Whether or not you like the lockscreen in your Android device, you have to admit that it probably has limited functionality. Although the default lockscreen is usually fine for receiving notifications and maybe interacting with a few apps, you can actually replace it with a third-party one that will work completely different. Third-party lockscreen replacements can add great features and tools to your device and you will not be able to use your phone without them after a while. Today we are going to be looking at some of the best free ones in the market, detailing their best and worst features individually.
Before we proceed, two quick notes. The first one is about security, meaning that all of the following apps can lock your phone down before allowing anyone access to notifications or they at least use your phone’s own security settings. Do not be alarmed by the sheer number of things you can access from the lockscreen as security is still a primary concern. If you do not actually care about it though you can always disable security measures for even quicker but less secure access. As for the second note, it is about the actual installation. Depending on your device, you might have to go to your settings manually and disable the stock lock screen otherwise implications might occur.
Start is a very elegant lockscreen with hundreds of themes to choose from that has been optimized for both maximum performance and battery saving. The effect on your battery usage will be minimal and that is pretty amazing considering the amount of features it packs in.
There are two different ways you can launch apps using Start. The first one is by the left sidebar that provides quick access to popular apps and services like Web Search, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS readers and more. The other way is through a customizable ring that can hold tons of apps so you can configure it to include everything in your phone if you so wish.
SlideLock Locker is a bit different than Start as it mostly acts as a notification center. Everything about it is built around that and the result is a very fluid experience that you will not find elsewhere. All of your notifications will be displayed in your lock screen and your screen with wake up for a few seconds to allow you to view your alerts without touching your device.
Interacting with the notifications is also pretty great. When you want to dismiss one, you simply swipe it left and it goes away. When you swipe it on the right though, the SlideLock Locker automatically opens it with the assigned app. So if you get a text you can just swipe it right and be taken immediately into your SMS application. It really works pretty great and it is a very smart way to deal with alerts.
A very simple but elegant offering, CM locker does not offer a lot of features but I will be damned if it does not look great. This lockscreen replacement learns about your commonly used apps intelligently and then provides you with quick access to them. Notifications are also there and you can quickly preview incoming alerts on the lock screen. Real-time weather information is also present non-intrusively under the clock. You can also handle things like messages and missed calls from the notifications center. As you can see, there is a major focus on keep things simple but beautiful.
Probably one of the most fancy offerings of this post. There are tons of different themes that can constantly and quickly provide completely different looks for the interface, keeping things interesting at all times. The designs are unique and there are beautiful effects in all of them.
As far as features go, Locker Master has a sidebar on the right that can gives you quick access to your favorite apps and a “Magic Box Icon” which contains tools for managing things like your data, GPS, volume, Bluetooth, WiFi and more. It can also handle notifications from third-party apps, including social media and other popular apps. It also comes with a variety of power consumption modes so it can use minimal resources while still maintaining great functionality.