Android smartphones allow you to customize nearly everything to fit individual needs and preferences. This includes the lock screen too. Today we’ll show you five alternatives that have impressive designs and valuable features that will have you getting more out of your lock screen.
Cover - the smart lock screen
This lockscreen brings context-based information to the lock screen, meaning the right content and settings at the right time. This is reminiscent of Google Now and for the most part works quite similarly. By entering your home address and workplace, the lock screen will know when to switch between private and work mode. Depending on the situation, it shows matching apps as shortcuts. This works because the launcher is capable of learning and adapts to particular usage patterns. In addition to being able to automatically switch between settings and shortcuts, Cover also offers simplified access to recently used apps by swiping downwards from the top screen border.
Cover is in open beta phase and can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. We already tested the lock screen two months ago and found that even then it made a very good and well-made impression.
One of the most eye-catching lockscreen alternatives from the Play Store is Start. The lock screen app provides quick access to any app, either via a ring menu to unlock or small tabs spread out on the right or left sides of the screen. By pulling each one out, this brings content into focus, such as galleries, feed reader, weather or Google Search. Also, the volume profile can be changed directly using the slider.
The lock screen app also displays date, time and battery levels. A shortcut on the top right provides quick access to settings allowing the user to customize its look and functions at will. Start can be installed for free from the Google Play Store and in addition to the normal theme, a dark theme is available.
There had been talks about a mobile operating system from Ubuntu called Ubuntu Touch, but it never really caught on. If you still want at least a tiny hint of Ubuntu on your smartphone, you can install the Ubuntu Lockscreen. It has a ring menu that will display notifications, and by swiping from top to bottom, you’ll see date, time and battery status.
Swiping from right to left presents shortcuts to apps which can be set up by the user individually beforehand. On request, a music player can be displayed on the lock screen, since the security options are currently only a password or PIN. So, even when swiping from left to right, the display will remain unlocked.
The Ubuntu Lockscreen can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and is free.
UnlockYourBrain - vocabulary and math training
On average, we’ll look at our smartphones about 80 times a day. Wouldn’t it make sense to combine these almost subconscious compulsions with something meaningful? UnlockYourBrain is a lockscreen alternative made to keep your brain fit by having you solve math problems and do some vocabulary training.
The vocabulary or math exercises loaded onto the lock screen can naturally be skipped in case you get stumped. The potential found in this lock screen is great though. Repetition is the mother of retention and by constantly viewing vocabulary and calculation methods, this will slowly but surely start to sink in, keeping your brain from turning into mush.
UnlockYourBrain is free and ad-supported, available in the Google Play Store. The premium version can be bought as in-app purchases in various packages.
The easiest and most popular way to set up a lock screen is with the use of widgets. One of the most popular in this genre is DashClock Widget because it not only supports extensions but is also be extensively customizable. The widget, which is displayed next to the clock, can be a calendar, appointments, unread messages or when using supported apps, the weather for example.
DashClock Widget can be downloaded for free in the Google Play Store. Setting up and searching for matching extensions can be fun but could also take some time to complete thanks to a huge array of extensions to choose from. You can take a look at an overview in the Play Store by simply searching for the term "DashClock".