The latest trend in smartphone is to make use of the space available in the lock screen. Apple introduced the lock screen customizations in iPhone with iOS16 mostly based on the Android features. However, Android removed certain features like adding widgets in lock screen. In this article, we will explain all the possible customizations available in the latest Android version. Though most of the features are commonly available in all models, certain options depend highly on your Android phone’s make and model. If you do not see the features explained in this article, check your phone’s instruction manual for additional inputs.
Android Lock Screen and Always On Display
Adding additional information in lock screen helps to get things done without even unlocking your phone. Android offers two modes – Always On Display (AOD) and lock screen. AOD is a unique feature available only in some Android phone models. In this mode, phone shows limited information like clock, date and temperature on the dark screen. The lock screen is the one when you are asked to unlock your phone. You can customize the lock screen and AOD screen if your phone supports the AOD feature.
Note: Remember, do not confuse home screen with lock screen, especially when you are using both Android and iPhone. If you want to customize the home screen, check the article on how to customize home screen in Android.
Customize AOD Screen in Android
If your phone supports AOD, you can turn on the mode to use in addition to the lock screen options. To turn on AOD, go to “Settings > Display > Lock screen”. Scroll down “When to show” section and enable “Always show time and info” option. You can also simply turn off this to avoid battery usage as showing information on AOD mode consumes battery.
Other customization options related to the AOD screen are given below.
- Double-tap to check the phone: enabling this option will allow you to double tap on the phone’s screen to wake it up from the AOD screen. It is helpful to wake up your phone without pressing the physical power button.
- Lift to check phone: If you turn on this feature, when you lift your phone, for example, from a table, the screen will turn on automatically from the AOD screen.
- Wake screen for notifications: when you enable this option, your AOD screen will turn on every time a new notification is received, like receiving a text message.
Note on Using Now Playing
Another practical option for AOD and lock screens is “Now Playing.” If you enable this option, your phone will listen to songs playing nearby and display the name and artist on your AOD or lock screen, whichever is present. This option is also available at the “Settings > Display > Lock screen”. After enabling this feature, play any music nearby the phone. You will see the song name and artist on the AOD or lock screen, whichever is active at the moment. Some users might be concerned about privacy issues related to this feature. The good news is that “Now Playing” works offline and do not require sending the songs or conversations to Google.
Customize Lock Screen in Android
Since AOD may not be available on all the phones, below are the lock screen customizations commonly available for Android users.
Change Screen Unlock Type
To change screen lock, go to “Settings > Security > Screen lock” section. The phone may ask you to unlock the phone before opening the settings. On the following page, you can choose a new screen lock type. The choices are “None,” “Swipe,” “Pattern,” “PIN,” and “Password.” Choose the desired lock and finish the setup following the instructions. After setting the unlock type, tap on the gear icon showing in front of the “Screen lock” option. Here, you can set screen timeout duration, the time after which your phone screen will get locked.
Setting Lock Screen Wallpaper from Google Photos
You can change the colors or wallpaper of your lock screen under “Settings > Wallpaper & style” section. However, you can also set any picture as your lock screen wallpaper from Google Photos following the below steps.
- Open Google Photos and open the image you want to use as a wallpaper.
- Tap the three dots in the upper right corner and choose “Use as” from the list at the bottom of the photo.
- Different apps will appear at the bottom of the screen and select the Google Photos app.
- The next screen will show the preview of your picture. You should tap “Lock screen” from the buttons below the image and press the tick sign.
- A confirmation message will ask you whether you want to set it only for the lock screen, home screen, or both. Press the desired choice, and it is done.
- Now lock your phone and bring the lock screen. Your selected photo must be there as a wallpaper on the lock screen.
If you want to remove your desired photo from the lock screen, go to “Settings > Wallpaper & style” section. Now press “Change wallpaper” and select any other wallpaper and apply the changes.
Learn more on how to use live video wallpaper feature in Android phones.
Using Screen Saver in Lock Screen
The screen saver is a relatively new feature that can display beautiful changing colors, a clock that changes positions on the screen, or a slideshow of photos saved on your phone. However, it will run only when your phone is charging or docked. If you tap on the screen, a usual lock screen will appear on the phone. Three choices of screen savers are available: Clock, Colors, and Photos. Go to “Settings > Display > Screen saver” section and tap the “Current screen saver” to open the choices.
- Clock – enable this to show a clock on your phone’s screen. On the Screen saver settings page, you can select the style of the clock (digital or analog) and night mode. Once you choose it, press the gear button on its right side to open its settings and customize.
- Colors: If this option is enabled, your lock screen will display various colors.
- Photos: If you want to play a slideshow of pictures in an album, choose “Photos” option and press the gear button to open its settings. From here you can select albums on your phone from which the photos will be displayed on your screen like a slide show.
When you are done with setting up the screen saver, go to “When to start” section. Here you can select one of the options from – While charging, While docked, While charging or docked or Never. Note that, choosing “Never” will turn off the screen saver feature. You may also press the “Start now” button at the bottom to see an instant preview of the screen saver. If you want to set the time duration after which the screen saver will start, go to “Settings > Display > Screen timeout” and set the time.
You can find more customization options under “Settings > Display > Lock screen” section.
- Privacy – By using this option, you can filter the type of notifications to show on the lock screen. The filter includes – Show all notification content, Show sensitive content only when unlocked and Don’t show notifications at all.
- Add text on the lock screen – You can add your name or any text by tapping this option and writing text in the text box.
- Show device controls – You can toggle this option to turn on or off device controls on your lock screen. If you have installed and set up the Google Home app on your phone but don’t see it on your lock screen, enable the show device controls.
- Double-line clock – Android sometimes shows the clock in two lines on the lock screen, which is inconvenient for some users. You may turn this feature off to see the time in traditional format.