[DLF], or Droid Life’s Favorites, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite lock screen replacement apps.
Your lock screen is one of the most personal and important parts of your phone. It’s the gateway to your device, often adorned with an image of loved ones or fan art for the new Star Wars movie. But sometimes, the lock screens that come on our phones are annoying to use, limited in features, or just get boring after a while. I tried a ton of different lock screen replacements from Google Play, looking to shake things up, and these three are my favorites.
Snaplock by Wandou Labs, at this moment, is my favorite lock screen replacement. The default lock screen shows the time, date, battery life, and a camera shortcut. Swiping up from anywhere will unlock your phone. A swipe from left to right reveals the weather for the day, your upcoming calendar events, and shortcuts to your favorite apps. Snaplock also supports using a pin or a pattern as authentication methods.
From the settings you can select to have a different wallpaper every day or use your own, toggle between showing the status bar or not, showing the battery percentage or not, and more. The app shortcuts can be customized to your liking or you can let Snaplock adjust the shortcuts based on your usage. You can also toggle between having the display light up with each new notification.
The main reason I enjoy Snaplock is because of the great attention to detail. Snaplock is full of little touches such as showing your wallpaper everywhere in the app, but with a black and white filter. When you play music, controls show up on the lock screen and circular album art spins next to the controls like a record player. Those little details add up to a fantastic experience.
Snaplock is free to download on Google Play.
AcDisplay by Artem Chepurnoy has been featured by Droid Life plenty of times and it is still one of our favorite lock screen replacements. AcDisplay mimics Motorola’s Moto Display (née Active Display), but with its own twist. When you have notifications, you can press and hold on it, and the details will appear, including actions like Archive for emails. If you want to dismiss a notification, simply swipe down on it. If you want to open it, swipe up. Just make sure you don’t ignore your phone for a while or you might see this. Please note, AcDisplay does not support any form of authentication, so if you want to secure your device, don’t use this lock screen replacement.
AcDisplay has an active mode, which when enabled, will try to detect when you are pulling the device out of your pocket. This works consistently for me on the Galaxy S6, but I can’t guarantee it will work consistently on every device (my experience was hit and miss on the Sony Xperia Z3v, for example). You can also decide if you want the app in full screen mode, whether or not you want it to have a wallpaper or keep the screen black like Moto Display, toggle unlock animations, and toggle emoticons. Most importantly, you can go through each app on your phone and decide if you don’t want to see notifications from the app at all, silence notifications so that they don’t wake AcDisplay but will show up when you look at your lock screen, or show on-going notifications like services.
AcDisplay is free to download on Google Play.
ZUI Locker is the most customizable of our favorite lock screen replacements. ZUI comes with thirteen different layouts for your lockscreen. Some of these layouts include weather information, which requires having Amber Weather installed. Most of the unlock animations feature a blurring animation, though some include sliding animations for the time and other lock screen details. ZUI Locker supports using a pin or a pattern as authentication methods.
ZUI requires a little more set up than the others for notifications. By default it will select certain apps, but you can (and should) go into settings to customize this so that you see the notifications you want to see. ZUI defaults to lighting up when you receive a new notification. Swiping the notification to the left dismisses it, but to the right opens it. Swiping from the bottom of your lock screen reveals shortcuts to your favorite apps, settings for the lock screen such as wallpaper, as well as toggles for WiFi, sound, flashlight, brightness, etc. Tapping and holding on the lock screen reveals shortcuts to your dialer, flashlight, wallpaper, and settings.
ZUI Locker is free to download on Google Play.
These are our favorite lock screen replacements. Of course, if you have a phone like the Galaxy S6 or the HTC One M9+ then you should use the built in lock screen with fingerprint reader support for the best security.
What lock screen do you use and how do you feel about it?