You might recall back at Build Microsoft revealed, among many things, that a unique lock screen app would be coming out for Windows Phone 8.1.
Today they partially delivered on that by making the Live Lock Screen BETA available for Windows Phone 8.1 users.
Of course as a beta there are always caveats, etc. etc. etc. and I get that really I do.
In fact during the last 24 hours I have had multiple discussions on Twitter about the Developer Preview of Windows Phone 8.1, basically a beta, and the fact that some users may have to revert their phone back to Windows Phone 8.0 to get the official Cyan update.
So I get beta software and apps.
Those types of things are the risk you run with a beta. Sometimes they run perfectly and then at others times they can be very frustrating and those of us who are early adopters learn to live with those things.
So it is with all that having been said that I talk about this Lock Screen BETA that just got announced and the weirdness it is already presenting in its beta state.
First the install is very easy and turning it on just means running the app and selecting the style of lock screen you want. Six different layouts are provided to choose from.
The first time you run the app you will be asked if you want to set it as your lock screen.
One of my Twitter followers tweeted out that second image which shows that if you are using Kid’s Corner then this Lock Screen Beta will replace that and cause it to stop working. Thanks @eferron for sharing the screenshot.
So lets dive into the Lock Screen BETA settings screen‘:
You have the option to select from one of the six themes for the lock screen layout. Then there is an option to use Bing’s homepage images for your background or you can press that large plus sign and choose your own background(s). The options in that let you choose from a collection of backgrounds provided with the Lock Screen BETA, theme accent colors or from your own photos. You can add any combination of those images for your lock screen to cycle through. I was up to 18 images selected for the lock screen to cycle through when I stopped so it looks like you can build quite an assortment to put in rotation.
I was even able to access photos in my Facebook and OneDrive albums to add to the lock screen background rotation, They just had to be cropped to fit the lock screen orientation.
If you opt for the Bing homepage images all other options are then unavailable and your lock screen image will change once a day automatically.
Here are some screenshots of those areas of the Lock Screen BETA:
So now that we have a good overview of the app and its features lets talk about the apparent beta related issues:
- Myself and many others on Twitter had to reboot the phone after enabling the Lock Screen BETA to get live information such as calendar info, emails, messaging etc. to show up on the lock screen.
- The incorrect icon is used with some live info, such as Tweetium notifications, and is displayed as a star instead of the Twitter bird icon. This could be API related but shouldn’t this lock screen show the same icons that are shown on the WP 8.1 default lock screen?
- I had to turn Calendar detail off and then back on again in the main lock screen settings in order to get both calendar information and other notifications to show up together on the lock screen.
- There is at least 3-4 seconds from when you swipe up on the lock screen that the screen image freezes before accepting further touch input.
- As mentioned above this Lock Screen BETA disables Kids Corner, a significant feature on Windows Phone, and that really should not be the case in order to use this option if someone wanted to.
The major issue I noticed, which others on Twitter confirmed for me, is that if you have Quiet
Time Hours turned on then absolutely no other information is displayed on the lock screen except for the default day, date and time.
Here is an example of the differences in a lock screen with Quiet
Time Hours turned off and turned on:
If this was intended as a feature of the Lock Screen BETA then it should be changed. There is no reason not to keep the information on the lock screen displayed that lets us take a glance at it and know what is happening on our phones.
Myself and many I chatted with on Twitter agree that there is no reasonable reason why that information should disappear when Quite
Time Hours is turned on.
So if you have grabbed the Lock Screen BETA what are your thoughts? Have you run into these or any other issues?