Dress up a faux lock screen with music and videos using vlock [Review]

I can’t think of many reasons why an iPhone-toting individual would be jealous of an Android user, but if clock envy is one of them, then you’re in luck. Vlock aims to rid you of your boring clock by dressing it up with abstract art, music, and even videos.

Customization of standard features is typically only available through jailbreaking. But since that’s not always an ideal option, vlock offers you an alternative. The app is rather simple; it’s an Android-ish clock for your iPhone that displays the date and time. But instead of the drab Apple design, you can trade it out for something more stylized.

Something that bothered me right off the bat was the clipped font. It looks like the design was too big for the size of your screen — I’m testing it on an iPhone, so I’m not sure if it’s less noticeable on the iPad. But apparently this was deliberate design choice as it mimics Typophone4, a popular lock screen app for jailbroken iPhones.

It’s also worth noting that vlock only works when your iPhone is unlocked and doesn’t actually replace your lock screen. The slide gesture gives the illusion of a lock screen, making it a great way to trick your friends (until they slide the arrows or press the home button). If your phone usually auto locks after a minute or two, vlock will override that and your phone will continue to display your new fancypants clock.

Vlock comes with one free design, but you can purchase additional options from the in-app store. Your options are broken down into themed packs (such as object, nature, pink, spring, and so on) and each pack features four designs — there’s a total of 32 designs for you to choose from. To preview the design and animation, just tap on it. Each pack costs $.99.

If the animated abstract design isn’t enough, the app can also play music. To do so, just switch the music option to “on” within settings and choose a playlist. These are pulled from the music app on your phone, so if you don’t have any playlists, you’ll have to create one. The downside is that you won’t have control over which songs play; you’ll only be able to turn the music on or off.

Should you forgo the music in favor of a video, you will have to purchase the AnyVideo extension for $.99. I didn’t buy it as I don’t take many videos to begin with, but should you decide to use it, you can play videos through the clock, complete with loop and transitions. The developer notes that videos protected by DRM are not playable.

While it’s not an app I’d use often, it can be fun to play around with — especially if you like toying around with different customizations. And should you want to share one of your creations, you can do so via text, email, Facebook, and Twitter.

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