The Android lock screen provides multiple methods of securing your phone from prying eyes. Apart from the plain slide-to-unlock mechanism that comes with most vanilla Android ROMs, there’s an option to enter a numeric PIN, an alphanumeric passkey and an even more exotic pattern unlock; wherein one can select a custom pattern on a 3×3 grid to secure the device.
However, the problem with all these methods is that it generally takes a few taps/clicks to get the job done. Also, on the aesthetic front, all of these leave a lot to be desired. With that in mind, we scoured the Android Market for free solutions that will help you change your Android lock screen. We came up with two pretty decent Android lock apps — one for reducing the number of taps it takes for you to access the lock screen and one that changes the lock screen altogether, and makes it more functional and visually appealing.
Android Lock App #1. Simply Lockscreen
The premise behind Simply Lockscreen is simple. Take the standard Android lock screen and convert it into something that is more useful for the user. As an example of the kind of customization it offers, you are allowed to add a clock, a volume slider, the current date, alarm notifications, weather, notifications (calls/texts/emails), and media player (among other options) to the default Android lock screen. Moreover, this Android lock app replaces the stock Android lock screen with its own avatar that is more pleasing to the eyes. The icing on the cake is that this Android lock app can be fully themed as per the users requirements, and there are a few themes for it available in the Android Market.
Opening the app after installation gives you options to add various components to the Android lock screen. This is where you change your Android lock screen to your heart’s content and let the app do its magic. There’s really nothing else to the operation of this app.
Android Lock App #2. Hidden Lock Lite
This little beauty on the other hand, makes it quicker for you to unlock your Android without compromising on your security. What it does is define a (fully configurable) zone on your Android lock screen, which needs to be double-tapped in order to gain access to the system. So this Android lock app removes the need remember complex patterns, PINs, and pass-phrases. Install Hidden Lock Lite and double-tap your way into your Android.
The only gripe with free version is that it needs to be manually started. For auto-start functionality, you need to purchase the Pro version for $0.99 from the Android Market.
On the customization front, the free version allows you to change the size and transparency of the tap zone on the lock screen. It also lets you drag the tap zone anywhere you want. The paid version makes unlocking even quicker by providing an option to make the unlocking one-click instead of two.
Each of these Android lock apps provides an interesting take on Android lock screens. They do what they advertise very well and in my humble opinion, should be part of any Android user’s app arsenal. Take them out for a spin and let us know about your experience in the comments.
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