Microsoft has acquired another popular Android developer


Echo Notification Lockscreen is the latest addition to Microsoft’s ever-growing portfolio of Android apps and services. The app allows users to personalize the appearance of their device’s lockscreen, and while it’s far from the only app that offers this kind of functionality, it’s one of the most popular. The acquisition is a little odd, though, because Microsoft released its own lockscreen for Android last year, so why would the company acquire a second one? 

Microsoft has bought a popular Android app called Echo Notification Lockscreen, which lets you personalize what appears on your phone or tablet when it’s in lock mode. This actually makes Echo the second Android lockscreen replacement Microsoft owns. Last year, the company’s Microsoft Garage research division launched the popular Microsoft Next lockscreen for Android, which promises to provide you enough information and control at a glance that you don’t have to unlock your phone nearly as much. It may seem weird that Microsoft would have one lockscreen for Google’s Android, let alone two. But Microsoft Chief Experience Officer Julie Larson-Green says it’s all in the name of “[taking] productivity to the next level” and “[keeping] you in the moment.” 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.

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