Lock screen wdgets

A little extra security is added to your Android as lock screen widgets can be disabled in the system settings

Kit Kat brings a change to one of the features from Jelly Bean that everyone has an opinion about —  the lock screen widgets. On one hand, they offer a bit of information from any application that supports them (quite a lengthy list) and can be great for things like music controls or messages. On the other hand, they were kind of clunky, required at least as much interaction as unlocking the phone, and for many, seemed like a unnecessary security risk, where anyone could pick up your phone and add widgets for access to private information.

securityLock screen widgets are still present in Kit Kat, but you'll need to enable them in your settings should you wish to use them. Nestled appropriately under the "Security" section of the device settings, you'll see a line item for Enable widgets. While you're not really told as much — Google often has "issues" communicating well — the group of settings there for Owner information, Enable widgets, and Screen lock all have to do with the lock screen. An Android pro would figure it out, but not everyone's an Android pro.

Anyhoo, check the box next to Enable widgets and you'll be able to add lock screen widgets in the same way you did for Jelly Bean devices. Leave it unchecked, and you'll not be able to. If it's unchecked, and you're using a secure lock method, nobody else will be able to, either. This is how a feature like this should be offered. Nicely done, Google.


Reader comments

Inside KitKat: Changes to the lock screen widgets


I'm still very grateful for DashClcok. Rejected having work email on my phone because of them enforcing a policy forbidding lock screen widgets...

They also prevented me using Unlocker to disable my pass code when I'm at home, but then I do understand that one.

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if it is exchange then you can use touchdown. it only requires a lock to enter email. perfect for my work that also has those restrictions. steep price but nice app.

The first thing I always do with android is disable lock screen widgets! I like to see optional features like this, have them if you want them, forget them off you don't

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They're not really a security risk anyway, considering the fact that if you have a pin/password/pattern set you have to enter it to add a new widget. That said, the setting is definitely a good thing.

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DashClock makes lockscreen widgets very useful for me, but kudos to Google for giving people the option to turn them off.

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"[A]nyone could pick up your phone and add widgets for access to private information."

What? In 4.3, you have to get past the lock screen security to add a new widget. And if you don't have any lock screen security, anyone can just unlock your phone and get the private information anyway.

This. I don't get the big fuss over lock screen widgets.

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.

I love lock screen widgets. I've added three widgets, one turns on a flashlight, the other is sound search, and the last one is a calculator widget. Those are the only functions that sometimes I need to access very quickly, and unlocking my phone wouldn't be as fast. And how are lock screen widgets a "unnecessary security risk" if you have to unlock your phone before adding a widget?

Yeah, I have dash clock>sound search>torch (or "flash light" in US English)>series guide (a tv listings/reminder app). A calculator may be a nice addition, anyway I'm now intrigued as to whether most people using lock widgets have sound search and a torch.

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I just think instead of widgets, it should be actual apps with limited permissions. For example, I don't like having a lock screen, but if I don't and I'm out partying with friends and they get a hold of my phone, they mess around with my facebook, and send awkward SMS messages to old contacts, etc. I know. Childish.

But I think it would be awesome to be able to dial a number without having access to the contact list. Browse Chrome in a sort of incognito mode. Open up Maps/Navigation without access to account info. Things like that.

Would be awesome if it was a sort of limited guest mode.

Okay, I think I'm on a different subject...

Love my lock screen widgets. It let's me check Gmail and my task list by just glancing at the phone. Plus, I can take a picture super fast.

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Sigh... Problems of a teenager without a credit card... No nexus 5 for me

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Don't get it. I have a Samsung Galaxy S3, recently upgraded to KitKat. My screens look NOTHING like those in the example above. I have no section on "Screen Security" under my Security area under Settings. I've also looked at the Lock Screen area under Display. Nothing of the sort. I'm on AT&T. Where do I find the lock screen widget options?