Android Candy: My World, in a Lock Screen

It feels weird to mention a Microsoft product in Linux Journal. But to be honest, there are some cool things coming out of the Microsoft Garage One of those things is "Next Lock Screen", which is an Android app that brings interactive tools to the lock screen.

This concept isn't revolutionary, but with Next Lock Screen, it's done very well. It's possible to launch apps, interact with messages and get customized notifications all without unlocking your phone. Do you prefer to have your calendar events on your lock screen? Done. Want to control your music? Done. Again, nothing here is really new, it's just integrated and customizable in a way that takes a bunch of good ideas and repackages them into a slick lock screen. You also can get the Bing wallpaper on your lock screen, which is pretty cool, because honestly, the Bing photo of the day is almost always incredible.

If you're not afraid to try an app developed by Microsoft, I urge you to check out Next Lock Screen. It makes a locked phone far more useful! (I should add that enabling interaction on your lock screen does make it far less secure, so be careful as to which features you enable.) Check it out at the Google Play Store.

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Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.