Whether you are at school, work, or home, locking your screen can help you keep your apps, documents, personal information, and passwords safe from unwanted intrusions. You can rather quickly lock your Mac screen by pressing Ctrl+Shift+eject (or power on newer MacBooks), but that’ll only turn off your screen and then let you see the login screen when you tap a key.
Today, we will look at Lock Screen Plus, a screen locking application that looks amazing when in use. But, is spending money for a feature your Mac already has worth it, even if the Mac’s implementation is basic? Let’s find out!
On the surface, Lock Screen Plus is a, um, screen-locking application that would, for all intents and purposes, replace the already existing OS X feature. If you look past the generic name, though, you’ll actually find more than just a screen-locking application – why would anyone pay for it otherwise, right?
Lock Screen Plus allows you to have more control over the way you lock your screen, the way your locked screen looks, and the way you unlock your screen. That flexibility is what makes Lock Screen Plus worth the asking price.
Before we start explaining why Lock Screen Plus is cool, we would like to point out that you are not actually using OS X’s screen-locking feature. Lock Screen Plus does things separately, so technically, you can have two locks on at the same time.
Lock Screen Plus’ Locked Screen
Even though you have a sizable list of settings to mess around with, you will spend most of your time on the appearance tab. This is due to the fact that Lock Screen Plus is all about the way your locked screen looks and behaves.
Once you pick one of the many beautiful themes (and, yes, they are all significantly different), you will have the ability to change lock and unlock sounds, weather location, and in some cases, the theme’s background image.
Because of the minimalistic and stunning nature of these themes, Lock Screen Plus will possibly replace your screensaver (if you use one). The themes display time, date, and weather in a very elegant and eye-catching way, you will want to lock your screen whenever you are not using your computer just to see your pretty locked screen at work.
Lock Screen Plus becomes more about the way your locked screen looks than actually securing your computer. This is not a bad thing, of course. Your computer is quite secure with Lock Screen Plus on, but there are a few things Lock Screen Plus could do to create a balance between securing your computer and displaying a stylish curtain over your screen.
Unlocking Lock Screen Plus
In the Security tab of Lock Screen Plus, you will find three different unlocking methods: keyboard, trackpad, and mouse. Each method allows you to unlock your screen with the respective hardware manipulation. For example, you can left-click your mouse, swipe your trackpad, or swipe your keyboard in any direction to unlock your screen – the latter being the most interesting.
Unlike some locking applications, Lock Screen Plus doesn’t let you use or set any crazy gestures to use with your multi-touch trackpad. And actually, they note that “in some rare cases, the trackpad will be unusable.”
It would be cool if Lock Screen Plus took the keyboard method and allowed us to set a pattern of connected keys. For example the “MKJHN” keys could be swiped to unlock the screen. This would of course be a bit hard to do with some keyboards, but Apple keyboards are flat enough to take advantage of this. They could even take a “draw-on-the-picture-to-unlock” approach with the mouse or trackpad methods ala Windows 8 – they do have a “Metro” theme, after all.
Lock Screen Plus is not free, and at 99 cents, it isn’t expensive either. You already have a default screen locking feature built into OS X, so you don’t need this app for that; however, Lock Screen Plus does much more than just locking your screen. While there is a lot of room for improvement, Lock Screen Plus proves to be a rather sexy and elegant way to lock your screen.