For the past two weeks, I have been using the Next lock screen app along with the Arrow Launcher app, both released by Microsoft for Android phones. The Next lock screen has been working well, and I have had no major issues with the apps performance, but as I was flipping through a list of Microsoft apps this evening, I ran across a beautiful looking lock screen app called Picturesque, and had to give it a try.
For the most part, Picturesque has the same basic features as other lock screen apps. What sets it apart, however, is the complete integration of Bing into the lock screen. The integration does not stop with Bing search, but also integrates the users Bing Rewards account as well, making Microsoft Bing a full and rich experience directly from the lock screen. Once logged into your account, and with a swipe down from the top, the lock screen lists your rewards points just below the users favorite apps.
When using Bing search from the lock screen, the user has a few options in the Picturesque settings. Under Personalize -> Universal Search, the user has the option to turn on settings to show relevant apps and contact suggestions, along with searching the web for the terms entered into the search. When the search box is tapped, a short list of frequent contacts drops below the box, with the option to text or call any of the top contacts.
Another key feature to the Picturesque lock screen is the rotating Bing photos set as the lock screen wallpaper, bringing Microsoft and Bing even further front and center of your Android phone. Don’t worry, however, if you choose to have a static photo of your choice set as your lock screen wallpaper, you can easily make that change in the settings. Picturesque also includes a second page that can be accessed with a swipe to the left, which includes an extensive news feed including Top Stories, Entertainment, Sports, and more.
For anyone looking to create an all around Microsoft experience on Android phones, Picturesque appears to be a great addition.