If you’re getting bored with your phone’s lock screen, maybe it’s time to try another. This is Android after all, so you’re not locked in to what came with your device—there are a ton of options to put impressive images, better notification controls, a steady stream of news updates right in front of you.
There are more lock screen replacements in the ay Store than you can count, but the following four are among the best. They combine great design helpful features that go beyond the stock offering from Android hset makers.
One word of advice: be sure you turn off system lock in your phone’s settings menu. Otherwise you may have to unlock your phone twice, as it will still show the default lock screen after you unlock your custom lockscreen.
Bing it out with cturesque ck Screen
OK, you’re probably not dying for one-touch access to Bing on your lockscreen, but there are many other cool features that make the cturesque ck Screen a good choice. It’s the latest project from Microsoft’s Garage team, which dabbles with Android apps various other projects games.
It puts Bing’s best feature on your lock screen, the gorgeous homepage that displays a different nature or architecture photo every day. If you don’t like the day’s selection, just shake your phone for a new one. Swipe to the right to save the image to your phone or make it your wallpaper.
ong with the good-looking images there is quick access to your favorite apps a steady diet of new information. You can pin select apps to the screen launch them directly by touching their icon.
There are also two other screens: one features news sports updates (courtesy of Bing, of course) the other gives quick access to Bluetooth, Fi, other settings.
cturesque is the second Android lock screen to roll out of the Microsoft Garage, which also released Next ck Screen. ile Next has a few more customization options, cturesque is a better all-around experience.
Get that iOS look with CM cker
If you’ve ever been envious of the svelte clean look of the iOS lockscreen, then here’s your chance to get it on your Android phone.
CM cker brings that super-thin font translucence, complete with a slide-up quick settings menu—something we think Android should steal from iOS. You can quickly launch the calculator, turn on airplane mode, or turn off Fi.
In fact, launching the camera performs just like the ione: you swipe up on the camera icon to take a quick photo.
CM cker’s most elegant feature is how it performs music playback. en you’re playing a song from any of your music apps you’ll see a record player with the the album art in the middle of the mock record.
CM cker also has several calming, zen-like wallpaper choices. You can also add one of your own photos to the lock screen if that’s your preference.
Stay in the know with cket
cket is for news hounds who like to scroll through the latest headlines. You get to select what kinds of stories you want to read about, pulling from genres such as news, business, health, sports, or pop culture.
en you hit the power button, you’ll get a headline large image for each story. Swipe through them until you find one you want to read.
A teal circle in the lower middle of the screen is the hub for interaction with cket. Once you touch hold it, you can swipe left to read the article or right to unlock the phone. A few other buttons let you dive directly into the camera, favorite the story for later reading, or share it through social networks.
cket isn’t a good choice for those who want a bunch of customization options to enable quick app launching or interaction with notifications. But it’s great for those moments when you want to browse through some new content instead of getting lost in another Android game.
Echo Notification is for the minimalist in you
Maybe you still want all those pings updates but flavored with a few drops of Zen calm. Echo Notification ckscreen is a perfect choice, as it has a ton of options for categorizing your notifications snoozing alerts, all the while offering some impressive wallpaper choices.
If there are certain alerts you want to get right away you can tell Echo to awaken the screen when they arrive. Or perhaps you want to hide all text messages since you’re going into a meeting don’t want your coworkers to see the details of any messages you get.
Apps that send you push notifications are categorized, so you can turn them on or off en masse. It would be great to have more customization here to better suit your preferences. so, just like with emails apps Inbox or Mailbox, you can snooze notifications for later.
The only downside is Echo will bug you from time to time with ads. If you like it, go for the $5 in-app upgrade to eliminate them. Android piracy is still a problem, paying developers for their work is one small thing you can do to help fix that.