I recently covered a few Microsoft apps that would definitely help a busy professional with their daily life. Today, I am writing about the latest Next Lock Screen by Microsoft. While there are other lock screens available that have a lot of functionality but the Next Lock Screen does it extremely well and adds other things that are a great addition. Microsoft is no stranger to Android development, as evidenced by my coverage here on Gravis Ludus (see below). They are quite adept at making Android phones do just a little more than what we all may have thought they were capable of.
Next Lock Screen is a Microsoft Garage project for those wondering. A really well put together one at that, which is surely going to find a home on a lot of devices. Much like the general lock screen idea the Next Lock Screen shows you alerts from various apps, nothing new or exciting there. Where the Next Lock Screen changes things up is its integration with other apps.
Just a few of the apps that Next Lock Screen can integrate with, and show alerts from, include but is not limited to Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber, Facebook, Line and WeChat. Also, you can control your music via Next Lock Screen, without having to unlock or swipe down from the top of the screen to access the alert area. This feature works with the built in music app and with Spotify, Audible and Pandora.
Swiping up from the bottom of the screen allows you to access a set of apps that can be edited to match what you need/want. This is a nice addition that allows you to keep a short list of apps right there on your lock screen, then swiping up, access a few more apps that you use often and want to keep handy.
When you want to dismiss an alert swipe to the left, when you are wanting to access the app giving the alert swipe to the right. This works with opening apps and with automatically dialing the contact that you may have missed a call from, or opens messenger/texting app of your choice.
The background is customizable and you can even take advantage of Smart Settings to have apps and wallpapers available for different times of day (such as while at work or at home).
Next Lock Screen by Microsoft Garage is available on Google Play.