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12 best Android lock screen apps and widgets to reinvent your phone

Update: New apps added!

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 1 month ago

The lock screen on your Android device isn't just there to look good. It's also an important navigational screen, which you can use to jump straight to the most important features. Standard lock screens are fine, but check out our list of the best Android lock screen apps and widgets if you want to make unlocking your phone more fun and functional.

1. LokLok: Draw on a lock screen

LokLok is a fun idea, but your friends need to get involved too if you want to get the most out of it. LokLok lets you draw on your lock screen and then send the drawing as a message to a friend who uses the same app. This message will then appear on their lock screen for them modify and send back to you, if they wish. 

LokLok is still in beta, and you can't set up a PIN code with it just yet, meaning it's not a great lock screen app for security. But as a free, fun way to send messages, it's definitely worth a shot. 

androidpit best lock screen apps lok lok
Draw pictures or write messages on your lock screen and send them to your contacts. / © ANDROIDPIT
LokLok: Draw on a Lock Screen Install on Google Play

2. Next News Lock Screen

Next News is a news feed delivered direct to your lock screen, which you can customize to make sure you always see the stories you care about. Select from a list of categories, such as sports or entertainment, and they will be displayed on your lock screen for you to swipe through. Just tap and hold on a story to open it up. 

Like LokLok, Next News still in beta stage and isn't without its bugs, but it's certainly a unique lock screen idea.   

androidpit next news lock screen app
Get a customized news feed delivered straight to your lock screen with Next News. / © ANDROIDPIT
Next News Lock Screen Install on Google Play

3. CM Locker

CM Locker has a slide-to-unlock function, à la iOS, as well as power-saving feature that cleans out batter-draining apps directly from the lock screen. You can choose to use a pin or pattern to unlock your device, and there's an intruder alert feature that will take a photo of anyone who unsuccessfully attempts to unlock your phone. It's a no-nonsense screen locker that lets you control your music playback, view recent messages and check the weather forecast and it comes highly recommended.

CM locker screenshots edit
CM Locker features some useful lockscreen options. / © AndroidPIT

4. SlideLock Locker

Are you an iPhone escapee who still feels a bit sentimental towards Apple's slide-to-unlock lockscreen? Fret not, because this fantastic lock screen app will fill that slider-shaped hole in your life. Using SlideLock, you can unlock your Android device by sliding from left to right along the bottom of the screen. You also get actionable notifications just like in Lollipop, which you can tap to go to them or swipe to dismiss them. Sliding from right to left takes you straight to the camera.

androidpit slidelock locker
SlideLock will be instantly familiar to former iPhone owners. / © Silver Finger Software
SlideLock Locker Install on Google Play

5. Semper: Learn Effortlessly

The app formerly known as UnlockYourBrain turns unlocking your phone into something quite valuable. It uses the 80 or so times you unlock your phone every day to keep your brain ticking using simple maths and vocabulary exercises. Does this mean you can't access your phone if you don't know what 12 x 8 is, or what 'el amigo' translates to? No, thankfully UnlockYourBrain lets you skip questions and access your phone anyway, so no pressure.

androidpit semper
Semper makes you that bit more knowledgeable each time you unlock your phone. © ANDROIDPIT
Semper: Learn Effortlessly Install on Google Play

6. Next Lock Screen

Microsoft's new philosophy of going cross-platform and cross-OS with its software has been paying dividends, and Next Lock Screen is another fine example of Microsoft's design acumen complementing the Android ecosystem.

Next Lock Screen looks elegant and simple, but beneath the surface it's cleverly calculating which apps you're most likely to use based on your location (home, work and so on), then presenting you said apps. You don't need to use this feature of course, but Next is still worth using for its neat presentation of notifications, calendars and other key phone functions.

androidpit next lock screen
Next Lock Screen displays apps based on your location and usage habits. Clever stuff from Microsoft. / © ANDROIDPIT
Next Lock Screen Install on Google Play

7. AcDisplay

Plenty of lock screen apps go for a minimal look, but none do it quite as well ad AcDisplay. Small icons appear for notifications, and you simply hold your finger on one of these icons to see the notification in more detail, after which you swipe down to dismiss it. AcDisplay even uses your device's sensors to detect when it's in your pocket or in use, so the screen switches on and off accordingly.

androidpit acdisplay
AcDisplay looks great, and uses your device accelerometer to detect when to switch the lock screen on and off. / © Artem Chepurnoy
AcDisplay Install on Google Play

8. C Locker Pro

C Locker Pro is a sizeable lock screen package that offers a ton of features and shortcuts to refine your lock screen. There are more than 30 custom shortcuts you can create to make calls, access apps or read notifications from your preferred social networks. One of our favourite options is being able to double- or triple-tap your screen to turn it off – a feature usually reserved for high-end phones.

androidpit c locker pro
C Locker Pro offers an array of themes, and it's regularly updated to incorporate new phone features such as fingerprint scanners. / © ANDROIDPI
C Locker Pro (Widget Locker) Install on Google Play

9. Echo Notification Lockscreen

Echo displays messages is a sleek, minimally-designed lock screen that gives you a fine level of control over what you see and have instant access to. As you can see in the picture, you can create notification categories, such as 'work', 'media' and 'social', and choose which apps go in them. This means you have access to many more apps directly from the Echo lock screen than you would from a default Android one.

androidpit echo notifications lockscreen
Echo Notification Lockscreen provides you with messages and missed calls on your lock screen. © DoubleLabs
Echo Notification Lockscreen Install on Google Play

10. DynamicNotifications

DynamicNotifications is a subtle lock screen app that's easy on the eyes as well as on your phone's battery. By default, it has a plain black background, and notifications only switch your screen on when the phone is not in your pocket, bag or face down. This app doesn't actually have to be used as a lock screen, but the option exists if you buy the premium version (US$1.99). You can customize what what happens to notifications when you swipe them, and also set a 'night mode', in which you won't receive notifications when you're asleep.

androidpit dynamicnotifications
DynamicNotifications is a zero-flab lock screen with some nifty features. / © Great Bytes Software
DynamicNotifications Install on Google Play

11. Locker Master

Locker Master has an array of quirky themes, including a ukulele and a pump-action shotgun, and some playful unlock methods. It has the usual plethora of widget and app shortcuts, and – unusually – displays apps vertically rather than horizontally, which means more of them can fit on the screen. There are plenty of nicely-designed themes too, including one that adapts to the time of day.

Locker Master Screenshot
Locker Master uses a unique sidebar to display your shortcuts, and has some crazy unlock mini-games too. / © ANDROIDPIT
Locker Master- DIY Lock Screen Install on Google Play

12. GO Locker

This beast of a lock screen package offers one of the largest selection of themes of any lock screen app. It claims to have more than US$900 worth of themes (some are free, some not), and offers a range of ways to unlock your phone and present the apps you want to access most quickly. The option of shortcuts to toggle Bluetooth or mobile data on and off from the lock screen is a nice touch.

go locker screenshot
GO Locker is a good thing in big package. / © ANDROIDPIT
GO Locker - theme & wallpaper Install on Google Play

Are there any lock screen apps that we missed out? Let us know, then maybe they'll make it into our next lock-screens list!

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes most of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. A dedicated Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.


Write new comment:
  • I have a Master Lock speed dial pad lock and love it. Is there a lock screen that uses something similar as far as the method to unlock it?

  • I've tried all of the big players in the locker screen game, they all seem to gum up my phone and drain the battery. I've switched to the stock lock screen from TouchWiz on my Galaxy S6. Anybody else have trouble with 3rd party lock screens? The other trouble is if you want to use Android Pay you have to use the phone's native lock screen to use.

    • I'm the same, find it very hard to beat the stock lock screen on my s6 edge. It's the lock sounds that kill the 3rd party options

  • SlideLock Locker will be the best.

  • its really good

  • display very easy and very simple..

  • The most recent one is WOW Locker. It's nice, smooth and changeable every day. Please reply here if you want a try:-)

  • Next News 2 months ago Link to comment

    Another suggestion is Next News Lock Screen (Google Play). It's clean, fast and it shows trending stories based on your interests.
    We're the team that released it :)
    GP Download Link:
    Give it a try and please give us feedback.

  • Hard to believe someone thinks Google really nailed it with Lollipop's unlock screens. The fact that I lock my phone (with a pin) means that I have and receive information on my phone that I don't want to be public. Therefore, I disable notifications. Else, whoever finds my phone gets my texts, emails, etc. I'm really surprised that people use notifications, honestly.

    Once notifications are disabled, I now have TWO unlock screens to use each and every time I go to use my phone. First, i have to swipe up to get to the security screen, then I have a normal unlock screen. It is so f'ing annoying, if I ccannot find an app to override these geniuses who programmed this, I'm upgrading back to Android 4.4.4.

  • how about this one that is a customizable lock screen, named LockZine at Google Play.

  • Hate photo notifications as much as we do? Trumpit sends photos straight to your lockscreen and you can respond on your lockscreen!! Download and check it out:

  • Bob Llama 4 months ago Link to comment

    A note on C Locker Pro: it's too easy to bypass the lockscreen. All you have to do is hit the all tabs button on say your galaxy s6 and it bypasses the screen.

  • Josh.l 4 months ago Link to comment

    You might want to review the go locker i used it already for a few months but just recently they start spamming ads everytime i unlock i get an ad. For example i lock my phone a few mins later my friend sends a sms i unlock and have to close the ads again. Its a gd app but the constant recieving ads is frustrating.

  • I installed Slidelock locker after reading this. My phone gets more awesome than before. Thanks for this post! :)

  • I'm searching for a lock screen in which you can put any widget you can put on your homescreen. Because i want to change the clock in the lockscreen to the clock of 'form clock widget'. On my standard lollipop lockscreen is the clock in a thin font an white, and I want it to match with the form clock widget :) Please comment if you know a way to do this or an app to do it with.

  • It's clearly missing SlideLock and LockerPro

  • Chris Ali 5 months ago Link to comment

    As my tablet's power button is hard to reach, I lock my android using this tiny app called Go-Sleep I'm using the free version, but how can I hack it to unlock the WIDGET ?? Thx

  • Stephen 6 months ago Link to comment

    I'm after a lock screen that looks like a bank vault to open. Or a combination dial like a old safe (free) if anyone knows any.

  • Sean Dent 6 months ago Link to comment

    I went through this list painstakingly. None of them offer the things I need: 1) secure 2) convenient and 3) all of the notifications I want. Except one. The native Lollipop lockscreen. With that, I don't need to enter my password when I'm at home and it shows me all of the notifications except the ones I turn off. Only one of these even offers a smartlock feature and that's tied to a modem. But they all offer only a few notifications. Lollipop is not the prettiest lockscreen, but it's the most functional by far.

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