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.
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.
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.