Android P's second developer preview is making quite a few changes to the lock screen. We already discussed its display of the weather on the lock screen and ambient display, but it turns out that upcoming events are being shown on the lock screen now as well. Read More
Remember when you could add whatever widgets you wanted to the Android lock screen? Unfortunately, those days are long gone, but Android P is bringing a subset of that functionality back. If you liked using weather widgets on your lock screen, you'll be happy to know that Android P now displays the weather underneath the clock. Read More
If there was any one common statement to be made about the subjects of music and smartphones, it's that they're both very personal to each of us. In the same way that some people prefer listening to metal, there are also those that insist on a very sparse homescreen. We might listen to EDM just like we might set up our wallpaper to cycle every hour. If you've taken the time to tailor your phone experience, you might not be happy about a common feature of music players that allows them to temporarily replace your lock screen background with album art. Read More
Chrome 61 was a major update when it was released on Android and the desktop last month. Not only did it enable several new APIs for developers to use, but the Android version moved the address bar to the bottom and revamped the Google Translate bar. Chrome OS is also getting a few visual tweaks for v61, which has started to roll out to users. Read More
You've probably heard of the Peel Smart Remote app. It was pre-loaded on a lot of phones back when everything had an IR blaster for like two minutes. Recently, this app has made some changes that have users up in arms. It's popping up full-screen ads and deploying a lock screen overlay. The first one is not uncommon, but the second is totally uncool. Read More
Sometimes updates to Google products are two steps forward, one step back. Ambient display originally showed up in stock Android with the launch of the Nexus 6, which turns on the display for a few seconds when notifications arrive. It has remained a popular feature, but Android O changes it quite a bit. Read More
While Google Assistant is rolling out to more devices, Microsoft is continuing to improve its own virtual helper. Microsoft's Cortana assistant made the jump to Android in 2015, and has continued to improve since with regular updates. The latest update, version 2.5, allows users to add Cortana to the lockscreen. Read More
Third-party Android lock screens are always at a disadvantage compared to the stock option when you care about security. Some of them do have neat features if all you really want is a quick way to see and access information without unlocking the device. Microsoft Next has some cool stuff going on, and it's getting an update today billed as the biggest it's ever had. Read More
Version 4.9 of the Google app began rolling out late yesterday, but it's not sporting a lot of obvious additions. The only immediately visible changes appear under Settings -> Now cards, where a new toggle has been added to enable or disable lock screen notifications based on cards. Some updated text also appears below the new toggle, if you care about that sort of thing.
Left: old version. Right: new version.
The existing Notifications toggle gave users the option to determine whether cards from Google Now could occupy space in the notification shade. The new toggle brings a little more control by allowing notifications to appear in the shade without being shown on the lock screen where they could potentially overwhelm more important notifications. Read More
There's a minor change to the way Android M implements the lock screen. Instead of the camera and phone shortcuts, you have camera and voice search. Voice Search is accessed by swiping from the lower left corner where you now have a mic icon.