What Is a Lock Screen?
Lock screens have been around for a long time. They’ve been a thing for almost as long as computers have existed. Lock screens serve the same purpose as traditional login screens, which is to stop a person from using a device without knowing the password or passcode.
Lock screens are sometimes used without passwords or passcodes. This is more common in smartphones. This feature is implemented into modern smartphones to prevent accidental ‘butt dials’. Even though lock screens haven’t completely phased out butt dials from existence. They’ve made it these accidents a rarity.
Lock screens are also used to provide quick snippets of useful information to the user without the user having to unlock their smartphone. Lock screens can be heavily customized. They can show simple things like the time of day, the date, recent text messages, and other similar notifications.
While most people associate lock screens with smartphones, they are also used in PCs and Macs.
Lock screens on Windows
Microsoft officially started supporting touch on a large scale with a completely redesigned user interface from Windows 8. This is apparent when you look at the lock screen from Windows 8 onwards. It is similar to lock screens on smartphones. This is because hybrid tablet/laptop computers have been adopted by the market more in recent years and are proving popular. The windows lock screen generally requires a password to unlock with the password being attached to an account when you perform the initial setup of the computer.
Lock screens on Mac
Apple’s Mac OS has the least functional lock screen when compared to alternatives. However, this is designed by Apple on purpose. Apple isn’t looking to optimize Mac OS for smartphones and tablets. The reason they aren’t doing so is simple. People usually aren’t in a hurry when they use their laptops or desktops. The story is different when on the move because people generally require information quickly and so lock screens make sense for smartphones and not so much for laptops and desktops.
Lock screens on iPhone/iPad
Many people don’t use the iPhone and iPad’s lock screen because they use Touch ID instead. However, a significant portion of users still use the lock screen, and this is apparent because Apple hasn’t phased out the lock screen. The lock screen can do so much more than show you text messages. You can swipe right to left to open the camera, swipe up to see current notifications such as Facebook notifications, swipe up from the bottom edge to open the control panel and so much more. It’s amazing what Apple has put into their lock screen and as you might expect, there is a ton of customization available.
Lock screens on Android
Android’s lock screen is similar to iPhone and iPad’s lock screen because it displays much more useful information that you’d see on a lock screen on PC or Mac. Each manufacturer can also customize Android to a great degree because it’s an open source platform. This results in lock screens varying greatly between different smartphones even if they’re both running Android. ‘Vanilla’ or stock Android lets you use a passcode, alphanumerical password or a pattern to lock it. The regular way of unlocking an Android smartphone without any passcode set up is to simply swipe up on the screen. Android is also fun for many people because you can download different lock screens which are available on the Google Play store. Two of the most popular ones are GO Locker and Next Lock Screen.