Some smartphone users are perfectly content to just use their handsets as they arrived, with the phone's interface configured to all its default settings. Others will take the time to personalize a little by changing the wallpaper, and maybe tweaking something like font size to their liking. And then there are users who will settle for nothing less than a fully customized user experience. For Samsung fans counting themselves among that latter camp, we used to have the Good Lock app, presenting multiple avenues for adjusting the Galaxy S7's interface. Now it's time for a new generation of Good Lock to pick up the slack, as a revamped 2018 edition of the app lands for Oreo-running Samsung phones.
As was the case before, probably the most misleading thing about this release is the name: While Good Lock 2018 will very much help you put a new spin on your phone's lock screen, its reach spreads much further than that.
We first caught wind of the new Good Lock arriving in South Korea late last week, and over the past few days users have been trying various ways to get that software running on Samsung phones in other markets. Thankfully we didn't have to wait long for a formal release in the US, and phones like the Galaxy S8, Note8, and Galaxy S9 can now all access Good Lock 2018 through Galaxy Apps. If you're still not seeing it, make sure you've updated your device to Android Oreo.
The main Good Lock app itself is little more than a jumping off point, directing you to eight companion apps. That you have to click through and download each of these individually from Galaxy Apps is a little annoying, but once you finish that chore, the full functionality of Good Lock will be established and ready to use.
The first of those companion apps is LockStar, ready to deliver Good Lock's titular lock-screen customization. You can choose from a number of pre-loaded backgrounds or set your own, then select your choice of layout for the lock screen's UI. That can be further adjusted by changing the clock display or toggling on and off individual UI elements. You can even change which direction to swipe for unlocking.
QuickStar gives you control over the quick settings panel, with options to adjust colors, transparency, and background blur/dimming. You can also hide icons of your choice from appearing on the status bar (helping to keep things looking tidy), or display the option to go multi-window with an app right from one of its notifications.
Task Changer offers the ability to change the visual appearance of Samsung's app switcher, mixing up how recently used apps are displayed, while also providing an option for a “mini” mode that shrinks all those windows down to the bottom half of the screen — though considering even the big ones stretch down that far, we don't know what it's really doing to ease one-handed operation.
Routines is Samsung's take on IFTTT, giving users the tools they need to set up various automated processes on their phones. These can be very basic, like enabling the always-on display while a handset is plugged in and charging. Or maybe you work in a secure envronment, and can have Routines use your phone's GPS to detect when you arrive at the office and automatically put your phone in airplane mode.
Edge Lighting + takes advantage of your phone's expansive screen to deliver notifications with an attractive twist, alerting you to their presence with a screen-edge animated glow. The app expands on that with a healthy dose of customization options, including different animated effects, your choice of colors and line widths (where applicable), and transparency settings.
Edge Touch gives you some peace of mind with Samsung's penchant for over-the-edge curved screens, letting users customize screen-edge areas that are sensitive to touch, as well as those that should be ignored. If you've got a particularly heavy grip, this may be the key to avoiding unwanted touch input.
One Hand Operation + brings your Samsung phone additional tools for — you guessed it — improving one-handed use of your device. You get new screen-side handlers for gesture input, with full control over appearance and positioning.
Finally, there's Sound Assistant, letting you customize the way your phone deals with all things audio. That includes choosing whether the volume buttons default to ringtone or media volume adjustment, selecting which apps should and shouldn't be able to play their audio at the same time as others, or setting separate volume levels for different apps. All of these can then be assigned to time-of-day-based scenarios for different home and work settings.
That's your quick overview of all the plentiful configuration options present in Good Lock 2018. It may not change the way you use your Galaxy phone, but we're sure going to have a lot of fun playing around with some of these options and trying to make our user experience just a little more pleasant.
Go ahead and grab Good Lock 2018 (and its component apps) right from Galaxy Apps on compatible Samsung devices, or get started sideloading at APKMirror. Here's the main Good Lock APK, and you'll find separate downloads for all of Samsung's add-on apps.
Samsung has formally announced its new Good Lock release, detailing all this customization functionality in its latest news post. In addition to all the features you've read about here, the company also discusses the new ClockFace app, which arrived after the rest and we covered separately.