For security purposes it is normal to configure your tablet/phone to lock the screen after a period of inactivity -See android lock screens.
If you have enabled this option then when the screen locks a lock screen appears which by default shows the clock.
As part of the lock screen settings you can enable lock screen widgets and change the lock screen appearance.
If lock screen widgets are enabled then you can customise the Android’s lock screen by adding additional widgets e.g. Gmail, Google now etc.
These are very useful as you can see the widget without having to unlock your device.
If you have enabled the Gmail widget you don’t need to unlock the device to see if you have any new emails, as they will automatically appear on the locked screen.
However although this may appear convenient is does have privacy issues.
To add a new additional lock screen you first need to have the screen locked.
Then while the screen is locked slide the lock screen (clock) to the left and a blank screen appears with a plus sign in the middle.
Click on the plus sign and you will be prompted to enter your unlock code to add a new screen.
You should then see a selection of widgets that you can add to the screen. Select the one you want.
I have chosen to add a Gmail Widget in this example but there are several to choose from like the digital clock,Google now etc.
The widget will prompt you to make additional selections if you need to.
In the case of Gmail I needed to select the Gmail account, and the email folder.
Now the Gmail widget appears on the lock screen and I now have two lock screens.
You can slide the screen left or right to view the lock screens and you can add additional lock screens by sliding the lock screen image left until you see a blank lock screen with a plus sign.
You can also reorder lock screens by pressing on the image until it appears as a tiny screen and then dragging it to the new position.
If you no longer want a particular lock screen widget you can remove it by pressing on the image until you see remove appear on the left of the screen.
Slide the lock screen image to the remove text to remove it.
Because support for Lock screen widgets is fairly new, not all widgets can be added to a lock screen, but this will undoubtedly change.
Notes: Lock screen widgets available in android v 4.2 and above
Lock Screen Notifications
Starting in lollipop (android v5) the Lock screen widget option was removed and replaced with notifications.
To enable/disable notifications on the lock screen go to Settings>Device>Sound and notifications. under the notification section go to when device is locked and choose from the options.
I wouldn’t recommend the show all option. Here is what you see on your lock screen when enabled.
The notifications show under the clock and there doesn’t appear to be any way of changing the appearance without using an App.
If you want to restore the lock screen widget functionality to Lollipop then there are several Apps you can choose from See this article
Related articles and resources:
- Google support
- Android Lock Screen
- Understanding Android Home screens
- Understanding Android Notifications