If you're looking to get more out of your Windows Phone 8 lockscreen, take a look at AwesomeLock. It's a simple, straight forward lockscreen app that delivers news, weather and upcoming appointments to your lockscreen.
AwesomeLock also delivers Bing daily pictures or you can tap into your Pictures Hub and use one of your own images for the lockscreen wallpaper. The app makes a nice first impression and likely is only held back by the lack of a trial version.
What you get with AwesomeLock is a series of settings pages to fine tune your lockscreen. You'll need to set it as your lockscreen app (either through your Windows Phone settings or via the pop-up window that appears when you launch the app) and from their it's simply an issue of tweaking each feature to meet your needs.
Lockscreen features include:
News: AwesomeLock taps into a vast collection of news sources from seventeen Countries. Sources include CNN, El Pa's, Skynews, Financial Times and even a tech site you may be familiar with. Currently, you can only select one news source for the lockscreen.
Don't see a new source you like? You can also manually enter an RSS feed to pull your news from.
Once you determine the news source you can display up to two news items from that source and decide if the news items should be generated at random or from the most recent stories.
Background (image): Here's where you can turn on or off the Bing daily picture and choose which of the nine Countries available. Countries include Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Germany, France, and New Zealand.
Don't care for Bing's daily image? No problem. Just turn that feature off and choose a local image from your Pictures Hub to use.
Weather: AwesomeLock will display your current weather conditions and a two-day forecast at the top of your lockscreen. You can set the weather to a specific location or AwesomeLock will use your current location.
Calendar: AwesomeLock can display your next appointment across the bottom of your lockscreen. It minimizes the area needed by running the appointment much like a ticker tape that runs across the bottom of your television. In minimizing this area, it frees up space other apps have available.
When all is said and done, AwesomeLock is an appealing lockscreen app for your Windows Phone 8 device. I wouldn't mind seeing an option to turn off some of the features and extend others. Some may not care for the weather and would rather see more news (maybe from multiple sources) on their lockscreen. While others may not care for the news and would like to see an extended forecast.
Then there's the lack of a trial version hovering over the app that may make some overlook AwesomeLock. I'm not sure how hard it would be but a seven day trial version would be a nice touch. Regardless, AwesomeLock is a nice foundation that the developer can build upon. The app gives your lockscreen a little more functionality without too much clutter.
AwesomeLock is available for Windows Phone 8 and is currently running $.99. You can pick up AwesomeLock here in the Windows Phone Store.