It’s Customization Month on Android.Appstorm! Throughout March, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you improve your phone or tablet experience and make them suit your style.
One of the new features introduced in Android 4.2 was the ability to add widgets to the lockscreen. For a long time, this feature remained underutilized, with a few apps adding support for it but not many really harnessing its power.
Enter DashClock, a widget that can be added to the lockscreen and offered an open API to allow third-party apps to build extensions for it. DashClock opened a whole world of customization to Android users, as we finally had a customizable widget that didn’t limit us to one app or one notification.
After downloading DashClock, you can add it to your lockscreen by first locking your device. If you have an Android 4.2 phone, once you try to unlock it, the lockscreen will show a + icon. Click it and you’ll have a list of available widgets, amongst which is DashClock. You’re then taken to a Settings screen that lets you customize the app’s built-in functions. These include:
the current local weather
your missed calls
your unread SMS messages
your unread Gmail messages or priority inbox messages
your next calendar appointment
your next alarm.
You can reorganize these and change a few specifics to some of the functions. You can also modify DashClock’s background transparency, its text alignment and the way the date is displayed. This menu is also where you will be able to add and remove plugins from other DashClock Extensions.
Useful DashClock Extensions
DashClock extensions fall into one of two categories. There are either apps specifically built for DashClock, that don’t have an icon and don’t provide any functionality other than plugging into DashClock. There are also apps that function independently but offer a plugin for DashClock should you want to have quick access to notifications from them. Below, I will group some of the best examples of DashClock usage.
If you’d like to know more about your battery state, as well as how long it should last or how much time it would take to charge it, few apps are as useful and as simple as Battery Widget Reborn, which also offers a DashClock plugin. But if you’re looking for a simple extension with no added functionality, DashClock Battery Extension should do the trick.
One of the most important uses of DashClock is quick access to social notifications. Several apps have added support for DashClock, whereas others have created separate extensions or relied on third-party developers to do so. Here are a few examples:
If you don’t use Gmail as your main inbox, you may feel left out by DashClock’s lack of built-in support for other email clients. But if your email needs are serviced by K-9 or Compail, you should be happy to know about K-9 Unread Cound for DashClock, as well as Compail‘s built-in DashClock extension.
If, like me, you work in an industry that relies a lot on foreign importation and currency exchange rates, or if you’re a stock trader, you should be happy to know that there are DashClock extensions to help you keep an eye on this data without even unlocking your device. DashClock Forex Extension is a currency rate tracker, whereas DashClock Ticker Extension observes stock price fluctuations.
DashClock Forex Extension
You probably unlock your phone over a dozen time each day — if not more — so what better way to learn something new than to have it displayed on that lockscreen? DashClock InQuotes Extension gives you famous quotes related to several categories, and DashClock Word of the Day will give you a new word each day along with its definition.
DashClock is an open platform, and because of Android’s extensive functionality, the possibilities are endless and building them would take a lot of effort. That’s why several extensions exist that allow you to adapt and customize the notification to your liking. There’s DashClock Custom Extension that can make a call, open an app or a website, or edit a note. On the other hand, AnyDash for DashClock will let you show any notification from your favorite app on your lockscreen. And the sky is the limit if you use the DashClock Tasker Extension.
DashClock Custom Extension
Honestly, there’s so much you can do with DashClock and so many extensions that keep appearing every day to extend its usability and harness more of its power. The list here is just a start, and a collection of examples to help you better visualize what can be done with DashClock.
Did I forget to mention your favorite extension? Or have you found more original uses for DashClock? Let us know in the comments below.