Microsoft quietly launches a free lock screen replacement app for Android

Picturesque

Things are busy at Microsoft Garage, where the company’s employees share experimental projects they’ve been working on. The most recent release is Picturesque Lock Screen, a free Android app that adds useful functions, handy shortcuts and beautiful images to your lock screen.

Picturesque Lock Screen feels almost like a second home screen. It features multiple screens that you scroll through and adds a Bing search bar, a customizable news feed, weather reports, device notifications, shortcuts to frequently used apps and settings toggles. It also pulls in the daily Bing homepage image to use as a background and lets you swipe through images from the past week to use.

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Picturesque screens

Picturesque sure looks good, but it might be a bit much for users who already have their home screens loaded with widgets and shortcuts. However, if you’re sticking with a launcher that does away with the app drawer entirely, this might be up your alley.

Picturesque screens 3

I generally like my lock screens to offer a layer of security and to load quickly. And when I’m at home, I’ve got Smart Unlock activated to skip the pattern lock I’ve set so I can quickly start using my phone as soon as I pick it up.

With Picturesque, you don’t have the option of really locking your phone down, and you’ve got a bunch of data-hungry widgets trying to update themselves frequently. That’s not to say it’s a bad app at all, but I wonder about whether anyone needs all this functionality and content on their lock screen.

This is the second lock screen replacement to come out of Microsoft Garage; Next Lock Screen, which launched last October, is geared towards business users with a prominent calendar feed and the option to dial into conference calls with a swipe.

Picturesque Lock Screen [Android via Android Central]

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