How to set up actionable, iOS-like lockscreen notifcations on Android

How to set up actionable, iOS-like lockscreen notifcations on Android
Throughout the years, Android has been missing a particular sliver of functionality that we love: iOS-like lockscreen notifications. By default, Android does not support this kind of functionality, and only a few apps (like Viber) will actually wake up your device's screen in order to draw your attention to a new notification. Even then, however, these aren't usually actionable.

Well, if you, like us, like this kind of functionality, then you'll be happy to know that there's an absolutely pain-free way to getting it with two simple apps that go hand-in-hand: NiLS Notifications Lock Screen and NiLS Floating Panel. What NiLS does, in essence, is exchange your default lockscreen for a custom one that looks exactly like its stock Android counterpart with one exception: it's able to hold notifications, and allows easy access to a number of very sensible quick actions. So, for example, you receive a mail -- NiLS will show it on your lockscreen, and a swipe from the leftmost side of the screen will reveal quick actions such as reply or archive. In that same vein, a Google Now notification that brings you a calculated time to home period is, again, actionable -- you can open maps or enter navigation right from your lockscreen. Lastly, you can dismiss an individual or all notifications with either a swipe to the right or swipe from top, respectively.

Check it out!



26. ashouhdy

Posts: 58; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

why not just swipe down the notification bar to view all notifications !!!

25. Karriope

Posts: 148; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

I... just use DashClock.

24. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

One of the reasons for a lock screen is to keep people out of my stuff - only child syndrome. Seems asinine to me to have any information of any kind, no matter how innocuous, available at my first line of defense. Just not my preference, but that's the power of customization.

21. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I don't use it, but I can have notifications on my lock screen on my Note 3. Author should check his facts.

19. NOSrawesome

Posts: 49; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

I've got a Moto X so no need for this

13. Castro90

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Is this not quite like what LiquidSmooth and Carbon-ROM have implemented into their ROMS? Right? RIGHT!?

15. tedkord

Posts: 17536; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Right. I've got it native.

9. MobileNico

Posts: 96; Member since: Aug 26, 2012

This is a cool idea, but doesn't DashClock offer a similar feature, albeit implemented a bit differently? I assume many would prefer that to one that looks very much like iOS 7's actionable notifications. The Moto X's Active Notifications feature also does this sans lockscreen.

5. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

No, thanks. I'm happy with the normal lockscreen on my phone.

3. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

Samsung's UI supports this by default anyway. (you know, the brand that somewhat 40+% of android devices is anyway?) :P

7. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

But in that 40%+ there are many galaxies stuck in jelly bean and ics, which have a rather ugly clock on lockscreen. The one with s5 is beautiful though.

8. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

true enough, a poor update rate is standard across all of android though, even Nexus devices(Nexus's may get updates fast but still get abandoned after about 24 months). my Galaxy S III did get updated to 4.3, i'm expecting if it get 4.4 then that will be the last official update it gets, it's also very late considering how long ago 4.4 was released.

18. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Yea but no other phone gets updates after 2 years anyway. MS only releases major updates after 2 years so we can't tell yet and iOS just updates the version number and cripples your phone without any useful new features anyway. So really the android update system is your best bet at the moment anyway. Worst case you still have the developer community to get you updates anyway.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Agreed, same here. I am also awaiting the 4.4 update but it seems like they are taking their time on it. Which is fine, because how many times does an update get released and then halted because of a major bug or problem with it?

2. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Oh please, custom lockscreens are quite buggy and insecure and they often slow the device.

10. gomulkaaa

Posts: 42; Member since: Sep 02, 2011

I've actually been using NiLS for a few months now and it works flawlessly. Obviously, if you don't want someone to see your notifications when they simply turn on the phone, this whole idea isn't for you.

12. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

I've used both golocker and widgetlocker, both were buggy enough for me to give up on lockscreen customisation. Widgetlocker is plain horrible for a paid app. I will give this one a try.


Posts: 46; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

This is not a custom lockscreen. It's a lockscreen widget.

17. adwienc

Posts: 136; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

Deleting suitable lines in build.prop can solve the problem.

1. FriendsOfSamsung unregistered

Why should I make my home screen look like a sub-par-ish os?

4. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Did you even read the article and those screenshots

6. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Nah, he didn't. He's here to bash and be a trash.

20. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Pot calling the kettle black?


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

lol I can't believe it but I am agreeing with Mxyzptlk.

11. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Ya of the great things about being able to customize so you dont have to switch platforms, phones, OS's to enjoy, use some of the things that are in other OS's.

14. istitch

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

i think even samsung is ashamed to admit you as his fan or friend

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless