Android smartphones allow you to customize nearly everything to fit individual needs and preferences. This includes the lock screen too. Today we’ll show 10 alternative lock screen apps that have impressive designs and valuable features that will have you getting more out of your lock screen.
Echo Notification Lockscreen
If you're looking for a lightweight app that provides all the essentials right from the get-go, then Echo Notification Lockscreen will likely float your boat. The app displays messages, missed calls and other types of notifications straight from the lock screen, which you can then open by tapping, or dismiss by swiping to the left. Two cool things about the app: you get a camera shortcut to snap some quick photos and it won’t suck your battery dry either. And Echo Notification is also free!
Cover - the smart lock screen
Cover 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.
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".
Magic Locker Main
Love different themes? Magic Locker Main offers a whole bunch of them, and is a lockscreen we can highly recommend. There are around 3000 various free themes ready to be downloaded for free from the Play Store, so choice isn’t the issue here, though choosing one could be! The app settings allow the user to change time, date and app shortcuts, as well as sound effects. Please note: so that the lockscreen isn’t easily bypassed by pressing on the home button, you might need to resort to a double lockscreen, which the developer explains in the FAQs on the Play Store.
Again, Locker Master is a master of themes, even offering unique ones like ukulele, pumpgun or cupcake. It can be unlocked with patterns or various actions, shortcuts can be added as well as weather animation, quick settings and many other useful tools. There are more options that can be used but only when you have an alternate launcher installed. Music players widgets look great on this lockscreen and you can even get notifications from your social networks.
A super fresh lockscreen alternative on the app market is MixLocker. Next to tons of themes, you’ll also get entire wallpaper packages to keep your lockscreen interesting. The menu is super intuitive, however under the tools section, you will only find the flashlight and barcode scanner lockscreen shortcuts for now. In comparison to other apps, it also lacks the possibility to set up the lockscreen as desired. It does however let you use your own pictures on the lockscreen, but after a while you might notice that the picture slideshow uses up a lot of battery.
Go Locker offers quite the big lockscreen package with a bunch of great themes, whether it be 3D animations, iPhone or Windows styles, to name a few. There are a lot of possibilities, but not all are free, which you will discover after installing the app. In the settings, you will further options, like lockscreen pattern or a widget screen setup. When unlocking the screen, I did notice that it was slightly laggy. But in total, Go Locker will fulfill all of your customization needs and offer you a very intuitive settings menu.
WidgetLocker Lockscreen can (almost) do it all! After a slight learning curve, the lockscreen alternative offers a ton of options, like color, widgets, shortcuts for apps and other functions, which can be added to the lockscreen. The varied settings menu also lets you set up the unlocking method and sounds. You are even able to backup your prefered settings option right on the app. There is only one setback: WidgetLocker Lockscreen costs 2.99 USD.
Which lock screen do you use? Have you tried any of the ones listed here?