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 finger print 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 aren’t as popular as they once were. As a result, we generally recommend sticking to the regular lock screen or using your device’s always-on display (if available). In most cases, you’re hitting a fingerprint reader to bypass it entirely anyway. Plus, third party lock screen apps aren’t more secure than regular ones anyway.
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 the 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 display, 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.
Most of Cheetah Mobile’s apps are trash. This one isn’t so bad. It’s a lock screen app and applock hybrid. It features the usual array of security precautions along with the ability to lock apps as needed. That way even if hackers get through the lock screen, they still can’t easily get into your apps. The app also features HD wallpapers, notification support, a news feed, and intruder selfies. There are some advertisements. They may or may not bother you depending on your tolerance for such things. It is otherwise free with no in-app purchases. It also serves as one of the few Cheetah Mobile apps that wasn’t taken down by Google during its ad fraud investigations.
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.
Price: Free / $1.99
Hi Locker is a fairly typical lock screen replacement app. It’ll show you the basics such as weather, notifications, calendar events, etc. You can also have it greet you with funny quips and greetings. It even has fingerprint support on devices with fingerprint readers. You can also have it auto-set wallpapers from Flickr. There are some customization options as well. For instance, you can have it hide notifications from certain apps so people can’t see it. It’s not even close to the most complicated lock screen apps, but it’s a great replacement for those who don’t need a ton of features.
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.
Price: Free / Up to $1.49
LokLok is different from most lock screen apps. It’s almost kind of a mash-up of a lock screen and Snapchat. Turning on the device will open your camera. You can take a picture, draw on that picture, and then send it to your friends or loved ones. They’ll see the image when they unlock their phone next and can respond accordingly. It’s not great for sending risque pictures, but it’s excellent for reminding someone to grab milk on their way home from work. The app is free to use. There are in-app purchases for things like sticker packs.
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.
Start Lock Screen
Start Lock Screen is kind of like Microsoft’s Next Lock Screen. Its goal is to put a lot of stuff on your lock screen. The ultimate goal is to operate most of the time without having to unlock your phone. It comes with stuff like web searches, various password locks, widgets, tools, news, weather, app shortcuts, and more. It even has little quizzes you can take to pass the time. You won’t get tons of security for this one. The app is free with no in-app purchases. It does contain ads.
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 righ by the lock screen 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!