Smartphones come with their own lock screen and the most recent devices have multiple ways to unlock a device such as with a fingerprint, with a PIN, a password, a pattern, and even through iris scanning on some devices. Default lock screens that come with devices though usually don't have much customization or display much information for you to view whenever you wake the display. Apps like PIN Genie Locker add some of those elements and it adds more functionality to your lock screen than what's available from the start. Let's take a closer look at PIN Genie Locker and see what it has to offer.
Before you can get started with using PIN Genie Locker you'll need to head to the Play Store and download the app and install it. From there you can actually begin settings things up.
Once you install the app and open it up for the first time, one of the first things if not THE first thing you'll want to do is set up a PIN or password for unlocking the device. The app dumps you onto the security tab straight away so the option is listed right there at the top and is easy to find.
Once that's set up the other options on the security tab page will go from grey to black allowing you to access them, and one of these options is the intruder selfie page. Here you toggle the option on or off. If on, the phone will take a selfie of the person who is trying to unlock your device. There is also an option to configure how many incorrect attempts are required before a selfie is taken. If a selfie is taken you can have it sent to a specific email of your choosing, and the email you set up is on this page as well.
Another options is the capture intruders page which doesn't really have anything you can interact with it seems, it just describes what the intruder selfie option does.
On the customization tab page there is an option to set up the type of wallpaper you want to be seen on the lock screen when you wake the display and before you unlock the device. It will initially default to the wallpaper you already have set up, but there are options within the app to switch this out if you want.
There are also different themes for the lock screen you can apply. Themes are essentially all-inclusive, meaning you don't just change the look of the font style for the time and date, but also the graphic of those details, as you can see above. It also applies a specific wallpaper that's part of the theme.
The last page on the customization tab is the Local page, and here is where you'll find the self-selected wallpapers for the lock screen. Since the lock screen wallpaper you have selected through the system software is already set by default by PIN Genie Locker, you'll automatically see this wallpaper on this page, but there is also an option to add more wallpapers to this page from your local phone storage if you want to swap between multiples from time to time.
From the slide out hamburger menu there is access to a varied collection of different options, like the settings, a help center, an option to share the app with friends, and even an option to upgrade to the VIP version of the app if you want. This is also where you select the types of notifications you want to see on the lock screen when you wake the display initially.
One option I found to be a nice addition to the app is the capability to set up some owner information. This can be anything you want from your name and a second phone number to reach you in the event that your smartphone is lost, to just a simple message like I have chosen and displayed up above. You are limited to a max of 80 characters, so you'll have to make sure what you want is within that amount.
Whenever new features are added to the app they can pop up on the lock screen to alert you of the changes. This doesn't happen too often and it's a nice touch as it lets you know when there is new stuff to check out. This ensures that you don't miss stuff. There is also an option to unlock the screen and launch straight to wallpapers which is denoted by the little photo icon in the bottom left corner.
If your phone is charging, PIN Genie Locker will show you a medium sized battery icon towards the center of the screen and it displays the amount of battery life you have in percentages. It also has a nice little animation that happens which shows the battery filling up with green before reverting back to the level of where it's truly at. This is just aesthetic, but it's a nice visual touch that was added and deserves some recognition.
If you choose a PIN for the unlock method with this app, it will show you four different circles each containing some numbers. The numbers within this circle will change each time you wake the display, and as you tap the circles which contain the number of your selected PIN, the circle up towards the top will fill up until you have entered the full PIN at which point the screen unlocks.
In the slideout hamburger menu there is an option to access the Magic Lab, and here you'll find special unlock methods that are being developed. There are currently two different options, one called PIN Genie Pattern Lock Pro and one called PIN Genie Pattern PIN Pad. The first option will require you to swipe a pattern based on the PIN number you've set. So you'll see the circles containing numbers on the display, and you'll need to swipe from circle to circle based on the correct numbers after which you can finish by swiping to an app icon like shown above. This will allow you to unlock to a specific app. The second method is similar accept it requires you to draw the pattern on screen in sequence based on your PIN number, but there are no options to unlock to an app shortcut.
From the lock screen there is an option to swipe to the left to reveal the 48-hour weather forecast, so if you need a quick update on the weather and related details but don't necessarily want to unlock your phone, this is the quickest and simplest way to grab the weather data you need and since you're not unlocking the device you should be saving battery life too.
PIN Genie has quite a few features and really does have a lot to give to the user. It isn't overloaded with options which was nice, and the features it does have felt varied and actually useful, which is something that isn't always the case with many apps out there.
- Speed (5/5) - The app took almost no time at all to set up, and it never really felt laggy at all.
- Features (5/5) - A lot of features on offer. The weather forecast from the lock screen was particularly useful.
- Theme (5/5) - The app UI is great, uses material design, and it even has themes for the lock screen which was a nice touch.
- Overall (5/5) - A very well-rounded app and worth a download.
- 48-hour Weather forecast page from the lock screen
- Multiple unlock options
- Lock screen themes
- Lock screen wallpapers
- Multiple notification alerts that can be displayed
- It would be nice if the app could automatically disable the system's standard lock screen upon installation and after opening for the first time, though this could be a system limitation and have nothing to do with the app.
This is really a handy application especially if you want to spice up your lock screen a little bit. With a decent amount of features and more on the way, and being easy to use, PIN Genie Locker is well worth looking into. Plus you get plenty of features for free. You can grab the app from the Play Store from the button below, and you can also grab the iOS version if you need to as well.