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Calling all Android tinkerers! There’s one aspect of Android customization that a lot of users tend to overlook. Once you’ve fiddled around with a custom Android ROM, new Android launchers, new icon packs, new wallpapers, and a nifty new keyboard, is there anything left to play with? Yes! The lockscreen.
Are you tired of looking at the same, boring screen every time you wake up your phone from sleep? That screen is called the lockscreen — because most users require a password or gesture to unlock access to the device — and it can be easily customized. Are you ready to breathe new life into your phone?
Formerly known as Active Lockscreen, Start has really earned itself a large and loyal following. It’s sleek, classy, and packed full of features that make it a strong choice for an “all-in-one” lockscreen; in other words, it allows you to perform many different actions directly from the lockscreen itself.
On the left, there’s a sidebar that lets you manage all of your social media feeds. RSS, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter — you name it, you can keep up with it. At the bottom, there’s a ring selector that you can use to launch apps. The ring has no limit on the number of apps it can support. The interface is intuitive and straightforward.
All of this goodness comes with minimal power requirements as the developers have spent a lot of care in making sure that Start is not a burden on your device.
SlideLock is one of the newest lockscreen replacements on the Play Store and it’s absolutely amazing if you’re seeking a clean, minimalistic solution. It’s built to be a “notification center” where you can keep up to date with notifications without having to unlock the phone.
Sound simple? It is, but don’t let that fool you. As deceptively simple as it is, you’ll find that it provides just enough functionality to be useful without overloading you with too many stimuli. The lockscreen displays all unhandled notifications. For each one, you can swift left to dismiss it OR swipe right to open whichever app handles that type of notification (e.g., Textra for text messages).
Notification effects (sound, vibration, icons, etc.) can be customized per app in the paid version, which costs $4 USD. However, the free version is certainly fine for what it does as long as you don’t mind it being ad-supported.
Locker Master is the lockscreen app for users who love their eye candy. It comes with a huge repository of awesome themes, some of which are even animated. The designs are unique from theme to theme, allowing you to painlessly switch things up whenever you grow bored of your current lockscreen layout.
Along with the beautiful effects, you’ll find a nifty sidebar that you can customize to launch various apps. The Magic Box icon provides a quick way to toggle different settings such as data, GPS, volume, Bluetooth, etc. And yes, Locker Master can handle notifications from various third-party apps, including social media.
If you’re worried about power consumption with all of the aesthetic effects, rest assured in knowing that Locker Master comes with a memory saving mode and a power saving mode. And if you want to minimize bandwidth usage, it has an option for only requesting data when using a Wi-Fi connection.
Which Is The Best?
My personal favorite of the bunch is Locker Master. It’s packed full of features, doesn’t use much memory or power (if you enable the right modes), and it’s pleasing to the eye. If you’re going for lightweight, though, and you don’t need any features other than notifications tracking, I’d recommend SlideLock.
Have you customized your Android with a lockscreen replacement app yet? If so, which one are you currently using? Will you switch to one of these instead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!