The beauty of widgets is they are able to bring information out front, without having to dive into an application, but that’s easy enough to do as well. Lock screen widgets extend that state of awesomeness, bringing them to the lock screen. Now you can see weather, missed calls, text messages email, calendar, tweets, Google Now and so much more without unlocking your phone. Here’s how to set up lock screen widgets on Android.
What you’ll need
A phone or tablet running Android Jelly Bean 4.2 or greater.
When you first press the power button, you’ll see the familiar lock screen. If you look to the left and right of the display, you’ll see the outlines of boxes that quickly disappear in a second or two. You’ll want to press the power button, grab a box and then slide in the opposite direction. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll see a large ‘+’ sign.
Press the ‘+’ sign and you’ll see a list of the available lock screen widgets. Your existing set of widgets won’t work on the lock screen. The developer will need to create specific widgets for this purpose. All in all, you’ll find a good collection available and more are being added to the Google Play Store.
You can add multiple widgets, by adding them to new screens and these are all accessible without unlocking your phone or tablet. Drag down from the lock screen widget when you first power on your phone and you’ll see the lock disappear at the bottom. From there, you can swipe through your screens revealing the various widgets you’ve set up.
Once you find a widget of interest, you can tap on the information to open up the app, effectively unlocking your device. Lock screen widgets by themselves are tremendously helpful at providing you with information at a glance. The usefulness of these widgets gets magnified with the ability to jump right into the app, be it an email, the weather or a text message.
If there is one widget worth picking up in the Google Play Store it is DashClock. It’s the swiss army knife of lock screen widgets. It accomplishes this by adding extensions, which are available from within the app and also from the Google Play Store. Did I mention that the majority ofthese are all free, as is DashClock? There is increasing support for popular third party apps like Falcon Pro, Plume and so many more. The best part about DashClock is that it can present all of these extensions in one single page and it does so beautifully.
Once you are viewing your widgets, press and hold the screen to reveal them in a card view. From there you can re-order them to your liking.
Information flows through widgets and they offer people an infinite amount of ways to customize your Android phone or tablet. With Android Jelly Bean 4.2 or greater, their usefulness with lock screen widgets offering you incredibly quick and easy access to information that matters most to you. Once you set up your lock screen widgets on your Android phone or tablet, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
Have a favorite lock screen widget? Share it in the comments or in our Android forums.