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Android Lockscreen Widgets IntroOne of the perks of having an Android device is that you can natively add widgets to your home screen 6 Handy Android Widgets for Your Homescreen 6 Handy Android Widgets for Your Homescreen The Android homescreen is a central hub for your most used apps and folders. It is also a great location for placing widgets that provide a quick overview of what is going on in the... Read More . Some widgets are highly specific and only useful situationally, but then there are those amazing widgets that everyone should consider using 8 Unmissable Widgets For All Android Versions (Even If Your Phone Is Old) 8 Unmissable Widgets For All Android Versions (Even If Your Phone Is Old) Android 4.0 has been out for some time now yet, according to usage studies, a large number of devices still run version 2.x. This can make buying widget apps frustrating. The latest and greatest may... Read More . But did you know that widgets can be used on your lock screen, too?

Lock screen widgets were introduced in Android Jelly Bean 4.2 as a way to interact with your device without having to unlock it. If you guard your phone with a lock screen, it can be annoying to unlock every time you want to check the weather or toggle your wireless.

Disabling the lock screen isn’t always an option. Fortunately, these lock screen widgets will solve that problem once and for all.

DashClock

android-lockscreen-dashclock

As its name suggest, DashClock is a dashboard clock that’s meant to be a replacement for the default Android lock screen clock. When considered on that merit alone, DashClock is already a fantastic widget. The clock is likely prettier than whatever came default on your device, and since the lock screen is probably the most-viewed screen in all of Android, it really makes a difference.

But DashClock’s main selling point is its extensibility. Using what are called “extensions,” you can add more details to your DashClock widget. By default, DashClock contains extensions for upcoming calendar appointments, upcoming alarms, missed calls, unread text messages, and unread Gmail messages. Other apps can provide their own extensions if they want – the Shuttle Player Shuttle Player: The Robust and Feature-Complete Music Experience [Android] Shuttle Player: The Robust and Feature-Complete Music Experience [Android] Finding that one perfect music player can be tough. Finding one that's free? Nearly impossible. Rocket Player has been my near-perfect choice for the past few months, but I recently found a successor: Shuttle Player.... Read More extension is great – which just makes DashClock plain awesome.

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Simple Dialer Widget

android-lockscreen-simpledialer

For those of you who mainly use your phone for its intended purpose – actually calling your contacts – the Simple Dialer Widget will be a godsend. Basically, this widget adds the phone keypad and contacts list to your lock screen so that you don’t have to go through the motions of unlocking your device before making a call. It literally puts a dialer on your lock screen.

The dialer comes with three tabs: the keypad, the call log, and the contacts list. Everything you need is available right on the widget. Your Android phone can finally compete with the old-school brick phones and flip phones when it comes to quickly making a phone call.

One thing to keep in mind is that this will allow anyone to pick up your phone and make quick calls, too. Not exactly world-shattering, but still a consideration you’ll want to make.

Simple RSS Widget

android-lockscreen-simplerss

With Google Reader’s recent demise, we’ve gone over all of the great Google Reader alternatives Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader is dead. By July the Internet's premier RSS service is shutting down forever, leaving users to find a replacement on their own. If you're looking for an equivalent to Google these are just... Read More that you can choose to fill the leftover void. But what if you want instant, convenient RSS updates right on your phone without having to look further than the lock screen? That’s where the Simple RSS Widget comes in handy.

The Simple RSS Widget displays a real-time list of all the RSS feeds being tracked in the widget’s options. If you have tons of feeds to track, fear not – the widget allows you to easily import subscriptions. The widget is scrollable, resizable, customizable in terms of display, and can handle multiple feeds.

1Weather

android-lockscreen-1weather

I’ve reviewed my fair share of Android weather apps Predict The Future (Of Weather) With These 7 Awesome Weather Apps [Android] Predict The Future (Of Weather) With These 7 Awesome Weather Apps [Android] Correctly predicting the weather is about as easy as eating a handful of screws, yet we keep attempting it day after day. Sometimes we get it right; most times we don’t. However, weather information is... Read More , but here’s one that has recently been making splashes: 1Weather. It has a sleek modern design that I absolutely love and it comes with a lock screen widget that puts current weather data right at the tip of your fingers. It’s new, it’s frequently updated, and it’s beautiful – what’s not to love?

Just to be clear, this is not only a widget but a full-blown app. It has real-time weather updates, notifications, hourly forecasts, home screen widgets, and it can even integrate with DashClock. Be aware that depending on your location the accuracy and precision of weather data may or may not live up to the standards held by other weather apps.

Extended Controls

android-lockscreen-extendedcontrols

Extended Controls is the only lock screen widget on this list that costs money, but at $0.99 USD it’s extremely cheap and worth every penny. This is one of the best settings apps in all of Google Play. The setup is easy and with one tap you can toggle dozens of different settings. Without doubt, every power user needs to install Extended Controls right away.

As if the long list of settings wasn’t enough, the Extended Controls aesthetics can be customized: custom backgrounds, widget transparency, various icons, various widget sizes, personalized colors and labels, and more.

Conclusion

To be honest, I learned about lock screen widgets not long before writing this article, but I can safely say that they’ve revolutionized my Android experience. The convenience factor of my phone has doubled and I could not be happier. The widgets listed above are immensely useful and everyone would do well to give them a try.

How do you like lock screen widgets? Which ones do you use? Which ones would you recommend? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!

  1. Chris Ali
    June 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    As my tablet's power button is hard to reach, I lock my android using this tiny app called Go-Sleep [https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gmailraidenbits.gosleep_iab ]. I'm using the free version, but how can I hack it to unlock the WIDGET ?? Thx

  2. Aaron C
    November 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Hey Joel,

    I have kind of an on/off topic question.

    I've recently had the idea and need for the ability to toggle my screen lock on my Android quickly. For example, if I know I'm going to be with people, or in a public place, have the screen lock on, but if I know I'm going to be myself all day, quickly toggle it off. I'm envisioning this function in the form of a widget, which I'd be able to readily access on the home screen.

    I didn't see any mention of this ability in any of the highlighted apps in this article, but I was curious if that was something you were knowledgeable about.

  3. olowia
    October 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    How did you get your lock screen layout like that?i have a sony xperia z and i cant get the little lock button that you have at the bottom of the screen

    • Joel L
      October 24, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      I was using a custom ROM at the time of taking those screenshots. I can't remember the exact name of it, but it was some variation on Jelly Bean.

  4. Milinda L
    July 22, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Very Attractive widgets !

  5. danny6114
    July 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Is there a lock screen clock that shows the seconds?

  6. Nguyen H
    July 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I haven't tried one of those, but I've been using CyanogenMod's cLock widget for as long as I got CM10.1 on my phone and it's really great!

  7. Fik of borg
    July 16, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Aren't we losing sight of the original purpose of the lock screen? The lock screen purpose is to lock the phone, to turn it mostly unresponsive until the user performs certain actions (gestures, sequence of numbers) unlikely to occur randomly, to avoid activating the phone unintentionally.
    Adding functions to the supposedly locked screen not only makes them more readily accessible to the user but readily accessible to accidental activation (stopping music, message sending or accidental dialing). It's turning the lock screen into a home screen.
    I prefer to have the clock and nothing else. I can see the weather by looking out of the window, I know what song is playing and I don't need to be reminded of the next appointment until the phone announces it at the time I set.

    • Joel Lee
      July 17, 2013 at 3:41 am

      You have a point. Then again, those who want a "true" lock screen aren't being forced to install any sort of lock screen widget. One of the core philosophies of Android is customization and personalization, so if someone wants a more functional lock screen, I think it's valid.

    • Fik of borg
      July 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Thanks for your comment. Of course, you also have a point.
      I like my lock screen locked, but I also like that I can have other functionalities in my lock screen if I want

  8. Dimal C
    July 16, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Dash clock is awesome!

  9. ohad tsivoni
    July 16, 2013 at 4:41 am

    WidgetLocker is the best, let you use all of your regular homescreen widgets in the lockscreen. And its free if you download the apk from XDA and install manually.
    I cant install DashClock (it's seems very nice !) cause i have S3 with android 4.1.2
    :(

    • Joel Lee
      July 17, 2013 at 3:39 am

      WidgetLocker looks interesting. Thanks for the heads up!

  10. Howard B
    July 16, 2013 at 2:42 am

    What can us poor Gingerbread users do in the way of lock widgets?

    • Joel Lee
      July 17, 2013 at 3:39 am

      Unfortunately I don't have Gingerbread so I can't answer with full certainty. You could try asking the folks over at MUO Answers!

  11. Axel C
    July 16, 2013 at 1:39 am

    I use dash clock.
    It's easy and you can create different notifications for different programs on your luck screen.

    The extended controls look nice. Something to investigate a little further.

    Thanks for the tips.

    • Joel Lee
      July 17, 2013 at 3:39 am

      You're welcome. Hope you find them useful. :)

  12. Kendall S
    July 16, 2013 at 12:39 am

    will make use of them thanks

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