Microsoft is expanding its domain in the Android market by scooping up Android developer Double Labs and their Echo Notification Lockscreen app. Microsoft’s developers already have published a lock screen app on the Google Play Store (Next Lock Screen) as part of the Microsoft Garage program, and the company also has published a handful of other apps. Microsoft says they want to take productivity to the next level and that’s part of why they purchased Double Labs.
The problem with the current default lockscreens on Apple, Android, and even Windows Phone, Larson-Green says, is that they’re not at all personalized — they’re just a list of alerts, one app at a time.
“It’s a list of what apps want you to know, not necessarily what’s important to you,” Larson-Green says.
Microsoft wants to make the lock screen more personal and less sterile, how they plan on doing that remains to be seen. Lock screen notifications are generally about just that, notifications. There are many other lock screens that offer different levels of customization beyond notifications (Widget Locker) so it will be interesting to see what Microsoft is planning. It’s also very possible that Windows users may end up seeing some of the features from Echo show up on their Windows lock screens in the future. There is also no word on if Echo will remain separate from Next or if the two will combine into one app, my guess is they will eventually merge into one app.