Ask LH: Can I Change My Android Wallpaper To Show My Emergency Contacts?

Dear Lifehacker, There's a battle being fought in my mind. If there is an emergency and someone finds your phone, you want them to see your ICE [In Case Of Emergency]contact number in your address book. On the other hand, what if they take your phone as well, with all your personal data on it? So my question is this: can you put an emergency number on the unlock screen of an Android? Thanks, Battle-Scarred

Dear Battle-Scarred

The most obvious way we could locate to do this in the trusty Lifehacker archives is to use WidgetLocker, which we've featured in the past for its slider-customising ability. However, it also offers you the ability to customise your lockscreen wallpaper, which is a pretty easy way to add your emergency contact number to the screen. WidgetLocker is $1.94, but that's not a whole lot if you want to get this feature in place. If readers have other methods for getting this done — I don't claim to be an Android customisation expert and my main Android test device badly needs a reimaging — we'd love to hear them in the comments.

Cheers Lifehacker

WidgetLocker [Android Market]


    I use this - it's free...

    Depending on you phone OS version you might be able to set a custom message. Go to Setting, Location & Security, and look for "show custom message". I updated from 2.2 to 2.3 and it seems to not be there anymore.

      I was going to give the same advice, and yeah, I recently upgraded to 2.3 and can't find it anymore either....

    What is the clock widget on the picture?

      Probably this

    Anyone with the avg antivirus app can go to their settings and customise the name of the user on the lock screen. I'm guessing you can also add a number to it if you looked around

    Put a label with an alternative phone no. on the back of the phone or in the battery compartment. That way, the finder can contact you even if the phone battery runs out of juice.

    What sort of apps do you guys use to keep your data locked like contacts and text messages? With those slide to unlock screens, it's not hard to get into a phone. I use the nine dot pattern to unlock my phone, but that takes away using widgets on it.

    On my iPhone I just have a image file I made with ICE: (Phone number) on it. Easy and free

    If you use Anti-virus Free, from AVG you are able to change what is said on the lock screen, you can put contact information, names and all sorts. get a virus scanner and what your looking for at the same time.

    If you don't lock your phone with a PIN or dots or anything then simply add a shortcut on the first homescreen. Name it something like 'click me if found' and have it point to a contact or even a simple note/text file saying who the phone belongs to.

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