The Windows Phone operating system has a beautiful lock screen that can be customized to add both notifications and useful information. However, for some people its customization options are not enough and they want even more personalization. That's why Microsoft has released a beta version of their Live Lock Screen app for Windows Phone 8.1 This app replaces the default lock screen with a new one that can customized in multiple ways. Let's take an in-depth look at the Live Lock Screen app, learn how it works and how to configure it.
Why Use The Live Lock Screen App For Windows Phone?
Live Lock Screen is a new way to personalize and it has the following features:
- A set of six themes, each with its own different layout. The date, the time and all the usual notifications are displayed and positioned differently, depending on the theme that you choose.
- You can select the backgrounds that are used for the lock screen and how often they are changed.
- Each theme has a beautiful short animation that is triggered whenever you unlock your Windows Phone.
As any beta version, the app has also a "dark side" to it: some users have reported lags when unlocking their Windows Phones. Their smartphones took longer to unlock than when not using this app. This issue may impact you as well until Microsoft releases a new version which fixes this problem.
Where To Get The Live Lock Screen App For Windows Phone?
Downloading and installing the Live Lock Screen app is done from the Windows Phone Store. You can either search for it in the Store, or you can click this link: Live Lock Screen Beta.
If you need a quick reminder of how to find apps in the Windows Phone Store, download and install them, read this article: How to Find, Download, Install & Remove Apps in Windows Phone.
How To Configure The Live Lock Screen App?
After installing the Live Lock Screen app, go to the Apps view on your Windows Phone and start the app.
When you open it for the first time, you are asked whether you want to use it to set the lock screen of your Windows Phone. Tap yes.
The app is loaded and you'll see the themes section. These themes are designs which can be used to display data on your lock screen. In the first version of this app there are only six themes available. You can combine them with images, live data and notifications to create all kinds of interesting lock screens.
Tap the theme that you'd like to use for your lock screen in order to select it. The theme you select is surrounded by a white border.
Below the themes section, you'll find a switch called "Use Bing Images". If you activate it, Windows Phone will download each day the "Bing image of the day" and use it as a background for your lock screen. Pretty neat, don't you think?
If you'd rather use your own images as backgrounds for the lock screen, set the "Use Bing Images" switch to Off and go to the next section: "Choose your backgrounds".
To change the existing background image tap on its thumbnail. To add a new one, tap the plus button. A new screen is displayed where you choose the type of background that you want to use. You have the following options:
- Lock backgrounds - you can choose an image from a set of default backgrounds that are bundled with the app and Windows Phone.
- My photos - the Photos hub is opened and you can choose one of your pictures. You can also take a new picture or select pictures from OneDrive or Facebook. After you select an image, you have to crop it so that its dimensions match your smartphone's resolution. Drag and resize your image until it looks good and then tap crop.
- My accent color - adds a simple background with the accent color you've set for your Windows Phone.
You can add as many background images as you wish. If, at some point, you'd like to set another background as the first, tap and hold on it a few moments. A contextual menu is shown, which includes an option called "move to first". Tap on it and that background will be loaded first.
The same menu can be used when you want to remove a background from the list or when you want to clear all your backgrounds from the list.
The final section of the Live Lock Screen app is called "Change your backgrounds".
Tap on it and you can choose how often the background is changed on your Windows Phone's lock screen. Your options are: "Every hour", "Every 4 hours", "Every 12 hours", Daily and Never.
Choose the option you prefer. You settings are saved automatically and you don't need to press any save button.
How Will Your Lock Screen Look When Using Live Lock Screen App?
Live Lock Screen will automatically change your lock screen according to your settings. If you want to see how it looks, lock your Windows Phone and then unlock it. Below you can see an example of a lock screen that we created with this app.
We enjoyed using this app because it helped us personalize our Windows Phones even more. Yes, there are some quirks and bugs here and there but it is a very promising app that will add even more personality to your Windows Phone. Try it out yourself and let us know what you think about this app using the comments form below.