This one’s for the Lollipop users (a statement that no longer angers and saddens most people in the room. #BeyondFragmentation). One of my favorite features of Lollipop is notifications on the lockscreen. I can swipe unnecessary notifications in a jiffy and turn an important notification into something actionable without even unlocking my phone. Color me impressed!
And if that wasn’t enough, I soon found that all those “sticky notification widget” apps for toggling notification and launching apps showed up right in the lockscreen.
This makes things really easy for me. I hace stock Android experience and the five to seven apps that I launch most often are right there on the lockscreen. Now I can skip the whole launcher experience.
If you’re interested in getting a similar setup, let me tell you about the two apps that can help you out.
Launchify is a smart, context-aware launcher widget. And … it’s mostly accurate. It does something similar to Google Now where it lights up contextual information depending on where you are and what time of day it is. Only here, it’s apps.
Once you’ve entered your home and office address, and it’s had the time to learn your routine, it will bring up relevant apps. It will try to estimate when you launch the Facebook app the most and will surface it.
As I said, it works most of the time.
The way it works is you tap the app icon from the lockscreen widget once to select it and then double tap the entire widget to open the app. This means you’re tapping thrice with a break in-between.
Now, depending on your outlook, this is either a thoughtful feature – no accidentally opening apps – or it’s a tedious process. I lean towards the latter.
But worry not. For you, there’s the next option.
Many of you might be familiar with Hangar already. It’s a notification center widget that shows your most-recently-used apps. That’s it. No clever/flaky contextually aware stuff here.
Another thing. To launch an app through Hangar, you just tap the icon once, and boom, you’re in.
But for Hangar the lockscreen notification center feature is secondary. It’s not even turned on by default.
Power users are going to love Hangar because it’s so customizable. You can have up to ten icons in a row, and you can add up to three rows that you can switch using a button (which I’m not a big fan of).
By default Hangar sorts apps by the ones you used the most recently, but it’s easy to switch that to a time spent-based listing. You can add icon packs that are just specific to Hangar.
Which One Is For You?
Personally, I like Hangar. I haven’t experienced accidental app opens yet, and I like how fast it is. Plus, most of the time it has the app I want to launch (Phone, Pocket Casts, Instapaper, Facebook, WhatsApp) right there.
But which one suits you best? Share with us in the comments below.
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