Best lock screen widget apps for Android
Envious about those fancy lock screen widgets that come with the latest Android 4.2 edition, and are only gracing Nexus devices for now? Don't be, as the Play Store has some apps to offer that host similar functionality as the lock screen goodness in 4.2.
Lock screen apps that support widgets are only a handful right now, but there are many others that enhance the functionality of the first screen you encounter upon pressing that lock/power key of your Android phone.
With most of them you can call or text frequented contacts, launch apps or adjust settings directly from the lock screen. Some offer plugins that display different information like your Facebook or RSS feed there, and some shine with an abundance of themes to choose from so your lock screen never gets boring. Check out a few of the best in the slideshow below.
The strength of the free Quick Launch app for your lock screen is that you can add ANY widget from your collection currently on the phone to the lock screen. Music widgets, expense managers, task lists - everything can be pinned to the lock screen and accessed from there immediately after pressing the unlock key. Naturally, it has the slide-to-mute and slide-to-app features as well. The downside - it is often buggy if you have custom launchers. the developers promise a big update in a few weeks that will add live wallpapers and a new notification center, too.
Based on some code from the popular ADW.Launcher, WidgetLocker is pretty close to the Android 4.2 lock screen widgets functionality. You can drag and drop widgets and shortcuts to be displayed there, dress the lock screen in themes like Sense UI, and program the slider actions like slide-to-camera or to call someone specific.
Graced with a variety of interesting lock screen themes, Active Lock Screen gives you the usual shortcuts to apps of your choosing, but also a few preset plugins you can turn on, like the Facebook one, which displays your status feed on the lock screen, a YouTube plugin with a number of preset channels, and an experimental RSS feed plugin.
From the creators of the popular Go Launcher, the Go Locker's strength is the staggering amount of themes to customize the looks and feel of your home screen - from Windows 8 Modern UI interface, to Sense UI lock and anything in-between.
Speed Launcher Lite Lockscreen is executed in a rotary dial style, and gives you quick access to calling or texting frequented contacts directly from the lock screen. If you want to launch apps or have connectivity toggles there as well, you'd have to splurge $4 for the Pro version, whose looks and functionality makes Speed Launcher one of the best lock screen apps out there.
MagicLocker rivals Go in terms of themes available for this lock screen customization app, and offers the usual slide-to-app feature, as well as an abundance of fonts, wallpapers, clock and music controls options.
LockMenu lets you configure up to nine sliders to launch any app you want from the lock screen, simple as that. There is a $1.99 version, which removes the ads, if you are the type that can't stand those.
Lucent Lock Screen is a great minimalistic way to customize your lock screen with slide-to-app and widget updates. When it works, that is, as the developer hasn't updated it for a while and it is often buggy in the current form.