Thursday, June 13, 2024

How to customize the lock screen in Android 14

You spend a lot of time looking at your lock screen, so it’s worth making sure that it’s tailored to your tastes — and with the right information on display, it can save you several dozen phone unlocks a day as well. While Google’s new Android 14 OS is hardly packed full of headline-grabbing new features — most of the upgrades are subtle and incremental — one area that has seen a noticeable revamp is the options for customizing the lock screen.

These extra customization options follow what Apple did with iOS 16: you’ve now got more control over the way the clock and the widgets look on your lock screen, alongside all the settings that were already in place, which I’ll recap.

Here’s how lock screen customization works now, as tested on a Google Pixel 6 Pro running Android 14.

You can change the style of the lock screen clock to really stamp your personal taste on it. You can also now change the shortcuts in the corners of the display, giving you easier access to the Android tools you use the most.

For more lock screen options, head back to the Lock screen tab in the Wallpaper & style page.

Another new one: scroll down to and tap Shortcuts to choose the quick links that will appear in the lower left and right corners of the lock screen. You can pick from Camera, Do Not Disturb, Flashlight, Home, Mute, QR code scanner, Video camera, Wallet, or None.

That’s the new Android 14 customization options covered, but you still have the previous set of options to play around with, too. Still on the Lock screen tab, toggle Show notifications on the lock screen to either show notifications (for extra convenience) or hide them (for extra privacy). 

Tap More lock screen options to get to a bunch of additional settings.

Of course, basic lock screen customizations are still present and correct in Android 14. Head back to Wallpaper & style > Lock screen, and you’ll see a selection of wallpapers to pick from. Tap More wallpapers to see the full range of provided backdrops or to pick one from your phone’s gallery.

When you go into More wallpapers and choose a new image, you’ll be asked if you want to set it as the backdrop for the lock screen, the homescreen, or both screens.

Above the wallpaper thumbnails on the Wallpaper & style page are the color swatches: tap any icon to apply that color scheme, or tap the three dots for more choices on the System colors page. 

Android now lets you set the colors of the operating system (menu backgrounds, fonts, accents and so on) using a palette based on your wallpaper pick. On the System colors page, tap Wallpaper colors if you want to use this approach. Tap Other colors if you’d rather have the color scheme fixed independently of the wallpaper you’ve chosen. 

There’s also a Dark theme toggle switch you can use to opt for a darker version of the selected color scheme. All of these changes are previewed in the images above as you cycle through the different options.


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