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10 best Android lock screen apps and lock screen replacement apps
The Android lock screen has evolved many times over the years. There have been various slide-to-unlock methods and OEMs have always put their own spin on things. As it turns out, there are also a lot of lock screen apps in the Play Store that can do even more. These days, we usually recommend people just use a fingerprint scanner to bypass the lock screen altogether. It’s okay if you don’t want to do that, though. Here are the best lock screen apps for Android.
It’s important to note that lock screen apps are a bit of a dying breed. Most biometric unlock methods bypass the lock screen entirely and a lot of people don’t even look at it anymore aside from maybe checking a notification or the time. Plus, nearly all Android phones come with always-on displays by default, a feature that used to require an app. We don’t see a lot of new development in this space and most of what’s available doesn’t have the same security as the stock lock screen. Therefore, we comprised this list of what few good lock screen apps remain in active development along with a few old favorites that may not see active development again.
The best Android lock screen apps
Price: Free / Up to $80
AcDisplay is one of the most popular lock screen apps. It emulates the always-on lock screens of devices like the Moto X, Galaxy S8, and others. Users can play with notifications without unlocking their display. It also features some customizations. For instance, you can set it to work only during certain hours to save battery life. More and more devices are coming stock with something similar. Thus, we’d only recommend AcDisplay to those with older devices that don’t already have this feature. Its last update was in 2015. We’re not sure if the developer is doing much with it anymore. At the very least, it’s free to download and play with.
Always on AMOLED
Price: Free / $1.99 / Other options
Always on AMOLED isn’t a lock screen, but it does emulate one. It basically mimicks the Always On Display feature of many smartphones. The app shows things like time, notifications, and other such things. It also includes features like clock movement to avoid burn-in. The app can even initialize doze mode while running. We only recommend this on devices with OLED displays, including Samsung’s AMOLED. It loses a lot of its luster on LCD screens. We also only recommend this on older devices that don’t have always-on-display as a native feature. The native versions almost always work better than third-party apps.
DIY Locker is a simple lock screen with some simple ideas. It lets you put things like a passcode or a pattern code on your lock screen. However, it adds the ability to customize those things with photos of people you like. It also comes with widget support for notifications, a music player, and an app quick start. It’s a bit of a crapshoot as to whether or not it’ll work for many users, but lock screen apps isn’t the robust industry it still was. It’ll work for some folks, though.
DIY Lock Screen
DIY Lock Screen is a developer on Google Play with a bunch of super simple, themed lock screen apps. Each one works about the same way. It puts a colorful lock screen up after you lock the phone. They don’t provide much security but you can add things like a 4-digit passcode for a little bit of security. The big draw here are the various themes you can go with. Honestly, you can probably find wallpapers that work just as well for this, but some of the themes actually look pretty good. This isn’t our first choice, but it’s one of only a few fun ones left.
Floatify is a popular, somewhat modern option for a lock screen replacement app. It actually looks like a stock lock screen. It’s a simple background with the time on the front. You can add things like weather, notifications, and other data. You can also customize the shortcuts on the bottom of the lock screen. It also has other modern features like turning the display on when you pick up your phone, themes, and a chat heads feature similar to Facebook Messenger. It’s actually surprisingly good for a lock screen replacement. It hasn’t seen an update since late 2017, though, so we’re not sure this one is in active development anymore.
KLCK Kustom Lock Screen Maker
Price: Free / $4.49
KLCK is by the save developers of the popular KWGT Kustom Widgets and KLWP Live Wallpaper apps. Basically, this app lets you concoct your own custom lock screen. It uses a simple editor with a bunch of features. You can add notifications, various shapes, your own graphics and backgrounds, and more. It also lets you add stuff like Google Fit data, weather, live maps, music player functions, and even an RSS feed. This thing even comes with Tasker support. It’s still in early beta. Thus, you can expect bugs. However, in 2018, if you want a custom lock screen, this is the one we would recommend.
Lockscreen Widgets is one of the newer lock screen replacement apps. It actually just brings back an old Android feature where you can put widgets on your lock screen. The app lets you put one widget per page and you can have multiple pages. This is excellent for people who want some extra info on the lock screen and those who miss the feature from Android 5.0 Lollipop. The app is in early release beta as of the time of this writing, but it worked pretty well in our testing. It runs for $1.49 with no in-app purchases or ads.
Price: Free / Up to $5.00
Solo Locker is one of the better DIY lock screen apps. You get access to a bunch of customization features and lock screen elements. You can then construct your lock screen how you want. It comes with various lock methods, wallpapers, and even widgets. You can use these to make your lock screen. You won’t find a ridiculous amount of depth here, but there are enough options to make it fun. The base app is free and you buy additional stuff with in-app purchases.
Pre-made KLCK themes
Price: Free / Varies
We talked about KLCK earlier in the post, and it’s great for making your own lock screen. However, there are a a ton of KLCK themes in the Play Store that do most of the work for you. Some examples include Liquify (linked at the button below), Evonix, S9, and many others. Some are themes that look like other devices and some just look nice in general. Additionally, some such as S9 actually work for KLCK, KLWG, and KLWP as a bundled set for some serious customization. They aren’t standalone lock screen apps, but they all work with KLCK and take away a lot of the guess work. You can also search for more KLCK themes in the Play Store.
Use your lock screen
Here’s the thing, folks. Google locked down a lot of your lock screen’s functionality over the years with newer versions of Android. Third-party replacements don’t have the power they once did and you no longer have neat things like lock screen widgets (and, by extension, DashClock Widget, and similar apps). The stock lock screen can show you notifications, keep out intruders, and always be on if you need it to.
Unfortunately, with the lock screen minimized as much as it has been, that’s about all you can do even with third-party replacements these days. We recommend sticking with the stock lock screen if you can because third-party options are quickly dropping out of fashion. In addition, with biometric solutions becoming more popular, many people pass right by the lock screen anyway with fingerprints. Personally, we think it’s better that way anyway.
If we missed any of the best lock screen apps and lock screen replacement apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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