For years, Google has placed two lock screen shortcuts at the bottom left and right of our devices. What these shortcuts actually do has changed throughout the years but with Xposed Framework and the GravityBox module we can change what these shortcuts are, or even remove them altogether.
I’ve always thought the idea of having shortcuts on the lock screen for specific tasks was an amazing idea. Samsung does this even better with the Galaxy Note series that turns the lock screen into a pad that you can take notes on when the stylus is ejected. For devices without a stylus though, just having a way to launch specific applications without having to authenticate your identity, waiting for the Home Screen to load, browsing through pages/folders and then tapping the application icon so that it opens.
You can use this feature in a couple of different ways though. Some may want to put lock screen shortcuts for two applications that they are constantly using. And there’s benefit for that. For me, however, I like to put things there that I end up needing fast access to. By default, most Android smartphones have the camera in a corner and I do like having that there for mine (but this can even be useful for those who like a 3rd-party camera application. Another choice of mine here is Google Keep (or any other list making application) as I like to be able to add something to a list as quickly as possible.
These are things that I aren’t opening multiple times per day, but when I need them I want them opened as quickly as possible. No matter what you prefer here though, we can’t change these Lock Screen shortcuts on most phones so today I’ll be showing you how to do this with the GravityBox module using Xposed Framework. If you don’t have either of these installed then you’ll need to do that first. You’ll find a guide for how to do this with devices that I have been able to create tutorials for.
Customizing Lock Screen Shortcuts
- Launch the GravityBox application
- Tap the Lockscreen Tweaks option at the top
- Scroll all the way down to the bottom
- Tap the Bottom-Left Action option
- Choose an application you want for the bottom left corner of the Lock Screen
- Tap the Bottom-Right Action option
- Choose an application you want for the bottom right corner of the Lock Screen
- Tap the gray question mark next to these two items to select a custom icon
- Press the Power button to lock the device
- Then press the Power button again to view the Lock Screen to see your changes.
There are some smartphone OEMs out there who realize that people want access to different applications directly from the Lock Screen. I’ve seen this feature baked into the Samsung Experience OEM ROM and it’s this type of effort that I enjoy seeing from Samsung. Then there are other OEMs who either feel this feature isn’t needed, it takes too many resources to implement, or they would rather their customers not be able to change them at all.
I choose Android as my mobile OS of choice because of the level of customization and hate it when companies don’t let me change certain user interface elements of my device. Thankfully though, this is where Xposed Framework comes into play and the incredibly powerful GravityBox module. As I’ve been showing you lately, today’s tip is another modification but this one focuses on the two Lock Screen shortcuts in the bottom left and bottom right of the screen.
By default the left Lock Screen shortcut is set to a voice command system (usually Google Assistant) and the right one is set to the default camera application. So, if you want to change these we simply need to launch the GravityBox application and then tap on the Lockscreen Tweaks option. The features we’re looking for is all the way at the bottom and are labeled both Bottom-Left Action and Bottom-Right Action. Tapping either of these will bring up a list of applications you have installed.
So go through these two options to pick the applications that you want to sitting in the left and right corners of your Lock Screen. When you pick a custom application here though, you’ll see a question mark box to the right of it. This indicates that we need to select an icon to represent that Lock Screen shortcut. Some of these match perfectly (such as Chrome), but you may need to improvise with others as there are only a certain number of icons to choose from.
I also wanted to point out that there is a Hide Bottom Actions option right here that will let you disable the left Lock Screen shortcut, the right shortcut, or both of them. This can be great if you don’t want any shortcuts here at all and would rather have a cleaner looking Lock Screen.