever reason. As someone who has been longing for Assisted Calling to land on Pixels in the subcontinent, At a Glance’s further limitations have made the Pixel experience much less enjoyable. Well, not anymore.
Plugins and complications
Smartspacer uses plugins that can be used in objectives and compilations. As of this writing, there are a total of 20 plugins that users can download; Some of the popular ones are Amazon, Uber, Google Keep and Health Connect. The plugins are also open source and can be installed directly from the repository in the app.
Once installed, users must add them as a goal or complication and move them around in the list to set where they appear. Additionally, most widgets require no additional attention, except for the Amazon widget, which requires you to log in to view your order statuses.
The Google Keep widget allows you to select one of your notes and always show it as a page in At a Glance. Similarly, you have the music target that shows the current song that is playing. You can also target Notifications, where you can select notifications from a specific app to display as a page in At a Glance.
Some of the plugins I use are Greeting, Music, Amazon Deliveries, Health Connect, Samsung Health, Google Keep, and Notifications for X (Twitter), and they all work flawlessly. Installation is simple, but it will take some time to get things exactly where you want them.
I love the battery complication because it displays the battery percentage of my Pixel Buds Pro right on the home screen. This eliminates the need for the Pixel Battery Widget and ultimately gives me more space on my home screen for a cleaner look. Some of the other goals and complications I use are time remaining until sunset, steps, distance walked, current weather, and Google Finance.
One problem with Smartspacer (previously Android)
Although Smartspacer does not need root, but Shizuku (And just for enabling Enhanced Mode for more features), a big problem with it, or rather because of Android’s limitation, is that you have to enable it every time you restart your device or when the app is updated. Although it only takes a few steps to start Shizuku, it can be a hassle for people. For those who don’t know, Enhanced Mode is especially great on Pixels as it allows Smartspacer to be integrated into the Pixel launcher and on the lock screen.
Overall, Smartspacer is a really nice app, and it’s what Google’s At a Glance widget always should have been. If you’re excited and want to request new plugins, you can do so by opening an issue on the project’s website official GitHub repository. You can also join it official Discord server to stay informed.