WP Hacker’s popular Lock Widgets for interop unlocked Windows Phone devices awed a lot of users and amassed many fans. Even though the Homebrew was just a rough rendition of a concept, and there were more than a few bugs in the app, it served its purpose and showed some really useful data on WP7’s lockscreen. The Homebrew has just been updated, and if you have been using Lock Widgets, you are sure to be pleasantly surprised upon seeing Lock Widgets 2. Admittedly, the latest version of the app has taken away some of the options that were available in the original Homebrew, luckily the ones that are there are certainly more refined. A new feature added to Lock Widgets 2 is the SMS preview. The app now displays your most recent unread text message on the lock screen, along with weather details and the status of your battery.
Of course, you will need to have an interop unlocked device (along with root tools) to run Lock Widgets 2. Just download the XAP file from the link at the end of this post and flash it to your WP7. Once you have done that, go to the app list of your device and launch the lockWidgets app. Setting everything up is really simple. First you have to configure the weather widget. To do so, check the first box in the app’s Settings menu and enter the ZIP code or name of the area for which you want to view the updates. The remaining two option in Lock Widgets 2 are marked Show SMS on the lock screen and Show large battery on the lock screen. It is a good thing that users are allowed to choose widgets separately, because some users might not find the big battery icon to their liking.
Lock Widgets 2 can be used over a personalized wallpaper, or you can select the Use Bing wallpaper option so that the background will change every day automatically. When you are done with everything, hit the Save button and let the Homebrew fire up a background agent. Once that is done, you are free to navigate away from the app. When you navigate to your Mango phone’s lock screen after setting everything up, you will see that the weather widget is the first one on the screen. The displayed weather info includes temperature (both in Fahrenheit and Celsius) and a one-word description of the current conditions. If a new SMS comes in, in addition to the usual unread count at the bottom of the lock screen, you will also see a preview of the received SMS. If there are more than one unread texts at a given time, only the most recent one will be displayed by the widget.
Just like its predecessor, Lock Widgets 2 is not perfect, but it is certainly an update that brings some major improvements to Windows Phone’s only widget solution. If you have an unlocked device, do give the app a try.