When I bought my first Android smartphone, I was fairly impressed by the level of customization it offered. After all, customization is one of Android’s biggest advantages over competitors like iOS and Windows Phone. There’s hardly any area of the OS that can’t be modified according to your liking. One area that you can easily personalize is the lockscreen. Although Android (Jelly Bean, in particular) comes packed with an amazing stock lockscreen, there are many lockscreen replacement apps that can add more value to this area of the OS. Ubuntu Touch Lockscreen is one such effort that, as the name implies, is designed to bring the Ubuntu Touch lockscreen to your phone. Crafted by XDA Senior Member Rotary Heart, it’s a simple, elegant and fast custom lockscreen done Ubuntu style that displays message and call notifications within the ring in the center, and lets you control music playback.
The app is still in early beta, so it’s not surprising that the developer is still ironing out some bugs. It’s still not available on the Play Store, but you can download and install its APK file from the XDA-Developers forum. Just make sure installation from ‘Unknown Sources’ is enabled in Settings.
On launch, Ubuntu Touch Lockscreen presents a settings screen to let you customize a few aspects of the app. For instance, it lets you toggle lock timer and fullscreen mode under Layout Settings. You can also specify default launcher and music applications to be used when pressing Home key or controlling media playback respectively. The settings screen also lets you toggle the playback controls, foreground activity, as well as notifications for SMS and phone apps.
Another area you will find interesting is Animation Settings, which lets you easily enable or disable, as well as toggle the rotation animation of the notification circle in the center of the lockscreen. You can also change the color that the circle changes to when a new notification arrives, change its animation time and choose between None, Fast and Slow settings for animation of media controls.
Speaking of the lockscreen itself, I will let the screenshots below do the talking. To unlock to the homescreen, simply swipe in from the right edge of the screen. Media controls automatically pop up when you tap anywhere on the screen.
As I said earlier, Ubuntu Touch Lockscreen is still far from finished and contains various bugs. Here are a few that I noticed during testing: the default lockscreen sometimes appears over Ubuntu Touch Lockscreen, which can be annoying as you have to unlock your phone twice. Secondly, Ubuntu Touch Lockscreen also appears under Recent Apps, and that makes it possible to kill the app. We’re hoping the developer will fix these issues in future releases.
Update: The app is now available on the Play Store. We’ve updated the download link.