Making Your Lock Screen Work for You

Making Your Lock Screen Work for You

Having the right lock screen is essential to how we experience our devices, as it is the first thing that we see when picking our phones up. We use lock screens for security purposes and for quick glances at notifications. But for something used so often, it is frequently overlooked. The Android lock screen is just as customizable as the rest of the OS and with just a few minutes, you can adapt it to suit your needs. The stock Android lock screen may not be the most aesthetic, however there are several alternatives that not only look better but provide more features as well. If you want to change to another lock screen, you have a whole host of choices. Here we will discuss some that we have covered before and some that are entirely new.

 

Alternatives

C Locker – For sheer amount of customization options, C Locker is an excellent choice. With the option to add or remove almost any feature you could desire, if you need quick access to a function repeatedly this lock screen could save you a lot of time.
Hi Locker – With material design and the choice to automatically change your wallpaper at predetermined intervals, you wont find many lock screens that look better than this one. Having a whole host of customization options, you can design your screen just the way you would like.
Joy Locker – For a more light-hearted lock screen, Joy Locker not only comes with many vibrant themes but it also allows you to play some simple games whilst your phone is locked. With a convenient side bar to fill with your short cuts. This is an incredibly fun way to lock your device.
Locker Master – A well-balanced mix of brilliant looks and functionality, Locker Master comes packed full of features and extra tools, such as access to a built-in QR scanner all from the side bars. With thousands of themes and a wizard for creating your own, you won’t find many apps that are more aesthetic.
Lollipop –  For those of us not lucky enough to be running Android version 5 you can still experience the lock screen that comes with it through L Lock screen.  A very similar lock screen to that of Lollipop, it’s simple and easy to set up.
Pi Locker –  Simple design, but absolutely packed with features. One feature however stands out, gesture unlock allows you to set up to nine gestures to unlock, open apps or alter settings all from your lock screen.
Slidelock – A very well displayed app. Keeping things minimal and easy to use results in a grace rarely seen among lock screen alternatives. Reminders are incorporated in to the app, making it easier to make notes on the go.

Tweaks

Lockscreen Blur Effect – This app will take a screenshot of your device as you lock it and then set a blurred version of that image as your lock screen wallpaper. Simple, but produces a brilliant effect.
Maximise Widgets – Exactly as the name suggests, this app will force your lock screen widgets to maximize by default, meaning you don’t have to swipe down just to see the content of a widget.
NFC LockScreenOFF Enabler – Lollipop’s new API allows you to set trusted devices such as NFC tags and bluetooth networks to determine whether or not security is required. For those of us not running Android v 5.0.1 yet, Xposed can help by allowing NFC polling when the screen is locked and also includes a handy tool for selecting NFC tags that will unlock your device. This module is a must have for those of us with NFC implants.
Smart Unlock – You may not require the use of your passcode when you are at home, and with this you won’t see it. This app allows you to specify Wi-Fi and bluetooth networks that when connected, you will not see your lock screen or password prompt. Even better for XDA members, the developer has released an improved free version.
Wake Lock By Volume Key – For those devices with soft keys, a broken power key could mean the end of your device, even if you use a jig to turn on your device, unlocking your screen can become almost impossible. This app allows your volumes keys to wake your screen and includes a widget to lock your screen.
Widget Pager – The Lollipop update removed lock screen widgets, it is possible to re-enable with this app. The developer has added a few extras as well such as multiple widgets to a page.

Widgets

Dashclock – You don’t necessarily need to use a new lock screen to add functionality. With the Dashclock widget you can add just about anything you want to your lock screen. Once inside the app, you can add and arrange extensions to be displayed. There are hundreds of 3rd party extensions, each adding new features to the widget. To browse these, select “Get More Extensions” inside the app, from there the rest is up to you. Besides the obvious such as Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat there are also extensions for displaying information on such things as your Bitcoin wallet, your stocks and Steam online.
Google Keep – For taking quick notes, the Google Keep lock screen widget is ideal. Allowing you to read and write notes without unlocking your device. If you want to jot down an idea in a rush or just check something you noted earlier on, this is the lock screen equivalent of a post-it note pad.
Google Sound Search, Shazam and Soundhound – Many of us use these services to identify songs, what less of us know is that these can be added to and used directly from the lock screen. As songs you can’t identify are very rarely under your control, if you want to find it fast there is no better way than to add one of these as a lock screen widget. No need to waste precious seconds unlocking and navigating to an app when you can tap it straight away.

Utilizing just a few of these can make a huge difference to how you use your device. Whether you want more features or simply a change of scenery, there is an option for everyone and these can produce impressive results.

How do you adapt your lock screen to suit your needs, do you use a non stock lock screen? Leave us a comment below!

About author

Mathew Bloomer
Mathew Bloomer

He fell in love with Android after buying a T-mobile G1 in 2008 and hasn't looked back since. He firmly believes the future of technology lies within bio-hacking and is an NFC implantee.