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Lockscreen ad-disabling APK for Amazon Prime Exclusive phones is available now

Amazon announced earlier this week that lockscreen ads won't be present on newly-purchased Prime Exclusive devices and an update is rolling out to the Amazon Offers app to disable them on existing handsets. If you don't want to wait, you can sideload that update right now.

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[Update: Just on-body detection] Security flaw in Moto G5 Plus Prime Exclusive grants access to phone with the tap of a lockscreen ad

Amazon has been running its Prime Exclusive program for some time now. Essentially, the company partners with phone manufacturers to offer noticeably lower prices on devices in exchange for preloaded Amazon apps and advertisements on the lock screen. However, it appears that these lockscreen ads have led to a security flaw on one Prime Exclusive device, the Moto G5 Plus.

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Favorites Lock Screen from Microsoft Garage puts your news and interests front and center

Microsoft Garage's project keeps pumping up new apps and ideas for Android and the latest is Favorites Lock Screen. As the name implies, this is a lockscreen replacement app that puts emphasis on your favorite things. Unlike Microsoft's graduated Next Lock Screen, this one is still in its infancy and it shows. The icon is disturbingly low-res and the interface doesn't feel half as polished as Next. However, it could still be worth checking out if you'd like some news to go with your phone unlocking.

The idea behind Favorites is to have two screens: one has an HD image with a Bing search bar, camera icon, and quick access to Bing searches for the character in the wallpaper; and the second has a stream of news for your favorite topics.

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Android O feature spotlight: Lockscreen and notification panel get a few visual tweaks

Android O's fourth developer preview was released today, and you know what that means: more feature spotlights. We already covered the new octopus Easter egg, but there are still a few other changes, even in the final developer preview. The lockscreen and notification panel have both seen a few minor visual tweaks.

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Cortana 2.6 lets you ask questions from the lockscreen, officially lands in Australia

Earlier in March, Cortana got updated on Android to version 2.5 with one important feature: optional lockscreen integration. This allowed users to swipe from their lockscreen to reveal their personal feed including calendar appointments, news, and contextual information they might need. However, it didn't include the ability to interact with Cortana or ask it questions.

With today's update to v2.6, that is now possible. You can ask Cortana questions, set reminders, and more without unlocking your device first. It's more about convenience and less about security I presume. There are also improvements to the way the Cortana home feed is displayed on Android, easier ways to set reminders and lists without using voice, and a few other enhancements.

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Cortana 2.5 adds optional lock screen functionality [APK Download]

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.

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ZTE's Axon 7 makes the notification bell optional in the latest software update

One of the more annoying things about buying a non-Nexus (erm, non-Pixel) device is that sometimes you have to put up with the OEM's weird and whacky software quirks. Sometimes these genuinely add to the experience, other times... they don't. An example of one that falls into the latter category is the tiny notification bell on the lockscreen of ZTE's otherwise perfectly good Axon 7.

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Symantec says that Android Nougat prevents ransomware from resetting lockscreen passwords

Ransomware is one of the nastier types of malicious software to emerge in the last few years. It's not exclusive to mobile, but the basic gist is that it locks down either specific files or an entire machine until the user sends money to a shady, untraceable online account to get their digital life back in order. The combination of easily-exploited security vulnerabilities, relatively small payments spread out over thousands of devices, and users reliance on their phones or computers has proven incredibly lucrative for malware developers.

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[Weekend Poll] How Do You Secure Your Phone's Lock Screen?

Device security is a pretty personal thing, and we all likely have a given level of security we're comfortable with before impracticality starts to get in the way. While a secure lock screen is highly advisable, some of us still don't even do that (which is slightly scary) because it can be an annoying barrier to using your phone.

Google knows this, and features like Smart Lock have attempted to combat lockscreen non-usage by linking device security to connected devices, your face, your location, your voice, or even whether your phone thinks it's actually on your person. The idea being that if you're too lazy or encumbered by a traditional lockscreen (or don't have a fingerprint scanner), your phone can have a variety of "safe" scenarios in which it's probably OK for your device to be unlocked, only locking when those conditions aren't met.

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Shopping App Maker Wish Acquires Locket, The News Aggregating Lockscreen

Wish, a shopping platform with over 100 million users, feels like a cross between Pinterest and Amazon. The site's Android app provides an experience where you don't just browse products, you view how people look wearing and using those products. It's like a catalog tailored to you.

Today Wish announced that it has acquired Locket.

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