Jelly Bean (v4.2) brought a new feature to Android — Lockscreen Widgets, allowing users to have more than lockscreen pages and place widgets of app that support it. While we’ve previously covered our favorite apps having support for lockscreen widgets, we have finally found a widget that is probably the most useful of them all.
Meet DashClock for Android, a lock screen widget that does more than just, as the name suggests, displaying time. It lets you know what’s going on in your phone by displaying status items such as weather condition, unread emails and text messages, calendar appointments and much more.
DashClock widget while minimized (left) and maximized (right)
The best part of all is its support for extensions, using which other apps can integrate with DashClock and show their info in its widget. So far more than 30 apps have added support for DashClock including:
Apart from adding support for DashClock integration, several developers have also started making separate extensions such as:
The idea of DashClock has been so well executed that it is very close to achieving half a million downloads and that too in less than a month. This is an amazing feat considering that it works only on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which runs on just 1.4% of all Android phones. (Source: Android Developer Site).
Download: DashClock (free)
Tip: Use DashClock Custom Extension app to pin any application to the DashClock widget.
THIS IS HOW ANDROID’S LOCKSCREEN SHOULD HAVE BEEN
Although the Android 4.2 lockscreen widgets functionality works well for jobs such as quickly launching the camera or turning on the flash light or tagging music using Shazam / SoundHound, it feels kind of incomplete and bloated. A lockscreen is supposed to be a simple way for either unlocking the phone or letting the user have a quick glance at the notifications. Another limitation is the one-widget-per-page restriction. No matter of what size a widget is, you cannot have more than one widget in one page, wasting space when using widgets of small size.
There had to be a better way of showing what’s going on in the phone without leaking any information on the lockscreen like ahem, iOS does by displaying an excerpt of received notifications. And DashClock is the answer.