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Add Quick Launch shortcuts to your Android lock screen

Looking for a new way to get quick access to your apps and missed notifications? This app will replace your current lock screen with a more useful one.

TouchWiz vs. Quick Launch on the Samsung Galaxy S III. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

You may be familiar with the TouchWiz shortcuts on Samsung Android devices -- well Quick Launch is similar in how it works, but not how it looks. Instead, this lock-screen replacement is bit more modern than TouchWiz, which means it pairs nicely with the Ice Cream Sandwich/Jelly Bean design style.

Since you're going to be using the lock screen each time you pick up your phone, it may as well be something you like to look at. In addition to looking good, the lock screen should have added functionality that compliments the many features of your actual device.

Getting started

Before you grab a copy of Quick Launch, make sure you're running on Android 2.1 or higher. This can be done by pressing the Menu button from your Home screen and then going into the Settings > About phone (or device) area and checking the area labeled "Android version" (it may also be called "Software version").

Also, you may be wondering about security features like a PIN or pattern to access your device. Fortunately, these can still be used before the lock screen is granted access to any of your settings or applications.

Setup and customization

A battery widget is shown integrated into the Quick Launch lock screen on Android. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Quick Launch offers the ability to integrate a widget shortcut to your favorite app right into the lock screen. This could be anything from a Twitter client, Google Music controls, or even Facebook. On the second tab of the settings area you'll find theme options. You can use your own photo to give it a more personal feel, and the controls for the lock screen will layer themselves on top of it.

A sample of the main menu on the Quick Launch lock screen. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

There's four different shortcut categories that appear on the lock screen in a loop design. The first is a shortcut to your phone, which will load a selection of your recent calls so you can quickly redial a contact; and the second is a shortcut to apps, which works in a similar fashion. The other options are for search and camera -- two shortcuts that you're likely to use. Outside of the loop shortcuts, there's a slider for turning the phone to silent or ring modes. At the current time, these categories/shortcuts cannot be changed.

A shortcut to recently opened applications on an Android device running Quick Launch. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Which lock-screen replacement do you prefer? Have you found one with more options? Suggest it in the comments, or send it to me directly.