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Microsoft's bringing its lockscreen app to Windows Phone 8.1

When Microsoft introduced Windows Phone 8.1 in early April, the company revealed that the latest iteration of its tiled smartphone operating system will allow users to change the default lockscreen with a custom one. This feature is not available in any of the builds Microsoft launched through the Preview for Developers program, as it will be accessible through an app.

Microsoft then said it is working with prolific platform developer Rudy Huyn, who is known for popular apps like 6tag and 6sec, to make the feature happen. Only hours ago, Windows Phone head Joe Belfiore shed some light as to when we can expect the app to launch.

The lockscreen tool will first launch as a beta in Windows Phone Store, with Belfiore expecting it to be available in "probably a couple of weeks". Initially, it will only be compatible with Windows Phone 8.1 devices with 1 GB of RAM, which excludes a number of very popular smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 520.

Belfiore says Windows Phone 8.1 devices with only 512 MB of RAM, like the aforementioned Lumia 520, will "probably" also be compatible with the new lockscreen app later down the road. The reason for the limited compatibility appears to be RAM limitations, which may prevent the software from running smoothly and being stable.

The lockscreen in Windows Phone 8.1 remains virtually unchanged coming from the previous iteration of the tiled smartphone OS, Windows Phone 8, as Microsoft has not tweaked its visual components nor altered its customisation options. Improvements here would go a long way towards improving the experience for power users.

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