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BW Businessworld

Wake Up Your Lock Screen

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Picturesque Lock Screen
Recently, using the Yureka phone, I got rid of the lock screen altogether. Actually the lock screen has been a prime property on phones, just the place to beautify and put notifications and more. So would you believe that one of the prettiest lock screen apps for Android comes from Microsoft. Picturesque lock screen, made at the Microsoft Garage  where experimental projects happen, is free and you can activate it just with a few taps. 

First of all, it's picturesque because you can get pretty pictures just by shaking the phone. Should you take a fancy to one of these images you can just opt to save it as a wallpaper. Or else just settle for variety and enjoy different images.

When you swipe up from the lock screen to unlock you find a number of icons to favourite apps. You can choose the ones you want and assign them to different categories like Work or Home or On the go.

Swipe the next screen, a newsfeed, and you can select some news topics, including Indian news. There's also a calendar and, in fact, it's a Hindu calendar. Weather notifications, your meetings, and some shortcuts to settingsare also to be found on one of the lock screen screens — since there are several.

But there are some annoyances with this pretty lock screen app. You can no longer lock down your screen, and you have an extra swipe to execute. Also, when you add the multiple lock screens to the home screens, it's just too many screens! But try it for a laugh.  A more professionally oriented version of the Microsoft lock screen app for Android is Next Lock Screen, which lets you join a conference call straight from the lock screen with just a swipe.

Have Tiles, Will Artify
Microsoft hasn't forgot-en its own phones. For Lumias on Windows 8.1, there's a tile art app which can make the lock screen look vibrant and stylish. You can use it to put images into the grid of tiles with a parralax effect. The screen is shareable. In fact, there's a big contest currently on with art work based on this app.

Always Changing
learn something each time you unlock your Android phone by using Locket, a free app. This turns your screen into a content slideshow. Beautiful and high quality pictures bring your screen alive. The pictures are mostly from articles and you can use the slider to access them, even saving for later reading. Swiping in the other direction lets you flip through more images and stories. Beats having to look at a static screen all the time. But it's also distracting as you forget what you were  unlocking your phone for.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 09-03-2015)

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