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DashClock is What Android’s Lock Screen Widgets Should Be

dashclock-header

DashClock allows you to see notifications and status information at a glance, turning your Android lock screen’s clock into a dashboard. It’s a big improvement over the lock screen widgets included in Android 4.2.

With DashClock, you can see all the status information you care about on your phone’s lock screen. DashClock supports extensions, so you can add almost anything to the DashClock widget.

Note: DashClock replaces the lock screen’s clock widget on Android 4.2+, so it’s only available for devices running Android 4.2 and newer.

Why It’s Better

Android’s lock screen widgets are very limited because only one can appear on screen at a time. Rather than seeing information right on the lock screen that appears when you turn on your phone, you have to swipe to the left to access other widgets.

For example, if you wanted to see the time, new email notifications, and weather information on your lock screen, each widget would be on its own page. You’d have to swipe between the pages to view all this information. The widgets provide rich information – for example, the Gmail widget allows you to view your inbox – but if you wanted to open your entire inbox, why wouldn’t you just use the Gmail app itself?

android-gmail-lock-screen-widget

DashClock shows us what Android’s lock screen widgets should be. DashClock is actually just a replacement for the clock widget, but it allows extensions to plug into the DashClock widget and show other notifications. This means DashClock can show you everything you care about – time, weather, alarms, calendar events, SMS notifications, missed calls, battery status, and anything else someone writes an extension for – right on the lock screen that appears when you turn on your phone. No swiping around between widgets on their own screens, just information at a glance.

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Installing and Configuring DashClock

DashClock Widget is available for free on Google Play. Some DashClock extensions may cost money – that’s up to each extension’s developer — but most are available for free.

After installing DashClock, you’ll need to add it to your device’s lock screen. From your device’s lock screen, swipe to the left until you see the + icon and tap it.

add-lock-screen-widget

Select the DashClock widget to add it, just as you would any other lock screen widget.

list-of-lock-screen-widgets

You’ll see a configuration screen, where you can add extensions included with DashClock.

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To replace the standard clock widget, touch and drag the DashClock widget to the right-most position. You’ll now see DashClock whenever you turn on your device and access its lock screen.

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DashClock shows information in a compressed view when you turn on your phone and access the lock screen.

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You can also swipe down on the DashClock widget to view more detailed status information without unlocking your phone. Tap a notification to open the appropriate app – for example, tapping the Gmail notification would open the Gmail app.

To configure the DashClock widget and add new extensions you’ve installed, tap the little settings icon to the right of the clock when DashClock is expanded.

dashclock-expanded-view

More DashClock Extensions

You aren’t just limited to the extensions DashClock includes – you can install third-party ones, too. You can find extensions for DashClock by searching for “DashClock extension” in Google Play.

Here are a few useful example DashClock extensions to get you started:

  • DashClock Battery Extension: There are several battery extensions, and they’ll all add useful battery status to your lock screen.
  • AnyDash: The AnyDash extension can turn any Android notification on your device into a notification that appears in DashClock on your lock screen.
  • DashClock Music Extension: DashClock Music Extnsion shows the currently playing song information on your lock screen. It supports a wide variety of music players, although it doesn’t work with Spotify and Pandora at this time.
  • DashClock Custom Extension: Use this extension to easily create a custom extension. For example, you can create an extension that automatically opens an app or website when you tap it on your lock screen, giving you an easy way to start any app from your lock screen.

Search Google Play and you’ll find extensions for displaying everything from stock prices to tweets on Twitter and comment notifications on Reddit.

dashclock-extensions-in-google-play[6]


DashClock is an excellent replacement for Android’s lock screen widgets. Google should be taking notes, as DashClock’s developer has beat them at their own game.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 03/20/13

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